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Chat with Irfan Bayei on Mubarak Bala


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2020/05/18

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Mubarak was apprehended and placed into jail in Kaduna on April 28. What was the justification?

Irfan Bayei: Because he blasphemed on his Facebook page.

Jacobsen: What rights were violated for him?

Bayei: His right to freedom of speech.

Jacobsen: What has been the Nigerian news reportage of the case?

Bayei: He could be sentenced to a maximum of seven years in prison.

Jacobsen: Has the international pressure been helpful?

Bayei: No, the security agencies do not follow international calls in my country.

Jacobsen: Is he in Kano? Or is he in Kaduna? Or is his location unknown?

Bayei: He is in hiding in a secret place in Kano city.

Jacobsen: What makes Kano dangerous for public, outspoken atheists?

Bayei: Kano is a city of religious people in Nigeria.

Jacobsen: How serious is the claim?

Bayei: Blasphemy is a serious offence under the Kano law.

Jacobsen: How does religion worsen Kano life?

Bayei: They believed in God so much that their book told them that anyone who left a religion should be killed.

Jacobsen: How do Muslims in Kano react to blasphemers?

Bayei: Those who have left Islam are only making a fresh appearance.

Jacobsen: Are police and judges biased in favour of religion in Kano?

Bayei: Kano, they use Islamic law to decide.

Jacobsen: Why is northern Nigeria mainly Muslims rather than not?

Bayei: Extremist Muslims are Sunni followers. Because they are more religious people; in the South, people are less concerned about religion.

Jacobsen: How does the public view atheists, humanists, and ex-Muslims?

Bayei: They view them as devils or children of the devil.

Jacobsen: How can people keep informed on the case?

Bayei: Members of our community can also be notified via social media.

Jacobsen: How can people around the world help?

Bayei: They can provide financial assistance to lawyers and security agencies to help them.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Irfan.


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