Deaths through "Miss World Riots" in Nigeria

Jurriaan Bendien J.Bendien at
Thu Nov 21 09:34:11 MST 2002

Deaths through Miss World riots in Nigeria

KADUNA - In the islamitic North of Nigeria, riots broke out on Thursday for
the second day, provoked by a newspaper article in which it was suggested
that the prophet Mohammed would possibly have asked to marry one of the
participants in the coming Miss World contest in Nigeria if he was alive

Wednesday the editorial office of the paper ThisDay in the city Kaduna,
which published the article, was set alight by muslims. On Thursday a group
of muslim demonstrators paraded through the city centre, destroying cars and
throwing stones, during which some windows of churches were smashed.

According to eyewitnesses, at least one person died during the riots, a man
who try to drive his car through the mass of protestors and was dragged out
of his car and hit till he died. According to unconfirmed government reports
more people died in the riots.

The riots in Kaduna are the latest incident in the controversies surrounding
the Miss World elections, which are held on 8 December in the Nigerian
capital Abuja. At least six countries are boycotting the competition in
protest against the sentencing to death by stoning of a number of Nigerian
muslim women, because they had extra-marital children. The beauties from
Belgium, Costa Rica, Denmark, Switzerland, South Africa and Panama are
therefore staying home this year. Miss Holland is going nevertheless.

The Nigerian Muslim Umma, a group of prominent muslim theologians, has
called on president Olusegun Obasanjo to cancel the beauty contest and
punish the paper ThisDay. "As a result of the indescribable pain inflicted
on muslims (...) we cannot foresee what will happen" if the beauty contest
proceeds. The Miss World contest is a "sickening display of the
dehumanisation of women", according to Umma.

Translated from De Telegraaf (Netherlands)

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