Thursday, April 17, 2008

Storm Track Disinformation: Muslim Hypocrisy

Relations are not going well between a certain movie maker in Nigeria and the State government. It’s gotten worse. The state’s Hisbah Board recently raided a popular actress's house. The Hausa film-makers seem to be violating the people’s religious and cultural values.

But we’ve learned that when it comes to Muslim values, it’s do as I say – not do as I do.

Is the Kano State government waging a war of attrition against Hausa film-makers in the state or merely carrying out measures to sanitise the movie trade in order to make it fit in with the people's religious and cultural values? The answer is hard to find in northern Nigeria's most populous city.

The courageous defenders of morality known as the Motion Picture Practitioners Association of Nigeria didn’t raid the studios – they raided the house where the actresses lived.

… the precariously worsening relationship between the film-makers and some government agencies escalated recently when the Kano State Hisbah Board (KSHB), a government outfit set up with a mandate to safeguard morality, raided a house where some girls linked to the film industry lived.

The accusation arose after truckloads of the board's "Islamic police" had stormed the house of a popular actress, Zainab Umar (a.k.a. Raga), forcefully took her and her friend away and detained them for more than 20 hours in the Hisbah headquarters.

"The Hisba men just entered the house and took the girls away to their head office where they locked them up," an eyewitness who lived in the neighbourhood told LEADERSHIP last Saturday.

"They were forced to share a cell with many men till the afternoon of the following day. It took the intervention of Kannywood officials like Ahmad Alkanawy before they were released on bail."

The witness said that while in detention, the girls were called names by men of the Hisbah Board such as "prostitutes," "lay-abouts" and "useless."

Ah! But there is an epilogue to this story. You see, one of the men didn’t think Zainab was “useless”.

“The funny thing is that after they were released, one of the men kept phoning Zainab, telling her that he was interested in dating her,” he added.

Go figure.

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