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Thursday, 2 December, 1999, 19:03 GMT
Nigerian Muslims to consider more Sharia



Nigeria's Muslim leaders have agreed to hold a national seminar on Islamic law sharia following its introduction in the northern state of Zamfara in October.

At a meeting in the northern city of Kaduna, the umbrella organisation for Muslims throughout Nigerian Jammat ul Nasrul Islam decided on a seminar in order, it said, to resolve the controversy generated by Zamfara's move.

A correspondent for the BBC in Kaduna says that traditional and religious leaders appear to have caved in to pressure from young Muslim militants who want Islamic law introduced elsewhere in Nigeria. Our correspondents says that people in northern Nigeria seem divided over sharia: while younger religious leaders and academics favour it, elder statesmen have placed newspaper advertisements urging caution because they say the issue might break up Nigeria; the Women in Nigeria organisation criticised Zamfara's introduction of sharia as a step backwards for women.

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