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Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Amina Lawal

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Nigerian Cry

(Sung to the tune of American Pie)

It was not very long ago
I wish I could forget it now
An awful burden stole her smile
She didn’t really stand a chance
There never was a great romance
A pawn, a victim, hero for a while

Did you dare to think of love
Before you felt another shove
Sharia’s latest double blow?
Do you think this stain upon your soul
Will help you gain any more control
Do you think this is the lowest that you can go?

Well the cause celebre light goes dim
With increasing loss of life and limb
And the latest headline news
Like a lighted dynamite fuse
It was your country’s hope, a stroke of luck
To show the world it was not stuck
But who knew things would run amok
Amina Lawal hide
I started prayin’

Why, why Miss Nigerian Cry
Tried to stone you, then enthrone you but then things went awry
Tried to rescue, but then left you in the blink of an eye
Nigeria’s shame, you’ll bear the blame, why?
‘Cos Allah says that women must die.

Now perched upon you global throne
In solidarity you’re all alone
It’s just as it will always be
For a Julia Morley beauty queen
In abayas, veils, face unseen
Laura sewing kits to set you free
While Nigeria prettied up downtown
You danced in your Ramadan gown
A sharia court was scorned
Your people weaved the thorns
And as contestants flew in, happy larks
Lipstick kisses, powder masks
You still knew they had you marked
Amina Lawal cry
We were prayin’


Belt her, welt her, cut her, throat her
Bear her face, her only shelter
Tie her to her sordid past
Head rocks, dead rocks, flying fast
From the sidelines, watch aghast
Trying to pick a winner is a blast
Now the critics pens will seal her doom
Her life will end and very soon
A story book advance
From a strictly feminist stance
And as Halle Berry leads the field
And credit flaps at writers guilds
The grossest gross this tale will yield
Amina Oscar cries
We were countin’


Oh pretty woman, covered lace
Mascara running down your face
Is it over? someone tell me when
So come on Amina, don’t be sick
While raging mullas pound their sticks
This beauty contest furor is your friend
And as you stand upon the stage
The world departs in righteous rage
You’ve already gone to hell
Now watch your story sell
And as Christian martyrs offer light
And campus sit ins join your plight
You wonder girl, you brave delight
Amina Lawal, bye

Now girls parade where public views
Celebrate objects in high heel shoes
World Peace wantons led astray
The profane lust of Nigeria’s whore
That caused the men to go to war
A score to settle, so the women will obey
Where now feminists, not the pious, scream
Where teenagers stoned, rock the English dream
From this nightmare you won’t be woken
You miserable little token
And the men who seem to hate you most
Muhammad, Allah, and abandoned host
Jesus Christ, you’re the holy ghost
A lowly prophet's bride
We started prayin’

Chorus (x2)

We started prayin’
We started prayin’


Never before has the objectification of women in beauty pageants brought to home the glaring contradictions and startling similarities as to how women are treated in patriarchic societies, than the eruption of riots in Kaduna, Nigeria. A finger-pointing controversy has apportioned blame onto everyone from journalists to governments and yielded calls for boycotts in an uneasy meeting of minds between feminists and Muslim extremists -- both condemning the Miss World pageant for similar reasons -- as well as a plea by Miss World contestants to free Amina Lawal, (the woman sentenced to death by stoning by a sharia court in northern Nigeria for having a child out of wedlock). With the issuance of a fatwa calling for the death of journalist Isioma Daniel by Zamfara state information commissioner, Umar Dangaladima Magaji, and the disqualification of Miss Canada by the Miss World organization for bolting Nigeria before the contest officially moved to London, only one thing remains horribly and predictably constant. The subjugation, murder and hatred of women.
Clinton Fein,, November 26, 2002

The Nigerian woman condemned to stoning by an Islamic court for having sex outside marriage thanked beauty queens Tuesday for boycotting Nigeria's Miss World (news - web sites) pageant on her behalf — but asked them to call off the boycott, saying nothing will happen to her "without God's permission."
Glenn McKenzie, Associated Press, November 12, 2002

