Who is the hypocrite? Journalist or Cleric?
By Abdulmumin Giwa
My attention was drawn to a video clip showing a Kano based cleric Sheikh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa delivering a sermon where he is quoted as describing Journalists as hypocrites since the time of Prophet Muhammad. He even mentioned some media outlets and radio programs insisting that most crises that overwhelmed the world from the time of Prophet Muhammad in history were caused by journalists.
I feel touched by these claims which I personally consider as reckless and and insulting to journalists and an abuse of their integrity and professional conduct.
In his position as a cleric who has in his life grossly benefitted from journalists, who projected him into becoming a public figure, there isn’t any reason why he should address journalist with such phobia.
But my opinion concerning this issue since he has raised it, is that, who between the clerics and the journalists is the actual hypocrite?
It is clear that the clerics we see around in Nigeria today are part and parcel of the dirty politics being played in Nigeria by politicians. They eulogise looters of public funds and hail them and even in some cases concoct and confer religious titles on them. These are the types of clerics we see around.
The clerics are often less concerned about the hardship of the populace who are overwhelmed by institutional poverty caused by misgovernance and impunity by those in authority. They preach to the public to respect and revere oppressors who run systems that are at variance with Islam. They are advocates of the suppressive and unjust system which is not fair to the masses in all ramifications.
They always bend the religion to suit their interest and personal whims as against what is expected of them, which is to bend their interest to suit the interest of the religion.
They have turned the religion into an opium they induce into the masses to get them used and exploited by the oppressive leaders.
We have read in religious books that God Almighty has made oppression forbidden for Himself and for His creatures, and that people should speak out against oppression with their hands or their voice or even hate it with their hearts. But the contrary is what we see with the clerics especially when they are invited by politicians to their palaces to pray and they sit on the floor facing the oppressors sitting on the high tables. They do all these for the little money they get. Very shameful and embarrassing.
These misconducts are things we see among the clerics who are ordinarily described as a prophetic heritage for the people, the sources of guidance of the people. But nay, they have turned into something else.
If the question is to be asked, will Prophet Muhammad SAWA act like these clerics if he is to come and live among us, dining with oppressors and advocating their course against the masses? The answer will never be in the positive because what we see of the clerics is completely different from what we read of the Prophet SAWA.
No honest person can say something positive about this question. But these are supposed to be the prophetic inheritors of Godliness. They are supposed to be the ones to stand for the suppressed and emancipate them from hardships and difficulties. But alas, they have turned themselves into tools in the hands of the oppressors that are used in intimidating the masses. It is such that the clerics even crucify or insult themselves to please such oppressive leaders. What a shame!
Also we have read from religious books that the definition of a hypocrite is the one that when he is with the masses he says to them he is of them and when he is with their suppressor he tells them that he is of them and that he is only making a mockery of the masses. This is exactly what we see with the clerics. When they stand on the podiums they pretend to be with the masses and when they go to the palaces of the oppressors they down their heads in respect and reverence as if they are in a state of prayer, they support and go and advocate every nonsense they are fed with unchallenged.
What we know as journalist is just to report what we see in our societies, the way it is. This includes reporting what the clerics do or say. Who then between the Journalists and the Clerics should be described as being a hypocrite? Is it he that is acting or he that is reporting the acts? If journalists will be described as hypocrites by a cleric, what then will the clerics be described as by the public?