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Threats will not deter us from practising our faith, say Shi’ites

Threats will not deter us from practising our faith, say Shi’ites
November 14
17:51 2016

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as the Shi’ia sect, says threats will not deter it from practising its faith.

Nasir Mansur, coordinator of the procession, which was disrupted by security operatives on Monday, said this while alleging that there were plans by the Nigerian army to scuttle the “Arbeen trek” in Yobe state.

The Arbeen trek is one of the rites of the sect.

Mansur said soldiers, who mounted checkpoints at the outskirts of Potiskum, detained a trailer carrying personal belongings of IMN members going to Kano to kick-start the trek.

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“The Arabeen ‎is not quite new in this country and it is not a creation of IMN. Rather the symbolic trek has been done throughout history and also worldwide,” Mansur said in a statement.

“In previous years, we faced varying degrees of reactions from government and some people. The increasing participation by millions of people in the trek over the years seem to attract severe opposition from some people and the government.

“Some have taken their hatred beyond bounds, which culminated in the detonating of bombs along the Kano route last year, killing 23 trekkers.

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“It never had any effect, even in the face of provocation. It should be clear therefore, that threats and many more will not deter us from practising our faith.

“We therefore call on people of conscience to speak out against this clear religious discrimination and minority cleansing being embarked upon by the Nigerian government.”

Mansur said this would be the fifth time that faithful would be trekking to Zaria, headquarters of the IMN in Nigeria, for the rite.

He added that some Nigerian Shi’a members travel to Iraq to partake in the trek from Najaf to Karbala.

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Mansur also called for the immediate and unconditional release of Ibrahim Zakzaky, their leader, who has been in detention since the clash between the army and the sect in December.

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