Just when you are about to celebrate the return of normalcy- a temporary halt to the banters that characterized the exchange between Iran’s fanatical supporters and KSA’s dogmatic loyalists- from the fact that the Boko Haram menace seemed to have brought us to a common denominator— it is a futuristic fantasy that we will witness an all accommodating religious space.
At the risk of inviting needless insults to my person and a quick dismissal of a nonentity seeking relevance, notwithstanding, I will still go ahead and write what I believe is in good faith.
There is no gainsaying that the brilliance, erudition, lucidity, proficiency, adeptness, articulation, candour and ‘force’ that are deployed in Adamu Adamu’s writings do help a lot to give Mallam Adamu’s Column a unique appeal and attraction. His is a unique kind of social criticism, one may further say, which was full of rare insight, appeal and humour all of which would wholesomely engage its readers, and then at the end of it all, leave them excitedly inspired, conscientized and sensitized.
However, as Tahir premised his opening paragraph with an Arabic adage: “your love for a thing makes you blind and deaf”. It simply means that if you love something, there is, usually, the tendency that you would not see or hear anything bad in/from (and acknowledge it as such). Conversely, if you hate something, there is a tendency that you would never see or hear anything good in/from it (and consider it as such).
I was opportuned to read both Adamu Adamu and Ibrahim Tahir and equally listen to Sani Umar’s recorded commentary— what some refer, albeit carelessly, as the exegesis of the truth. Mallam Adamu’s ‘Tears for Haramyn I and II’; the rejoinder by Mr. Tahir; the audio commentary by Dr. Sani Umar fall short of transcending beyond the level of see-no-evil in what one believes. For the avoidance of needless verbosity —coupled with shared school of thought between Mr. Tahir and Dr. Sani on one hand and Adamu Adamu on another— it will give me much fluidity if I reduce the exchange between Iranian admirer and KSA romanticist.
Depending on which side of the divides you belong, and perhaps one’s ability to go beyond the nuances of unalloyed loyalty to his sect, nothing much is written except the usual exchange of banters at the detriment of proving beyond the reasonable doubt about the veracity or otherwise of the issue at stake— and/or how further occurrence should be confronted. This has been the tradition, and it has never been helpful.
Like once observed by no other person than Adamu himself, “there is always this tendency by superficial- literalists to blame something else when they have no solid point with which to defend their position.” He went further to add that “the trick is to introduce an emotionally-charged red herring in order to divert attention from the main issue, and then proceed to change the subject or ask a question that has no bearing on the issue, or answer a question that has not been asked. In other words, do everything but address the issue.” This cannot be anything but the truth about the other. However, in another breath, one will find himself battling on how to reconcile the characteristic evasion of facts or their deliberate distortion for the purpose of mischief that becomes an integral part of Adamu’s writing exclusively on religious issues. In the long run, it is we, their students that bear the burden of reconciling the two opposing truths- this is detrimental in nurturing a purposeful society.
At best, we will only end-up with gullible masses that are ready to be foot soldiers in depending Iran or KSA at the altar of standing for the truth and in the truth.
Basically, there are three things that one can decipher in all the commentaries. One, the unprincipled loyalty; two, the needless demonstration of non-existing superiority; three, deliberate evasion of fact. I will attempt to put every commentator in his rightful position.
In his effort to buttress non-existing points, Mal. Adamu displayed an unparalleled and unenvious lack of decorum to the management of the Hajj. The write-up was laced with uncharitable phrases. For instance “Accidents do happen but they never do so without a cause”. Agreed but how did the accidents “become routinized” is something I cannot fathom. Mischievously, he even added “negligence with abandon”. Haba Malam! That’s not fair. Equally, I find these statements very dishonourable “there was no rapid response by first aid groups, by the civil defence or by paramedics during the crucial moments in its immediate aftermath.” And “If they really cared about the lives of the pilgrims, they would have paid more attention to their safety and comfort.” Again, “The whole safety programme for pilgrims is more evident by its absence”. Malam, let’s not our pathological hatred to others beclouded our sense of fairness and justice. “Be Just, even to our sworn enemy” as Holy Quran commanded.
Equally, there are so many outrageous claims made by Adamu Adamu that will not see the light of the day for they are in an antagonistic stand with the sovereignty of KSA. And his claim on better management by the countries he mentioned of is irrelevant. There is no any existing empirical evidence (apologies to Madam Due Process) that Iran or any country for that matter can organize the Hajj better than the Saudis. Even at that, the Saudis need to beep-up. Not falling victim of Adamu Adamu’s characteristic one-sided-story, I have to acknowledge the sincere call he made on how to manage the annual ritual better. No matter what, the bulk of the blame will always stop at the Saudis. And I find the calling of ‘gyara kayanka’ timely and necessary.
The rejoinder written by Ibrahim Tahir was very apt and succinct.https://www.facebook.compermalink.php/…
Tahir has been a regular interventionist. I remember back in 2007 when he intervened between Adamu Adamu, Dr. Bashir, and Haruna Elbinawi. And his is always oiled with reason, facts and respect. He pays his due respect to all that are involved. I really like his style. In Tahir’s 5650 words essay tagged “ADAMU ADAMU, SAUDI ARABIA AND THE MANAGEMENT OF THE HAJJ” one will find a sense of fairness in rendition and apportion of blame to where it is due.
