FaithWorld

No Saudi ban over Ebola for Nigerians going on haj – Arab News

(Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba at the Grand mosque during the annual Haj pilgrimage, in the holy city of Mecca October 17, 2013. Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha to mark the end of the Haj by slaughtering sheep, goats, cows and camels to commemorate Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God's command. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa )

(Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba at the Grand mosque during the annual Haj pilgrimage, in the holy city of Mecca October 17, 2013. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa )

Saudi Arabia, which has barred pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea from the haj due to Ebola concerns, will allow Nigerians to attend, an official was reported on Monday as saying, suggesting the smaller outbreak there was less worrying.

Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been worst hit by an outbreak of the disease in West Africa, with a combined death toll in those three countries since March of 2,097, as at Sept. 5, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

A further eight people have died in Nigeria, out of 23 cases, and there has been one confirmed case in Senegal.

There are no approved Ebola vaccines or treatments.

Saudi Arabia said in April it would not issue visas for the 2014 haj to pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea due to the Ebola outbreak in those countries.

Killing and preaching, Nigerian Islamist militants carve out their “caliphate”

(Girls recite Quranic verses at an Islamic school in Maiduguri, Nigeria, May 24, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney )

(Girls recite Quranic verses at an Islamic school in Maiduguri, Nigeria, May 24, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney)

First comes the killing, then the preaching.

Islamist Boko Haram militants carrying automatic rifles and machetes roar into northeast Nigerian towns or hamlets in columns of pickup trucks and motorbikes and fire at all adult men they see. They often finish them off with knives.

When they have hoisted their black flag inscribed with Koranic verses over government offices or the local emir’s palace, they tell the surviving women they will marry them and “live in peace”, according to survivors who escaped from the town of Gwoza, seized by Boko Haram last month.

Nigeria opens its long-awaited battle of ideas against Boko Haram

(A teacher at Maska Road Islamic School teaches Hadith excerpts in a classroom in Kaduna, July 16, 2014. In classrooms facing a sandy courtyard in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, Maska Road Islamic School teaches a creed that condemns the violent ideology of groups like Boko Haram. The school is steadfast in preaching tolerance to its pupils, and the government is about to adopt this message in a new strategy for containing Boko Haram, which has killed thousands in a five-year campaign for an Islamic state. Picture taken July 16, 2014. To match Insight NIGERIA-BOKO HARAM/ REUTERS/Joe Penney)

(A teacher at Maska Road Islamic School teaches Hadith excerpts in a classroom in Kaduna, July 16, 2014. REUTERS/Joe Penney)

In classrooms facing a sandy courtyard in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna, Maska Road Islamic School teaches a creed that condemns the violent ideology of groups like Boko Haram.

Not everyone has got its message. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, known as the “Pants Bomber”, spent his youth in this school – and ended up trying unsuccessfully to blow up a U.S. airliner on Christmas Day 2009 with explosives hidden in his underwear.

Protests erupt over new Emir of Kano, Nigeria’s second-highest Islamic authority

(Nigeria's central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi attends an interview with Reuters at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London October 30, 2013. Nigeria's central bank now wants inflation in a range between 6-9 percent, its governor Sanusi told Reuters on Wednesday, lowering the regulator's previous target of simply keeping it under 10 percent. To match Interview NIGERIA-INFLATION/ REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

(Nigeria’s former central bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi at the World Islamic Economic Forum in London October 30, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

Hundreds of youths protested on Monday against a decision to appoint Nigeria’s former central bank governor as the country’s second-highest Islamic authority.

Sunday’s state government decision to make Lamido Sanusi the Emir of Kano, one of the most influential positions in the largely Muslim north, surprised many who had expected the job to pass from father to son as a sign of stability when the north faces an Islamist insurgency.

Nigeria’s ex-central bank governor takes throne as Muslim monarch

(Nigeria's Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi attends the World Islamic Economic Forum in London October 30, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth )

(Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi attends the World Islamic Economic Forum in London October 30, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth)

Nigeria’s ousted central bank governor, Lamido Sanusi, was named Emir of Kano on Sunday, making an outspoken government critic one of the most influential leaders in the largely Muslim north.

