Nigeria: The Mob Killing of Yunusa Over Alleged Blasphemy on June 19, 2024

Farrukh Saif

June 24, 2024

Tragedy in Nasaru: The Mob Killing of Yunusa Over Alleged Blasphemy on June 19, 2024

A recent incident in Bauchi State, Nigeria, has once again highlighted the ongoing issue of mob violence and extrajudicial killings related to allegations of blasphemy.

On June 19, 2024, a man identified as Yunusa was killed by an angry mob in Nasaru village, Ningi Local Government Area, after being accused of making blasphemous comments against Muhammad during an argument.

According to witnesses, Yunusa, who was reportedly a member of the Faira Islamic sect, made controversial statements during a heated discussion with friends. Police attempted to intervene and protect Yunusa, but they were overpowered by the mob, who used stones, sticks, and other weapons to beat him to death. The mob even tried to burn down the local police station when officers attempted to shield Yunusa.

Disturbingly, 5 days after the incident, the Nigeria Police had failed to make any arrests in connection with Yunusa’s killing. Instead, they issued a statement condemning the act and providing safety advisories.

A similar incident occurred in 2022 when Deborah Samuel, a student in Sokoto State, was killed by a mob over alleged blasphemy. To date, no arrests have been made in that case either.

Why Muslims Are So Insecured:

This is so troubling: even minor disagreements about Islam or the Prophet can lead to accusations of blasphemy and result in violence and killing. The question raised is why Islam and Muslims are so insecure that they take the life of anyone in the name of blasphemy.

These incidents are not limited to Nigeria. In Pakistan, two recent cases have further shown the severity of this issue:

In Sargodha, Punjab province, a mob attacked and killed a Christian man, Nazir Masih, who was accused of desecrating the Quran. The incident occurred after Friday prayers when rumors spread about the alleged act. All the people who were involved in the killing were set free on bail by the court.

In Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, another Muslim man was killed by a mob over blasphemy allegations. The victim was accused of making derogatory remarks about religious figures. Like other cases, no one was arrested in the Killing of Mohammad Ismail.

These cases highlight a disturbing trend of extrajudicial killings and the failure of law enforcement to protect accused persons or bring perpetrators to justice.

The lack of arrests and proper investigations in these cases raises serious concerns about the rule of law and the protection of human rights. Authorities must take swift and decisive action to prevent such incidents, prosecute those responsible for mob violence, and promote interfaith harmony and tolerance in society.

The question raised is why Islam and Muslims are so insecure that they take the life of anyone in the name of blasphemy.

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Farrukh Saif

Farrukh H. Saif, a courageous Christian human rights activist, established the Farrukh Saif Foundation in 2009 to confront religious discrimination, blasphemy laws, and bonded slavery in Pakistan. His dedication to liberating bonded laborers from brick kilns and advocating for blasphemy victims and asylum seekers has garnered international acclaim. Despite encountering threats and fatwas, his impactful work persists in supporting marginalized communities. In 2018, the foundation merged with The Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved, enhancing its global outreach.

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