WE ARE NOT IMN! WE ARE MUSLIMS!
By Baqeer Gashua
The Islamic Movement led by Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is a mass movement. Its supporters cut across all strata of the Nigerian society. In fact it is not a movement that is limited to the Nigerian society alone. There are supporters of the Movement in neighbouring countries like Niger, Cameroon, Chad, Burkina Faso and even Ghana. Although the bulk of its supporters are in Nigeria. The Islamic Movement is neither an organization nor is it a "sect" like many detractors would want to portray it. It is a mass movement advocating for total revival of Islam and Islamic System. The message of the Islamic Movement is that since we are Muslims, then, we must abide by the teachings and guidance of our Religion. And since the Prophets of Allah have been sent to the world by Allah to establish justice, then there must be justice for all.
Shaikh Zakzaky is advocating for an Islamic system in which all will be treated justly according to Allah's laws. This does not in anyway mean that non Muslims will have to embrace Islam. No! There is no compulsion in faith. Non Muslims will enjoy equal rights as humans and members of the same society. And they will be free to practice their religion just as Muslims will be free to practice their own religion too.
The Islamic Movement is a concept, an ideology, a mass movement but not an organization as many have been made to believe. This movement comprises of different schools of thoughts of Islam. Although most of its supporters are Shias of the Ja'afari school of thought, there are also plenty of its supporters who are Sunnis. In fact, there are Christians supporters of the Islamic Movement.
Right from the inception of the Islamic Movement different names have been given to its supporters or adherents. Some call us "Shi'ites" others especially mass media outlets wrongly refer to us as " Shi'ites sect". But right from the beginning, we have always maintained that we are Muslims and just Muslims and nothing else.
We believe that creating names for us is just a ploy to isolate us and divert people' s attention from our real message.
Recently, especially after Zaria massacre in which the bloodthirsty tyrant Buhari massacred over a thousand innocent people including women and children, another ploy came to light. That is of calling the Movement "IMN". And its supporters ; " IMN MEMBERS ". Unfortunately many people innocently fell into this trap. Even among the supporters or adherents (activists) of the Movement.
The acronym "IMN" was initially used by CIA and MOSAD to describe the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in their many reports on the Movement. And before the incident of Zaria massacre, "IMN" was never used to describe us or our movement.
But all of a sudden now we wake up to the fact that, without our realising it, some of us have even started accepting it as a norm.
Alhamdulillah, we were also alerted by our Leader, Shaikh Zakzaky H through some people who usually speak to him on the phone during the restricted phone conversations he usually have with some twice a week or during the rare occasions when visits were allowed for him, that we should desist from falling into the trap of those who want to turn the Movement into hierarchical organisation.
Once again, we would like to reiterate that, the Islamic Movement is a concept, a faith, an ideology. It is not an organization. It is a mass movement with a Leader not Leaders. It does not have hierarchy. It's a revivalist movement. It resembles the Movement of Shaikh Danfodio (RA) and Imam Khomeini QS revolutionary movements. All are welcome as supporters and active adherents of the Movement. Even our Christian Brothers and Sisters are welcome. We join hands together to fight against injustice. And when it comes to practices which are limited to Muslims, then the Christian supporters practice their own religion .
Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky made it clear on several occasions that the Movement is not an organisation, nor a group or even a sect, but an endeavour towards achieving Islamic ideals. On many occasions the Sheikh have even made it clear that this Movement is open to all, even Christians are not excluded.
Trying to present the Movement as a sectarian movement or as an organisation with some kind of structures, like spokesman, secretary or whatever of such nature is not know to the Movement, therefore any such attempt will be considered as assisting a conspiracy against the Movement.
This Movement is not limited to Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger Rep or even Ghana, the Movement is part of the larger axis of resistance against tyranny and injustice, attempting to limit the Movement to any border is a conspiracy of a sort.
The Movement have a leader, the only Leader of the Movement is Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky whether free or in detention.
There are fora in the Movement, eg. Academic Forum, Resource Forum, Sisters Forum among others, the chair persons are responsible for the activities of the above fora, the Movement also have Publications and Internet sites, eg IM. Production/Publication, Islamicmovement.org, imnig.org, harkarmusulunci.org, which are all administered by some brothers and Sisters of the Movement.