Skip to main content.
A non-profit service providing academics, religion professionals and other researchers with religion & cult news
ReligionNewsBlog

Religion news articles about religious cults, sects, world religions, and related issues

Home | About RNB Related: Cult FAQ | Cult Experts | Apologetics Index | Cult Information Search Engine
More articles about: Islam:

Nigerian Miss World show cancelled


ReligionNewsBlog.com • Saturday November 23, 2002

BBC, Nov. 23, 2002
http://news.bbc.co.uk/

The Miss World contest is moving to London from Nigeria after riots by Muslim youths opposed to the show left more than 100 people dead in the city of Kaduna.

The pageant’s organisers said the show would be held in London on 7 December instead of the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

In Abuja, police say they have regained control of the streets after violent protests spread to the city over the plans to hold the contest there.

Hundreds of Muslim youths went on the rampage following Friday prayers, in an echo of the bloodshed which left at least 100 people dead and 500 injured in Kaduna this week.

Kaduna is now under curfew after three days of violence, but the BBC’s Dan Isaacs reports that isolated clashes continued into the night.

In a statement, the pageant organisers said the change of venue was in the “overall interests of Nigeria and the contestants”.

Pageant publicist Stella Dean added: “The show definitely will go on”.

Appeal for calm

Hours earlier, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo went on television along with religious leaders to appeal for national calm, blaming a media report, not the contest itself, for the violence.

“It could happen at any time irresponsible journalism is committed against Islam,” he said.

The protests began after a newspaper suggested that the Prophet Mohammed would have probably chosen to marry one of the Miss World contestants if he had witnessed the beauty pageant in Abuja.

The Nigerian Government has assured Muslims that those responsible for the offending article, which appeared in ThisDay newspaper, will be brought to account.

ThisDay has retracted it and has published apologies.

Christians targeted

Police in Abuja made 27 arrests on Friday and at least one policeman was injured during the unrest, along with an unknown number of demonstrators or civilians.

BBC correspondent Haruna Bahago reports that protesters armed with sticks, daggers and knives set fire to vehicles and attacked anyone they suspected of being Christian.

Many people suffered either knife wounds or beatings as the rioters advanced on Abuja’s central market.

Our correspondent was himself surrounded by a group of angry Muslim radicals, who suspected he was Christian, and he had to shout “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) until they let him go.

Our correspondent in Kaduna says the streets are virtually deserted except for army patrols and the scars of the rioting are visible everywhere.

Burnt-out tyres and the shells of cars line the streets, and buildings set alight by the rioters are still smouldering.

Two years ago the city saw more than 2,000 deaths in clashes between Christians and Muslims.

Dogged by controversy

In a BBC interview, Nigerian singing star Femi Kuti backed the opponents of the pageant, although he condemned the religious origin of protests.

“Why are they making Nigeria and Africa divided? We have enough problems,” he told Newshour on the BBC World Service.

The Nigerian Government has assured Muslims that those responsible for the offending article, which appeared in ThisDay newspaper, will be brought to account.

ThisDay has retracted it and has published apologies.

Miss Northern Ireland, Gail Williamson, became the latest contestant to pull out of the contest on Friday. Her mother Olga Simms said she was concerned for her daughter’s safety.

info Original content is © Copyright Religion News Blog. All rights reserved.
    Do not republish or repost. Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

share this article Share this article

tag Related Articles

arrow Tags:
arrow Topic(s): Islam

Comment Comment

Join Religion News Blog at Google+ to comment, share, and follow.

RSS Feed Follow Us


 Follow

Religion News You May Like This As Well

Why are you not using Nozbe?

Don't you need to get things done?

Religion News Search Search Religion News Blog