By Umar Salam.
A factional Shi’ites group known as Al-Thaqalayn Cultural Foundation, has lashed out at the recently proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, led by Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, describing him as one being driven by incoherent and disorganized hallucinations.
The factional Shi’ites group, through its Secretary-General, Sheikh Hamza Muhammad Lawal, narrated the history of the IMN and El-Zakzaky’s journey into activism, while enjoining the media to address the IMN by its name rather than refer to them generally as Shi’ites.
Sheikh Lawal made the disclosure yesterday, while speaking at a news conference in Kaduna.
He said: “IMN started in the late 1970s as a socio-cultural and politico-religious revivalist movement, drawing its inspiration and taking its cue from essentially Sunni activists from countries like Egypt and Pakistan.
“It was an offshoot of the Muslim Students Society (MSS), and its birth coincided with the inception of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, which gave it a living and contemporary example of what it was yearning for, and therefore it got attracted and gravitated to its political message.
“When the leader of IMN, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, became a Shiite afterwards, he fell into the dilemma of either abandoning his Sunni revivalist movement or risking the possibility of losing his followers or continuing with the movement with all its Sunni content but a Shi’ite face. He chose the latter, and that has been his undoing.
“Sheikh El-Zakzaky has not been able to complete his process of migration from Sunni activism to Shiite evangelism. His movement is a curious hybrid and a concoction, a dangerously unstable cocktail of incoherent and disorganised hallucinations and fantasies that only exist in their wildest dreams. In fact, when push comes to shove and a critical study of IMN is done, it may turn out that it is much, much closer to Sunni Islam.
“The press should, therefore, seriously note this and start calling IMN by the name it has given itself, IMN. The press is thus hereby called upon to appreciate the difference between IMN and Shi’ism. IMN is not another name for Shi’ism. The two are neither synonymous nor interchangeable.”