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Mubarak Bala: Blasphemy and Islamic Sado-Masochism in Nigeria


Author: Dr. Leo Igwe

Numbering: Issue 1.B, Idea: African Freethinking

Place of Publication: Langley, British Columbia, Canada

Title: African Freethinker

Web Domain:

Individual Publication Date: March 13, 2021

Issue Publication Date: TBD

Name of Publisher: In-Sight Publishing

Frequency: Three Times Per Year

Words: 886

Keywords: blasphemy, human rights, Humanism, Islam, Leo Igwe, Mubarak Bala, sado-masochism.

Mubarak Bala: Blasphemy and Islamic Sado-Masochism in Nigeria[1],[2]

Dr. Leo Igwe is the Founder of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, the Founder & CEO of Advocacy for Alleged Witches, and the Convener of the Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030. 

Since the arrest of Mubarak Bala, I have repeatedly challenged Muslims on my Facebook and Twitter pages. I have asked these Mohammedans if they would like to be treated in countries where they are in the minority the way they are treating Mubarak Bala and persons who belong to minority religious and belief groups in Kano and other Muslim majority societies.

Incidentally, no Muslim has responded in the affirmative. No Muslim has urged nonmuslim countries to jail, or execute Muslims for professing a religion that is critical of other religions and prophets. No Muslim wants other Muslims to be sanctioned or killed for the mere fact of being a Muslim. Muslims do not want to be thrown into jail, held incommunicado without access to a lawyer for expressing their beliefs anywhere in the world. Muslims do not want to be executed or beheaded for saying what they think or believe. Muslims do not want to be penalized for espousing views and opinions that are critical or ‘disrespectful’ of other religions and prophets. Muslims want to be free everywhere in the world. Muslims want their right to freedom of religion, thought and expression respected. Now, if Muslims do not want to be punished for holding “blasphemous” views in non-muslim societies, why do they punish or sanction the killing of non-Muslims in places where Muslims are in the majority for holding or expressing views that are critical of Islam and its prophet?

Look, Muslims are telling the non-Muslim world to its face: Don’t kill or imprison us when we make statements that are critical of your religion or prophets. But we shall kill or imprison you; we shall behead or lynch you if you make a statement or indulge in any action that we deem insulting or disrespectful of the religion, god, prophet or holy book of Islam”. This position of Muslims drips with disgusting hypocrisy and contradiction.

I mean, what accounts for this penchant for murder and infliction of pain on religious and irreligious others- blasphemers, apostates, and unbelievers- among Muslims in Kano and other Muslim majority societies? What makes a significant segment of Muslims unremorseful about murdering those who insult their prophet while Muslim clerics go around the world making derogatory statements about prophets of other religions?

Islam is a religion that is fundamentally sadomasochistic. Islam is a faith that draws gratification from pains that Muslims inflict on themselves and others. The elements of sadism and masochism are the drivers and markers of Islam, as practiced in Kano and other places like Pakistan. Sado-masochism underlies the ongoing abusive treatment of Mubarak Bala, the unconscionable act of murdering alleged blasphemers including Muslims, and the complicity of the Islamic establishment in this savagery.

As a sadistic religion, Islam as practiced in Kano is predicated on pleasure derived from the suffering and maltreatment of any real or imagined transgressor as in the case of Mubarak Bala. Islamic faith feeds on agony, misery, and anguish that Muslims inflict on any supposed infractors, including other Muslims. Otherwise, how does one explain the jubilant reactions of Muslims in Northern Nigeria following the arrest and continued detention of Mr. Bala? How does one situate the fact that some Muslims have connived, with the police in Kano, to disappear Mr. Bala? Muslims have been celebrating online and offline that Mr. Bala is held incommunicado for over four months without access to a lawyer; without being formally charged. Muslims in Kano are content and pleased that Mr. Bala is being punished and treated as a criminal without being prosecuted or convicted in a court of law. What kind of religion justifies these violations? What kind of faith glorifies human indignity, degradation and humiliation?

As if the ongoing abuses do not suffice, some Muslims have threatened to kill Mr. Bala if he is eventually released. The Muslim police in Kano have used the threats as a justification to keep him in custody, to torture, and let him languish and die in jail. Motivated by faith and fear, Muslim police and court officials in Kano have continued to lie, use subterfuge and indulge in various forms of mischief and treachery to punish Mr. Bala. Threats to murder Bala have been openly and publicly made with impunity, without any condemnation from the Islamic establishment, without any objection from the self-styled peaceful and law-abiding Muslims.

Besides, Muslims also draws gratification from self-inflicted pains. Islam teaches Muslims to believe that the Islamic god would reward them abundantly in the hereafter if they die fighting for Islam or defending their faith. Islam sanctifies masochism and motivates Muslims to embark on a suicide mission or engage in self-immolation for the sake of Allah and its messenger.

Many years ago, a parent from one of the Middle Eastern countries said in reaction to the news that the son had died on a suicide mission: “Thank God my son is in heaven”. In heaven? Many Muslim parents in Nigeria fall into this category. In Kano, there are many Muslims who are ready and happy to kill themselves or be killed or get imprisoned in the quest to avenge any real or imagined insult on the Islamic god or prophet. This is obscenity and insanity masquerading as religion-in this case Islam. Muslims in Nigeria must abandon and discard this toxic and sadomasochistic form of Islam.

Appendix I: Footnotes

[1] Founder, Humanist Association of Nigeria; Founder & CEO, Advocacy for Alleged Witches; Convener, Decade of Activism Against Witch Persecution in Africa: 2020-2030.

[2] Individual Publication Date: March 13, 2021:

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