Death Sentence for Islamist Who Preached Violence

It is a start. The justice system somewhere has come to terms with Islamic violence -- 22 years after the fact. The BBC Reports:

Nigerian cleric sentenced to hang

An Islamic cleric has been sentenced to death by hanging for inciting religious riots in 1984 which led to the deaths of thousands of Nigerians.

Musa Ali Suleiman persuaded followers of his sect they would go to heaven if they killed non-believers or died themselves in the violence.

He fled from northern Nigeria to Cameroon, but was arrested in the capital Abuja after returning in 2003.

The judge said religious freedom should not mean the freedom to kill others.

Mr Suleiman's lawyer says he will appeal.

"From the evidence before this court, I find you guilty on the three count charge of criminal conspiracy, inciting public disturbance and culpable homicide," the judge in the northern Nigerian state of Adamawa was quoted by Nigerian radio as saying.

The Maitatsine Islamic sect he led is said to believe only in the Koran and is opposed to modernity. They brand other Muslims as infidels who must be converted through violence, say correspondents.

Published: 2006/10/11 17:35:17 GMT

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