BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Somali Swahili French Great Lakes Hausa Portugeuse
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: World: Africa  
News Front Page
World
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent
-------------
Letter From America
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Friday, 22 November, 2002, 10:08 GMT
Eyewitness: Kaduna's rioting
Soldier patrols Kaduna street
Security forces enforced the curfew

This morning, Friday, there is an uneasy calm in Kaduna, northern Nigeria.

Muslims will be taking part in Friday prayers this afternoon. People do not know what may happen in the hours ahead and most parents are not allowing their children to go to school.

On Thursday, in the few hours of rioting, churches in predominantly Muslim areas were torched, several properties and vehicles were burnt down by irate youths.

There was a lot of violence. Lots of lives were lost and lots of damage was inflicted on the city.

Most people stayed off the streets. Because of the curfew and the security situation it is risky to venture outside.

Blasphemy

The riot took place the day after thousands of Muslims staged a demonstration protesting against an article that was published by ThisDay newspaper, a national daily.

The demonstrators were angry over a comment made in the newspaper last weekend which they viewed as blasphemy against the prophet.

Crowd around a truck laden with coffins
At least 100 people were killed in Kaduna

The demonstration was staged on several fronts.

Virtually every newspaper vendor that was on Kaduna's streets was stopped and every copy of the ThisDay newspaper was seized and burnt.

This went on for most of the morning.

Then another batch of demonstrators headed for the building housing the newspaper's office in Kaduna.

After smashing the doors and windows, the crowd set the building on fire.

Furniture, curtains, carpets and thousands of archive copies of the newspaper, accumulated over several years, served as fuel to make a huge bonfire of this once beautiful piece of architecture.

The state correspondent of the paper has gone underground and other staff are safe.

Retraction

On Wednesday, several mosques began drawing worshippers attention to the ThisDay newspaper, with some calling for a demonstration against the paper.

Indeed many people in Kaduna told me that their attention was drawn to the offending article in the paper, through text messages on their mobile phones.

The article in ThisDay newspaper said Nigerian Muslims were overreacting to the issue of the Miss World competition, being held in Nigeria, and said that if the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, were to witness the contest, he might wish to marry one of the contestants.

The paper retracted the article. But Muslims here see it as offensive and a blasphemy and demonstrated anyway.

Have you witnessed the violence in Kaduna? Send us your experiences using the form below.

Send us your comments:
Name:

Your E-mail Address:


Country:

Comments:

Disclaimer: The BBC will put up as many of your comments as possible but we cannot guarantee that all e-mails will be published. The BBC reserves the right to edit comments that are published.
 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Dan Isaacs
"We don't know the death toll yet"
Guy Murray-Bruce, Miss World publicist
"It's just a form of entertainment which in a democratic setting should be allowed"
 VOTE RESULTS
Should the Miss World Pageant be cancelled?

Yes
 58.45% 

No
 41.55% 

14484 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


Talking PointTALKING POINT
Turning ugly
Should the Miss World contest be called off?

Miss World row

Analysis

Features

BACKGROUND
See also:

21 Nov 02 | Africa
09 Nov 02 | Africa
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Africa stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Africa stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes