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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
02ABUJA2834
2002-10-11 16:26:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Abuja
Cable title:  

SHARIA AND ISLAMIC EXTREMISM IN KATSINA

Tags:   KCRM  PTER  PGOV  NI 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 002834 

SIPDIS


DEPT FOR INL, AF, PM AND S/CT


E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/11/2017
TAGS: KCRM PTER PGOV NI
SUBJECT: SHARIA AND ISLAMIC EXTREMISM IN KATSINA

REF: ABUJA 2830


Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter. Reasons: 1.5 (b)
and (d).


1.(U) The following are notes from USG officials who
participated in a week-long ATF and U.S. Customs course on
firearms interdiction in Katsina in late September (reported
reftel).


2.(C) Katsina is the state where the highly publicized
adultery case of Amina Lawal is taking place. During their
week in the capital of Katsina, RNLEO and the ATF and U.S.
Customs trainers noted contradictions in the application of
Sharia. A senior GON official, key to implementing the
course and well disposed to cooperation with the U.S., voiced
strong support for the Lawal stoning verdict. He condemned
her as an adulteress who deserved to die. If for some reason
her death sentence is overturned, he felt she should be sent
to Italy "with the others," (a reference to Nigerian women
trafficked to Italy for sexual exploitation). This view was
shared by many other Katsina residents.


3.(C) Despite oft-expressed religious sentiments, the USG
visitors noted a large commercial establishment within the
city limits which serves as a "Sharia-Free Zone" (a nickname
assigned by Katsina residents). Once inside its high compound
walls, the USG visitors found beer for sale and well over a
hundred customers enjoying alcohol and dancing. Local
prostitutes were also observed. When asked how such a glaring
exception to Sharia law could exist, locals cynically replied
that some of the ruling class had a stake in the
establishment or enjoyed its services. A similar
contradiction was found by ATF trainers visiting the local
Post office to make telephone calls to the U.S. Outside the
Post office was a newsstand selling a Nigerian men's magazine
touting sexually explicit headlines.


4.(C) The USG visitors also saw evidence of extremist,
anti-U.S. sentiment -- posters, stickers and T-shirts of
Usama bin Laden on display. During a visit to the local
market, RNLEO and lead trainer Patrick Clowry found an
Islamic bookstore with publications in English, Hausa and
Arabic. Many of the publications, including ones on "Islam
and Jihad" and "Israel and the Arabs" were published in Saudi
Arabia, Pakistan or Northern Nigeria. The store had no books
on Usama bin Laden, but an articulate and educated young
author running the store told the Americans that he hoped to
soon publish a manuscript on the "West's Conspiracy to
Suppress Islam and non-White Races" that would contain many
bin Laden quotes. When asked why he felt it necessary to
spread anti-American sentiment, the author insisted that he
was not anti-American; instead he wished only to report "the
truth," which he added includes the KKK and Free Masons in
the "West's Conspiracy." He opined that his book, once
published after he secures financial assistance, would sell
well in the Northern Nigerian environment.


5.(C) In the same market, RNLEO and Clowry found Usama bin
Laden T-shirts in toddler sizes. Some people denounced bin
Laden and claimed that many local residents bought the UBL
paraphernalia out of ignorance or to follow a fad. However,
it seemed that some residents of Katsina understood what UBL
did and what he stood for but unfortunately were sympathetic
to him.
JETER