Monday, May 7, 2007

Christians live in dread as new, local Taliban rises in the north

From Chris McGreal at The Guardian

Sharia came to Kano on a wave of popular support in northern Nigeria among voters who hoped it would curb rampant corruption. The state introduced a form of religious police to enforce dress codes, ban the sale of beer and impose a bar on male-driven motorbike taxis carrying women. Earlier this year the national government won a court ruling disbanding the religious police as illegal, to the fury of more radical Islamists. Sheikh Adam, a Saudi-educated member of the strict Wahhabi sect, was among those who also accused state governments of watering down sharia law, saying that politicians had hijacked a populist issue to get elected but then neutralised it in a classic Nigerian way: the Kano administration established a series of commissions and councils to oversee sharia, gave them large budgets and co-opted many clerics, who bought new cars and bigger houses.

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