“The committee members told me that these Muslim students were dangerous, and I should be careful in the way I handled them.” Islamic Tolerance Alert from Compass Direct, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
October 16 (Compass Direct News) — A Christian high school teacher at Government College in Keffi, in the northern state of Nasarawa, is on trial for blasphemy after he disciplined a Muslim student.
Joshua Lai is standing trial at a Magistrate Court 2 in the state capital of Lafia on charges of blasphemy against the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, and for “public incitement, rioting, and mischief.” Following the June 12 incident, Muslim students attacked Christian students and teachers and burned four houses, including Lai’s home….
An English and history teacher at the school, Lai said he was teaching English when a Muslim student in the class, Abdullahi Yusuf, arrived as he was finishing the lesson.
“I asked him where he was coming from when the lesson was already over, and he claimed he was coming from the mosque,” Lai said. “I said he could not be speaking the truth, as the Muslim time for morning prayers was far gone.”
Lai told him that, as a former Muslim, he knew that Muslims pray between 5:30 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., and that Yusuf had arrived around 9 a.m.
Lai then punished Yusuf according to custom — caning, used in both elementary and high schools in Nigeria — and allowed him into the class.
“I told him that his reasons were not tenable,” Lai said, “and repeatedly told him that there was time for everything, a time to serve God and a time to be in the class — that this is how it should be, or else his parents wouldn’t have sent him to school.”
Later that afternoon, Lai said, he was working on his private property after school hours when a student came and told him that the principal, Musa Gwadabe, wanted to see him. Lai went immediately to the principal’s office, who told him a committee wanted to meet with him.
“I went into the office where the committee was sitting and I discovered they were all my colleagues, teachers in the school,” he said. “They asked me what transpired between me and the Muslim student in the morning, and I told them precisely what took place. They responded by saying that what I told them was exactly the same as what the student said, except on one point — that he said I will flog the prophet Muhammad.”
Lai denied saying this. “I never mentioned the name of Muhammad, so I asked why was this allegation being made? The committee members told me that these Muslim students were dangerous, and I should be careful in the way I handled them.”
The teacher thanked the committee — Islamic teacher Alhaji Jibrin Ahmed, Joseph Baka, Godwin Luka, and two others — and left with the impression that the matter was over.
At about 10 that night, two Christian students went to his house on the school grounds to warn him of Muslim students” plans to kill him; another Christian student had managed to infiltrate a meeting to learn about the impending attack.
“These two Christian students who came to my house advised me to leave immediately,” he said, “so my son and I had to leave the house that night and were taken in by a Christian family in the town.”
Muslim students burned down his house on the school grounds that night; the rampaging students also demolished his private house, which was still under construction. They also attacked Christian students.