We are very, very sad that it has come to this - even if there is a loss of one life, it makes us sad. We are appealing to all to please exercise restraint.
Miss World publicist Stella Din, following the eruption of riots in Kaduna, Nigeria, 50 die in Miss World riots, The Age, November 22, 2002

Demonstrating the compassion of Islamic law, or Shariah, a Nigerian court, August 19, 2002, sentenced Amina Lawal to death by stoning -- to be carried out as soon as she weaned her daughter from breast-feeding.
Abaya Brigades, Postcard,, August, 2002

The rioting began on Wednesday as a protest against an article in a national newspaper that offended Muslims because it said the Prophet Mohammad would have married one of the Miss World beauty queens were he alive today…Although Nigeria's This Day newspaper apologised for running the offending November 16 article, the newspaper said its Saturday edition editor Simon Kolawole was arrested on Friday.
John Chiahemen, Miss World Queens Quit Nigeria, Riots Continue, Sunday November 24, 2002

I am so pleased to be back in Britain, and that's the general feeling among all of us...All the girls wanted to look their best, so they all clamoured for the bathroom toward the end of the flight
Willie Hendrey, Brighton, southern England, one of two hairdressers on the flight, Miss World Queens Quit Nigeria, Riots Continue, Sunday November 24, 2002

Rights groups and religious leaders condemned on Tuesday a Nigerian Muslim state which called for the death of a journalist whose article on the Miss World pageant sparked deadly riots in northern Nigeria. Muslims were enraged by the article which suggested the Prophet Mohammad would probably have married one of the beauty pageant's contestants. More than 200 people were killed in riots which followed in the city of Kaduna. Umar Dangaladima Magaji, the commissioner for information in the northern Zamfara state, said the state government had "passed a fatwa," or religious edict, on journalist Isioma Daniel, calling for her to be killed.
Janet Lawrence, Rights, Religious Groups Condemn Nigerian Fatwa, Reuters, November 26, 2002

By late Saturday, the Nigerian Red Cross counted 215 bodies on the streets and in mortuaries throughout Kaduna, 100 miles north of the capital Abuja, said Emmanuel Ijewere, president of the organization. Previous estimates said 100 people killed. An unknown number of others killed in the riots were believed to have been buried by family members uncounted, Ijewere told The Associated Press. No new violence was reported Sunday in Kaduna, a Muslim-dominated city with a large Christian minority. Still, hundreds of people recovered what valuables they could from their destroyed homes and fled in cars, buses and on foot.
Glenn McKenzie, Nigerians Flee Town After Violence, Associated Press, November 24, 2002

Emmanuel Ijewere, a spokesman for the Nigerian Red Cross, said bodies littered the streets and an estimated 1,200 people had been injured and 12,000 left homeless by the clashes. The situation was "calmer" yesterday, he said. The Miss World participants arriving in England spoke of their relief at the organisers' decision to fly them out of the conflict zone. Miss England, Daniella Luan, 22, from Oxford, said she had been terrified by the fighting in Nigeria. "I am happy to be home and looking forward to seeing my family. I think all our spirits have been lifted and we will have a good time in London," she said.
Athalie Matthews, Miss World contestants take refuge in London, The Independent, November 25, 2002

IN a swift reaction to the purported pronouncement of a death sentence by the Zamfara State Government on the ThisDay reporter, Isioma Daniel, whose article sparked off bloody riots in some states in the North of the country, the Federal Government on Tuesday said such pronouncement could not stand under the law of the Federal Government of Nigeria. Declaring the Fatwah null and void in a statement signed by Information and National Orientation Minister, Jerry Gana, the government explained that such an order said to have been given by Zamfara State Governor, Ahmed Sani, could not stand because Nigeria is governed by the law of the Federal and not a state government. The Zamfara State government was said to have on Monday passed the Fatwah (death sentence) on the author of the newspaper article “found blasphemous by Moslems”, with the state’s acting governor, Aliyu Shinkafi, declaring, at a rally, that the writer should be beheaded “as a matter of religious duty”.
Segun Olanrewaju, Godwin Isenyo, Sola Adekola, Segilola Abati, ...Quashes death sentence on ThisDay writer -- Nigeria is governed by law of the Federal and not a state govt, NigeriaWorld, November 25, 2002


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