silence of the media III: Nigerian fatwa rejected

The silence of the media has been a recent recurring theme (I've edited post titles to reflect this). The Nigerian riot and "fatwa" against the woman journalist regarding the Miss World pageant sparked a length essay by Steven demanding that normal Muslims cease their "apathetic silence" lest they be considered complicit in brutal repression tactics such as these.

I responded with part I in this series, making two points. The first is that the Nigerian fracas was another example of bonehead tribalism, a purely political power grab wrapped in religion solely to lend it legitimacy. This is a point I have argued previously, repeatedly.

The second point was that the perception of Muslims' silence is a classic Bateson's double-bind (see my Columbus Day post). Waging a PR battle to assault this stereotype is IMHO a wasted effort, that energy is far better spent directed inwards to the community and focusing on weeding out bad ideas and extremism from within.

The second post in this series pointed out that Muslims have not been silent since 9-11, counter to the prevailing sterotype. There have been massive condemnations from religious and secular leaders and organizations.

This post is simply a followup, in reporting via the BBC that the two top Muslim religious authority councils have rejected the fatwa issued by the governor of Zamfara state:

Nigeria's second highest Islamic body, the Jama'atul Nasril Islam (JNI), announced that a ruling issued on behalf of Zamfara's state government was not binding and should be ignored.

This followed a similar ruling on Thursday from the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA) which said the deputy provincial governor who issued the edict had "no authority" to do so.

The article also notes that the government of Nigeria had said it would not allow the fatwa to be carried out, even it was valid. Far from making Nigeria seem to be a seething bed of militant Islam, it is apparent that Nigeria is a country where state authorities tried to leverage religion in order to gain political points with the Muslim majorities in those states. The federal givernment of Nigeria quickly exerted its power to declare the fatwa illegal, and the national Nigerian Muslim authorities quickly exerted their authority to declare the fatwa immoral.

This information drastically affects the perception of Nigeria, and of Islam, but it is completely absent from US media reports thus far. I would appreciate any reader who notices mention of the muslims councils' rulings in the US media to alert me via the coments section.