Nigerian sheikh sentenced to death for blasphemy

A Sharia court in the northern Nigerian state of Kano has condemned a prominent Islamic preacher to death by hanging, after finding him guilty of blasphemy against the Prophet Muhammad as well as incitement in part of his sermons, although he denies the charges.

Authorities have been holding Sheikh Abduljabar Nasir Kabara since July of last year after accusing him of disseminating falsehoods about the Prophet, which he has refuted.

Nigerians are closely following the trial. Twelve states in northern Nigeria, including Kano, practice Sharia alongside the nation’s secular law.

The scholar, 52, belongs to the Qadiriyya sect. He has a sizable following, mostly in the state of Kano.

Up until his passing in 1996, his father served as the sect’s regional head in West Africa.

Sheikh Abduljabar is entitled to file an appeal in opposition to the ruling.

Nigerian death penalties are rarely carried out. Instead, convicted persons are frequently put in jails indefinitely.


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