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Muslims urged to kill Christian fashion writer

ANO, Nigeria (BP)–The information minister of Zamfara State called for the death of fashion writer Isioma Daniel, whose article about the Miss World pageant led to rioting that resulted in more than 215 deaths and the burning of a number of Christian churches.

Daniel’s article was seen as insulting to the Prophet Muhammad, and Information Minister Umar Dangaladima endorsed a “fatwa” or religious decree calling for the Christian woman’s death.

Information Minister Jerry Gana, who acts as a spokesman for Nigeria’s secular government, dismissed the decree as “null and void” and unconstitutional and said it would not be enforced.

“The federal government under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will not allow such an order in any part of the federal republic,” he told Agence France-Presse.

The article that led to the riots dismissed Muslims’ criticisms that the Miss World pageant, scheduled for Nigeria because it is the home of last year’s winner, is immoral.

“The Muslims thought it was immoral to bring 92 women to Nigeria to ask them to revel in vanity,” Daniel wrote. “What would Muhammad think? In all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife from one of them.”

Agence France-Presse reported Zamfara’s deputy governor, Mamuda Aliyu Shinkafi, said in a speech to religious leaders later broadcast on state radio, “Like Salman Rushdie, the blood of Isioma Daniel can be shed.”

Daniel resigned from the newspaper after fury erupted over the article, which appeared Nov. 16. She has since fled the country.

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