EDITORIAL: Unraveling the Hypocrisy and Double Standards in the Nigerian Muslim Ummah

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In recent times, Nigeria has witnessed a growing trend of double standards within the Muslim Ummah, especially concerning expressions of faith and morality. The controversial singer Davido’s Muslim attire-dominated music video and the mixed reactions to Asisat Oshoala’s shirtless celebration at the Women’s World Cup are glaring examples of this hypocrisy. As a society, we must strive for a balanced perspective that respects individual beliefs while fostering unity and understanding.

Firstly, the case of Davido’s music video raises questions about the selective application of religious standards. While some members of the Muslim Ummah have been quick to criticise the singer’s artistic expression, others have embraced it as a mere artistic endeavour. It is essential to recognise that artistic freedom should not be stifled by religious sentiments. Instead, we should focus on promoting responsible artistry that respects diverse cultural and religious beliefs.

Secondly, the contrasting reactions to Asisat Oshoala’s goal celebration unveil the inconsistency in our moral judgments. While many hailed her sporting prowess and competitive spirit, a section of the Muslim community questioned her faith and morality due to the shirtless celebration. It is crucial to avoid judging individuals solely based on their actions in a particular moment. Respect for personal choices and the acknowledgment of human fallibility should guide our judgments.

Thirdly, the broader issue of modesty and religious principles remains a contentious topic within the Nigerian Muslim Ummah. The varying interpretations and practices have led to conflicting opinions on what constitutes modesty and adherence to religious tenets. This diversity should be embraced and celebrated, as it enriches the fabric of our society. Instead of enforcing a one-size-fits-all approach, we should encourage open dialogue and mutual respect among Muslims with differing views.

Fourthly, the dichotomy between religious obligations and personal convictions has been a subject of debate. While some argue for rigid adherence to religious laws, others advocate for a more pragmatic approach that acknowledges individual choices. Striking a balance between religious guidelines and the dynamics of modern living is essential to create a harmonious society that respects individual autonomy.

Fifthly, we must recognise that public figures, such as Davido and Asisat Oshoala, bear the burden of being role models to some extent. Nevertheless, it is essential to remember that they are also individuals with personal freedoms. The Muslim Ummah must learn to separate personal choices from professional lives and avoid overburdening celebrities with unrealistic expectations.

In conclusion, the issue of hypocrisy and double standards within the Nigerian Muslim Ummah is a complex and multifaceted one. To foster unity and understanding, we must adopt a balanced perspective that respects individual choices and beliefs while promoting responsible artistry and open dialogue. Our society’s progress hinges on acknowledging the diversity of interpretations within Islam and cultivating an atmosphere of respect and empathy. It is time to break free from the confines of hypocrisy and embrace a more enlightened and inclusive approach to religious practices in Nigeria. Only then can we truly achieve a society that thrives on balance and understanding.

 

Efio-Ita Nyok is the Editor-in-chief of NEGROIDHAVEN, he writes from Calabar, Nigeria.