Sanusi, who regularly railed against the government’s record on corruption, was suspended from his post at the bank in February by President Goodluck Jonathan in a decision that alarmed international investors.

Saudi Arabia’s top cleric says Nigeria’s Boko Haram smears Islam

(Women holding signs take part in a protest demanding the release of abducted secondary school girls from the remote village of Chibok, in Lagos May 5, 2014. The Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility on Monday for the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls during a raid in the village of Chibok in northeast Nigeria last month, the French news agency AFP reported, citing a video it had obtained. Boko Haram on April 14 stormed an all-girl secondary school in Chibok, in Borno state, then packed the teenagers, who had been taking exams, onto trucks and disappeared into a remote area along the border with Cameroon. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye)

(Women holding signs take part in a protest demanding the release of abducted secondary school girls from the remote village of Chibok, in Lagos May 5, 2014.REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye)

Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, the top religious authority in the birthplace of Islam, has condemned Nigeria’s Boko Haram as a group “set up to smear the image of Islam” and condemned its kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls.

Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh said the radical movement, which says it wants to establish a “pure” Islamic state in Nigeria, was “misguided” and should be “shown their wrong path and be made to reject it.”

Islamic officials condemn kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls

(A woman holds a sign during a protest demanding the release of abducted secondary school girls from the remote village of Chibok, in Lagos May 5, 2014. The Islamist militant group Boko Haram claimed responsibility on Monday for the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls during a raid in the village of Chibok in northeast Nigeria last month, the French news agency AFP reported, citing a video it had obtained. Boko Haram on April 14 stormed an all-girl secondary school in Chibok, in Borno state, then packed the teenagers, who had been taking exams, onto trucks and disappeared into a remote area along the border with Cameroon. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye)

(A woman holds a sign during a protest demanding the release of abducted secondary school girls from the remote village of Chibok, in Lagos May 5, 2014. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye)

Islamic scholars and human rights officials of the world’s largest Muslim organisation on Thursday denounced the mass kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by the militant group Boko Haram as “a gross misinterpretation of Islam”.

The statements from a research institute and human rights committee of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) echoed denunciations of the radical Islamist group by religious leaders and officials in Nigeria and several Muslim countries.

Nigeria’s surging Christian-Muslim bloodshed strains ‘marriage of irreconcilables’

(The leader of the displaced Fulani herdsmen Haruna Usman in Barkin Kogi, Zango Kataf, Kaduna State March 22, 2014. Picture taken March 22, 2014. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde)

When Fulani raiders carrying rifles, machetes and clubs stormed his village one night last month, Pius Nna was stunned to see his teenage nephew among them.

“He was leading them and telling them to check very well, because my house would have a lot of people in it and they would be sure to find someone to kill,” said Nna, a tall farmer in his mid-60s who said he escaped by fleeing into the bush.

Nigeria largely ignores sectarian violence, Human Rights Watch report says

(Onitsha in southeastern Nigeria after religious riots that killed at least 138 people across the country in five days. February 23, 2006. REUTERS/George Esiri )

Nigerian authorities have largely ignored sectarian clashes in the nation’s religiously mixed central region that have killed 3,000 people since 2010, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday.

Local police rejected the findings by the international watchdog, which said that a series of massacres and tit-for-tat sectarian attacks have gone largely unpunished as police overlooked witnesses or failed to collect evidence properly.

Nigerian Anglican archbishop kidnapped in Delta is released

(Speedboats are arranged along a jetty in Yenagoa, the capital of Nigeria’s oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. REUTERS/Akintunde Akinleye)

Nigerian Archbishop Ignatius Kattey, the country’s second most senior Anglican cleric, has been released by the armed men who kidnapped him last week in the Niger Delta, police said on Sunday.

Kidnapping for ransom is rife in Nigeria, particularly in the oil-producing Delta region, but the abduction of Kattey was a rare case of a religious leader being targeted.