Four things about the Shia group clashing with Nigerian police

Spread the love
Sheikh Zakzaky, leader of the IMN

Clashes between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and security forces in Kano City resulted in the deaths of at least 10 people, according to official reports.

The latest deadly incidents illustrate a history of violent confrontation between IMN and Nigerian authorities. Here are four things you need to know about the group:




  1.  IMN is a media-savvy Shia movement which is backed by Iran. It has had a thriving daily newspaper for more than two decades, with ambition of expanding its media empire. The once tiny movement’s membership has sky-rocketed in size and scope while all attention has shifted to Boko Haram, the Sunni Islamist group fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria.



2.The movement is led by Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. He became a proponent of Shia Islam around the time of the Iranian revolution in 1979. Sheikh Zakzaky was a political prisoner for nine years during the 1980s and 1990s, accused by successive military regimes of civil disobedience.




3. The movement has repeatedly been involved in clashes with the police. Last December, security forces led a crackdown against IMN, storming the group’s sprawling mosque complex in Zaria state. 349 people were killed in the operation. On that occasion, the Nigerian army was accused of human rights violations.  The complex was later razed to the ground along with the sheikh’s house.



4.The Sunni jihadist group Boko Haram condemns IMN as heretics who should be killed, which put the two groups on different side of the religious spectrum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *