Blasphemy in Islam is impious utterance or action concerning God but is broader than in normal English usage, including not only the mocking or vilifying of attributes of Islam but denying any of the fundamental beliefs of the religion. Examples include denying that the Quran was divinely revealed, the prophethood of one of the Islamic prophets, insulting an angel, or maintaining God had a son.

The Quran curses those who commit blasphemy and promises blasphemers humiliation in the Hereafter. However, whether any Quranic verses prescribe worldly punishments is debated: some Muslims believe that no worldly punishment is prescribed while others disagree.

The interpretation of hadiths, which are another source of Sharia, is similarly debated. Some have interpreted hadith as prescribing punishments for blasphemy, which may include death, while others argue that the death penalty applies only to cases where perpetrator commits treasonous crimes, especially during times of war. Different traditional schools of jurisprudence prescribe different punishment for blasphemy, depending on whether the blasphemer is Muslim or non-Muslim, a man or a woman.

The cruel murder of Deborah Samuel by some Muslims students at College of Education Sokoto has brought the question of whether Islam is a religion of peace or violence? Miss Deborah was killed on alleged insult to Prophet Muhammad.

The word Islam means peace and that Islam is therefore a religion of peace. Is Islam truly a peaceful religion? Yes, because there are peace loving Muslims who interpret the Quran and Islam from perspective of peace. Is Islam a violence religion? Yes, because there are also violent Muslims who find justification for their violence in the Quran and Islamic tradition.

Deborah was killed for blasphemy. To some school of thought and Islamic scholars, there is no punishment in Islam for blasphemy. Researching into what is blasphemy in the Holy Quran, we have evidence in the tradition of the Holy Prophet where Abdullah bin Ubayyee (Chief of the hypocrite) continuously abused the prophet and opposed him severally in Madinah.

When he died, the prophet stood to offer his funeral prayers but was questioned by one of his companions on why he decided to pray for him but Prophet ignored his statement and continued to offer the funeral prayer of the dead man (sahih Bukhari Volume 6, book 60, number 192).

This illustration shows that the Prophet never ordained any punishment for anyone who insulted or abused him or God. The poser should be, what is the different between the Northern Muslims and Southern Muslims? I grew and brought up from Muslim family, we live in peace with our Christians brothers and sisters but the mentality of some Northern Muslims is giving Islam a bad name. They derive pleasure in killing at slightest provocation. Can you fight for God? Can you avenge for God?

Why some groups and individual condemn the act as anti Islam and barbaric, some Islamic Scholars agreed less, justified the killings of Deborah, saying she crossed Islamic REDLINES.

The Voice Note that got Deborah hacked to death- ” Holy Ghost Fire nothing will happen to us, the group is not created for sending nonsense things. It is created to send past questions, if there is test, or if we are given assignments not all these nonsense things; which kind prophet, nonsense prophet”.

Being learned is one thing, being a religious fanatic is another thing entirely; Prof Ibrahim Magari, Imam of National Mosque, Abuja justified the killing, saying Deborah crossed Islamic red line and the killers shouldn’t be blamed.

To Sheikh Gumi, he condemned the killing, saying Prophet Muhammad was repeatedly insulted while alive, yet he didn’t kill anyone for it.

Whereas, groups like Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) condemned the killing, describing it as a criminal offence in Islamic law, noting it does not have a place in Islam.

It is manifestation of ignorance on what the religion of Islam preaches; the punishment for any offence in Islamic law is decided by a judge; no other member of the public has that justification to kill his or her fellow being under the guise of fighting or avenging for God.

It’s high time this senseless killings stop in the name of religion; the Islamic elites in the Northern Nigeria need to begin orientation and positive teaching of Holy Quran; some times, I tend not to blame this un-informed die hard Muslims bigots whose psyche have been programmed to believe that killings is the punishment for blasphemy.

Deborah is one of the many killings in the North; at every little opportunity, they killed, maimed and burnt churches to defend Prophet Muhammad who during his life time ignored insult melted out to him. Eunice Olawale, a female preacher was murdered by suspected Muslim Extremists in the early hours of July 9, 2016 while evangelising in the Federal Capital City of Nigeria. What was her offence? Just because she was preaching the gospel of Christ.

Nigeria government should be proactive beyond insuing statement condemning the killing; all the perpetrators must be brought to book and never allow to go the way of past killings. Our religious leaders should stop supporting this dastardly act, every life matter. No single person or group is bigger than Nigeria government. No religion is greater than another. No one has monopoly of violence. Enough of this senseless killings in the name of fighting for God or Prophet Muhammad.

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