Home Nigeria Group Condemns Conviction of Mubarak Bala Nigerian Atheist for Blasphemy

Group Condemns Conviction of Mubarak Bala Nigerian Atheist for Blasphemy

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Mubarak Bala Nigeria
Mubarak Bala Nigeria

By Uche Amunike

The Humanist Association of Nigeria (HAN), has strongly condemned the conviction of Mubarak Bala, Nigerian self-proclaimed atheist by a Kano court on Tuesday, describing the judgement sentencing him to a 24yr jail term for blaspheming against Islam as a sham Court process.
Recall that Mubarak Bala, Nigerian atheist and President of HAN was arrested in Kaduna in 2020 because of his post on Facebook which was seen as blasphemous against Prophet Muhammed and Allah.
In reaction to his 24-year sentence, Dr Leo Igwe, who is a trustee of HAN told newsmen that the association was not only disappointed by the judgement passed on Bala, but also saddened by it, because even though he pleaded guilty to the charges, the judgement which he described as ‘outrageous’ was not justified.
His words: ‘the association is saddened and disappointed by the judgement, following a sham Court process. Although Mubarak Bala pleaded guilty to the charges, that does not justify the outrageous sentence that the court handed down.’
‘To make a comment that is critical of any prophet or religion is not a crime. For almost two years, Bala has been detained without trial and has been subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment. He was held incommunicado for months and denied family visits and legal representation’.
Igwe further stated that the sham judgement passed on Bala was a result of years of psychological torture emotional and physical abuse on him, but added that an appeal was being presently considered to see that Bala would get justice soon.
Hear him: ‘the option of an appeal is currently being explored. His case is one of justice denied and we are doing whatever that we can to ensure that he will get Justice at last’.
‘Nigeria is a pluralistic society of people from different cultures who profess different religious outlooks and beliefs. So we are bound to tolerate one another because we are likely to say things others may deem insulting. We are likely to encounter people who say things that you may find annoying or offensive. So, we are bound to tolerate one another’, he continued.
‘Incidentally, many people think that tolerance entails condoning or accommodating other beliefs that we accept or find pleasant. That is not the case . Tolerance implies accommodating and condoning beliefs, views, actions and behaviours that we regard as annoying or offensive’, he concluded.
Bala has always been controversial on social media and is known for his posts against Islam, the Muslim faith and prophet Muhammad, especially since he declared leaving Islam and professing atheism.
When he first started to profess that he was now an atheist, it got to a point in 2014 when his family committed him to a psychiatric institution in Kano as they thought he was mentally unwell.
Ever since the announcement of the 24-year sentence passed on the embattled Mubarak Bala, Nigerians from both North and South have poured out their hearts expressing what they feel about the judgement.
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