Islamic State (ISIS) Supporters On Social Media Call For Revenge Against A Christian From Nigeria For Insult To Allah And The Prophet Muhammad

May 17, 2022

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On May 12, 2022, Christian Nigerian student Deborah Samuel Yakubu was stoned to death and her body was burned in the Shehu Shagari College of Education compound where she studied in Sokoto, Nigeria. Yakubu was murdered by Muslim students who reacted in fury to a comment she posted on WhatsApp in which she criticized the Prophet Muhammad.[1] The incident shocked the country and many politicians and clerics rushed to condemn it while calling to bring the perpetrators of the lynching to justice.[2]

Several days after Yakubu's death the country was still in turmoil. On May 16 calls began to appear on social media – from both Islamic State (ISIS) supporters and from Muslims unaffiliated with the organization – calling for similar action to be taken against Naomi Goni, who, they alleged, posted a message in which she responds to a Muslim named Bibatullahi Abubkr who called for the murder of Yakubu and writes, "if he is the true God why can't he fight for himself stuppid [sic] Muhammad, And his followers."

The following is a review of some of the incitement posted on social media:

ISIS Supporters on Twitter and Telegram: Kill Goni So She Will Serve As an Example to Others

ISIS supporters on Twitter called for revenge against Goni and published posts with the hashtag #NaomiGoniCursesOurProphet. For example, a user tweeted Goni's post and added, "Kill her so she will be an example to others."[3]

In another tweet, a user urges Muslims in Nigeria "to take revenge on that Christian in the name of our Prophet. We bless whoever takes this mission upon himself."[4]

A user writes, "If only Allah would make it easy for the Muslims in West Africa to kill anyone who insults his Prophet."[5]

Similar calls for revenge were posted on the Telegram channels of ISIS supporters.

A Telegram channel shared a post on May 16 from another pro-ISIS channel which quotes the Goni message and urges Muslims "who do not ignore insults to the honor of the beloved [Prophet Muhammad]. Capture Naomi Goni – a Christian girl who cursed the Prophet Muhammad, when she was on Muslim land in the city of Maidaguri, Allah calls for revenge against her and to kill her so she will serve as an example to others."

In response to a report that Goni's boyfriend had warned against harming his girlfriend, the channel posted, "The Christians are provoking the Muslims in Maidaguri, revenge, revenge, revenge."

The same channel published another post with the hashtag #NaomiGoniCursesOurProphet, in which it calls on the Muslims in Nigeria to take revenge against Naomi and to kill her. In a different post the channel criticizes the Arabs who don't respond to insults to the Prophet Muhammad.[6]

Demonstrations and Calls for Revenge against Goni from Muslims Who Are Not ISIS Supporters

It is noteworthy that the calls for revenge against Goni were not voiced only by ISIS supporters, but also by Muslims who are not identified with the organization. Hundreds of furious demonstrators took to the streets and demanded the release of those accused of the murder of Yakubu, and that Goni be put on trial. Similar sentiments were posted on social media, such as one message from May 14, in which the user calls on the governor of Borno to put Goni on trial and urges the residents of Borno to find her and turn her in. Abubakr threatens that if she is not arrested and put on trial, he and his friends will go to Borno and avenge the insult to the Prophet. The user shares photographs of Goni as well as details of her Facebook account.[7]

In another post, the user praises the lynching of Yakubu and also lauds one of the demonstrators who "died a martyr's death defending the honor of the Prophet Muhammad," during the protest which demanded that the murderers of Yakubu be freed.[8]

In yet another tweet calling for revenge, a user urges that Goni be punished in the same manner as Yakubu.[9]



[1], May 13, 2022.

[2], May 14, 2022.

[3] Twitter, May 16, 2022.

[4] Twitter, May 16, 2022.

[5] Twitter, May 16, 2022.

[6] Telegram, May 16, 2022.

[7] Facebook, May 14, 2022.

[8] Facebook, May 14, 2022.

[9] Twitter, May 15, 2022.

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