To buttress his intervention as done in good faith, he prefaced his essay with this disclaimer “I am not in any way among those who are of the view that everything done by Saudi authorities should be accepted hook, line and sinker.” And to my modest judgment, he has done fairly-well. He summarized Adamu Adamu’s take to nine “disjointed” issues. And, trust Tahir, he delivered on his promise. He has corrected the fallacious statistics given by Adamu Adamu.
There are some occasional statements made by Tahir that I found very cheap. For instance, his submission that “I understand that the contradictory accounts are like the proverbial blind men describing an elephant whereby every one of them gives explanation of the side he touched.” No Sir. With all due respect, there has to be a definite cause to this fatal accident. It is an easy way of absolving responsibility of whoever is responsible. Equally, it is unbefitting of your sense of fairness to reduce this monumental catastrophe with “Of all the versions I heard, I am more convinced with what a brother said that the incident might be an act ofsabotage.” This is an indictment of your cleverly-hided intention of blaming the other (that happened to be from the other side of the divide). Who sabotaged who? At what cost and for what benefit? To serve what ends?
Again, the ninth issue, which was about the existence of racial prejudices by the Saudis to black or not? Honestly speaking, unless Tahir is speaking from both sides of his mouth, one cannot deny the existence of racial preference in the management of the Hajj and in interaction between the Black Hujjaj and the White (especially Europeans and Americans). The assertion that “I asked so many people that performed Hajj about their experiences and none told me that he saw or experienced racism” is to say the least, is partial or more appropriately, half-truth. Perhaps your sample size is that small and relatively homogenous. The needless self-deprecating just to absolved the Saudis is equally nauseating. Just because Tahir wanted to make a point, he described Nigerians as “unruly, lawless, undisciplined, disorderly and impatient.” Haba! Must we denigrate ourselves before our ‘Masters’ before we can make a point? Are not there many unruly citizens during the Hajj? The Turk, the Afghan, the Pakistanis are not faring very well compared to Nigerians.
And suddenly, a recorded audio went viral- an approximately 55min commentary by the respected cleric from Kano, Dr. Sani Umar RijiyarLemo.
Actually, it wasn’t a commentary rather than an oral rendition of what Ibrahim Tahir’s presented.
There is always a dilemma in discharging justice if one is involved in a case. I think that’s why in court they say one cannot be a judge if the case involves him. There is logic in that. Because one can never escape the urge of defending his kith- either by blood or political/religious ties. It is not that simple. It is just like asking Adamu Adamu to assess Muhammadu Buhari or Mohammed Haruna on Gen. Abdussalam or Mahmud Jega on the erstwhile INEC chairman, Attahiru Jega. So, one cannot expect Dr. Sani to assess KSA. Certainly there is going to be an effort in subsidizing the ugly narration or a deliberate move to distort the facts to placate the unquestioning masses. One cannot bite the hand that feeds him. I won’t blame him, neither would I think he will question the judgment of his benefactors.
In the absence of tangible facts or solid ground on his charge, besides, we already made it known that his is only an oral rendition of the work of Ibrahim Tahir. The problem of keeping mute on his take is that, the unsuspecting masses, the cult of his followers who will swallow whatever he said hook, line and sinker would lead to the birth of dogmatic society that will continue to wallow in the pond of ignorance. No matter how groundless and baseless the information may be, provided it is said by whom the society (read cult) place premium on his understanding, we will continue to move the retrogressive way. And I am afraid, as PMB is fighting Boko Haram so we are recruiting new fanatical movement.
As if to further consolidate my submission, here lies a ‘beautiful’ submission of one of his disciples. “I was at the venue – Gadon Kaya Masjid Usman bn Affan for the weekly Qur’an exegesis (Tafseer) by Dr Sani Umar Rijiyar lemu. Though, I left even before the arrival of Dr, for one reason, but I was able to download the audio clip (Tafseer) this morning. Having read Adamu Adamu’s pieces titled “Tears for Haramayn” part one and two, on one side, and on the other side, listened to Dr Sani’s analysis on Hajj, the crane and of course stampede incidences, it is an understatement to call Adamu a hypocrite, liar, Iran puppet, glorified intellectual illiterate and a celebrated Shi’ite. No more no less!” I leave you to guess what we have in the offing.
In conclusion, it is the society that lost. After the trades of blame and exoneration, after the veneration of whosoever one deems venerable, after the e-boxing, after the narration and counter-narration of non-existing superiority between Iran and KSA, what next? What is the solution to the impending problem? Nothing forthcoming at least from the three reviewed commentaries. At the end, we are back to square one. Will there be another stampede? God knows. If another happens, which I pray will not, who will be held responsible? We will never know. Is there no option? Of course there is an escape route. How will someone find this much needed escape route? I will tell you.
Here is an elaborate commentary on how individual, State and overall the Saudis (assuming they will heed to a call made by Black African Nationality) can escape the ‘impending’ STAMPEDE.
You can find the commentary on this link. It is a masterpiece compiled by Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde