By Tukur Mamu
While it is not yet clear as at press time whether there is crisis among followers of the Jamaatu Ahlil Sunna Wal daa Wati popularly called Boko Haram, as a new video exclusively obtained by DESERT HERALD has shown the emergence of another radical sect by name Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladi Sudan.
While the Boko Haram has so far restricted its operations to Nigeria and precisely the north east, the new group headed by one that goes with a pseudo name of Abu Usamatul Ansar will defend the interest of Islam and Muslims in Africa. To some, the sect headed by Ansar is seen as one that will compliment the ‘struggle’ by the Boko Haram sect under Imam Abubakar Shekau but to many it is an indication that all is not well with the leadership of the Boko Haram sect and that there has been conflict about its ideology and its understanding of Islam hence the decision to form a new group.
While the Boko Haram sect considers every non Muslim including Christians as enemies that must be killed, the Jamaatu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladi Sudan under Ansar in the exclusive video did not believe in killing innocent non Muslims except “in self defense or if they attack Muslims like the cases we have in Jos”. And while the Boko Haram considers any security agents including the para military whether big or the smallest rank as a ‘legitimate’ target for elimination , the Ansar group said they don’t believe in killing innocent security operatives except if they are attacked by them or in self defense. The name Jamaatul Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladin Sudan meaning the Group that dedicates itself to helping Muslims in Africa, its logo, aims and objectives according to the new leader of the sect, Abu Usamatul Ansar in the exclusive video that shows him addressing his commanders is to correct the concept, meaning and purpose of JIhad in Islam.
In the exclusive video which was made in Arabic and translated in Hausa and English, Usamatul Ansar’s speech clearly indicates that their understanding of Jihad in Islam is different from the one being adopted by the Boko Haram sect. He said the Jamaatu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladi Sudan considers anybody that accepted the khalimatush shahada (believing in one God and Prophet Muhammad PBUH as the messenger of Allah) as a Muslim who must not be killed except he/she has committed an act that is punishable by death as stated in the holy Qur’ran. “Islam forbids killing of innocent people including non Muslims. This is our belief and we stand for it”, Ansar said.
Ansar said they will not target or kill any security personnel in the name of Jihad but that they will protect the interest of Muslims and Islam anywhere in Africa and that they expect the government to allow them to freely practice their religion and to always do justice to the people.
He said recent attacks on Muslims in Jos and Kaduna during the Eld-el fitr prayer and in the aftermath of the presidential election violence is unacceptable to them. He emphasizes that the holy Prophet Muhammad has indeed leaved with non Muslims and even Jews but on the condition that they will not do anything to harm them directly or indirectly. But Ansar said they will always attack any group or religion that attack Islam and Muslims. He said the rampant massacre of Muslims in Nigeria will no longer be tolerated and that they will never attack any religion or government institution that didn’t attack them and their religion.
Even though the leader of the Boko Haram, Imam Shekau, did not make any comment about the emergence of the new group and whether or not it is not as a result of the reported division between them that resulted to the purported breakup, many believe that there is indeed feud between those that are opposed to the rampant and indiscriminate killings of Muslims, which are the radical elements under Shekau, and those that are opposed to such killings under Usamatrul Ansar.
According to DESERT HERALD source within the Boko Haram sect, the content of the video clearly shows that there is a division among the Boko Haram members on the method of their operations, target and the killing of the military, police and even paramilitary officials by the Boko Haram sect.
What remains to be seen is whether or not these purported division, crisis and the emergence of a ‘splinter’ group in Boko Haram will affect its influence, operations and its future. So far and as at press time DESERT HERALD could not confirm the percentage or the number of ‘commandos within the Boko Haram sect that defied Malam Abubakar Shekau and formed the Jamaatul Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladin Sudan but sources said significant number of the Boko Haram sect have shifted loyalty to the new leader of the Jamaatu Ansarul Muslimina fi Biladin Sudan under Abu Usamatul Ansary .
It remains to be seen whether the two sects will engage in rivalry due to differences in belief and understanding of Islam or they will work together according to Boko Haram’s commander in charge of suicide mission, Abu Fatima.