Nigeria's Miss World Riots

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Nigeria's Miss World riots were sparked by a newspaper article commenting on the Islamic opposition to the Miss World pageant that was to be held in Nigeria but was eventually moved to the United Kingdom.

In November of 2002, thousands rioted in the city of Kaduna. Many Christians were beaten and killed (total deaths numbered over 200), cars and houses were torched, and more than twenty Christian churches were burnt down.

Female journalist Isioma Daniel, writing in the Nigerian newspaper "ThisDay", stated, "The Muslims thought it was immoral to bring 92 women to Nigeria and ask them to revel in vanity. What would Muhammad think? In all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife from one of them. The irony is that Algeria, an Islamic country, is one of the countries participating in the contest."

This comment was not only regarded as insulting by Muslims, but blasphemous and deserving death. It also earned Isioma Daniel a fatwa calling for her beheading. The Zamfara state Deputy Governor Mamuda Aliyu Dallatun Shinkafi stated "Like Salman Rushdie, the blood of the ThisDay writer can be shed."[1]

The ThisDay newspaper immediately and repeatedly apologized in print for the offense caused, and this was accepted by Nigeria's Muslim leaders who called for calm among the Muslim rioters yet failed to condemn their violence towards non-Muslims. The ThisDay office was burnt down and Isioma Daniel arrested by the State Security Service.

In 2012, ThisDay's Abuja office was targeted by a Boko Haram suicide bomber, leaving seven people dead. A video released by the Islamic terrorist group, in reference to the 2002 news article, stated that "We attacked ThisDay because we will never forget or forgive anyone who abused our prophet".[2][3]

See Also

  • Free Speech - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Free Speech

External Links


  1. Annie Brisibe - "Fatwa" and Isioma Daniel a Nigerian "fatwa" - NigeriaWorld, November 26, 2002
  2. Nigeria's Boko Haram militants claim ThisDay attacks - BBC News, May 2, 2012
  3. Bala Adamu - Nigeria Islamist video warns of more attacks on media - Reuters, May 2, 2012