June 2, 2016: Terrorists behead 74-year-old woman in Nigeria

On June 2, 2016 a 74-year-old woman was “mobbed and extra-judicially murdered” at a market in northern Nigeria

KANO, NIGERIA – Are some people so sensitive about their faith that they take it upon themselves to kill those seen as having insulted it?

There is this thing in certain groups that slights, perceived or real, are met with violent responses. I recall reading about this when it comes to US street gangs, for example. When a member of the Crips, say, sees a member of the Bloods and feels that one of the latter has ‘dissed’ him, his girlfriend or his gang, the only response is to lash out.

Another term that is bandied about in this regard is ‘honour killing‘. This is often, but not always, tied to the murder of a woman or girl by male family members who justify their actions by claiming that the victim has brought dishonor upon the family name or prestige.

Accidents don’t happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult (Photo: Alberto Alvarez-Perea on flickr, CC BY-NC 2.0)

Alas, there are those who see any remark with which they disagree when it comes to religion as justification for a violent response, up to and including murder.

On this day in 2016

A 74-year-old woman in the northern Nigerian city of Kano was “mobbed and extra-judicially murdered” at a market following reports that she had uttered a perceived insult on Prophet Muhammad. There were reports she had been beheaded.

Let us ensure that we keep the peace, as justice will be done. Let us learn to respect each other’s faith, so that we can know each other and live together in peace.

Nigerian President Mohammadu Buhari

The woman was the wife of a Christian pastor. Perhaps the terrorists who killed her saw her faith as an insult to Islam. Perhaps they just wanted to kill her. Whatever she is alleged to have said, did she deserve to die?

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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