Ibrahim Zakzaky

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Ibrahim Zakzaky in 2013

Ibrahim Yaqoub El Zakzaky (alternately Ibraheem Zakzaky; Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky) (May 5, 1953 in Zaria, Kaduna State) is a syncretic Shi'a Muslim cleric in Nigeria, and head of Nigeria's Islamic Movement.[1]


Zakzaky attended traditional Quranic and Islamic schools in the town of Zaria under the tutelage of scholars such as Malam Isa Madaka and Malam Ibrahim Kakaki. He attended the Provincial Arabic School, Zaria (1969-1970), Law School (now the School for Arabic Studies), Kano (1971-1975) and the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria (1976-1979).[2] He became the secretary-general of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) in the Main Campus of ABU (1977/78) and later Vice President (International Affairs) of the National Body of the MSSN in 1979.[3] His activity in the society saw the conception of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria which came as an independent body since early 1980s. The movement has established many schools known as Fudiyyah or Fodia schools named after Shiekh Usman dan Fodio a famous 18th-century scholar and jihadist. The movement also publish newspapers and magazines in both English and Hausa languages.[4][5] Dr Iqbal Siddiqui described El-Zakzaky as "the de facto leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria".[6] Zakzaky was jailed several times on charges of sedition by successive Nigerian regimes in the 1980s and 1990s.[3] He is married with children.

Political alignment[edit]

According to former Iranian diplomat Adel Assadinia, the IMN was set up with the financial support of the Iranian government and is modeled on the Lebanese Hezbollah.[7] He said that Iran provides IMN with training "in guerrilla warfare: bomb-making, use of arms such as handguns, rifles and RPGs, and the manufacturing of bombs and hand grenades." He suggests the IMN could be used to strike Western interests in the event of conflict.

Zakzaky's supporters say he has never advocated violence [8] In September 2009, Zakzaky's supporters clashed with police in Zaria, leading to injuries and deaths on both sides.[9] The IMN accuses the government of intimidation and attempting to wipe it out.[9]

The Resource Forum of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) held a symposium on "The Creation of the Illegal State of Israel" at Arewa House Kaduna on May 21, 2008. Zakzaky said, "when Israel is celebrating sixty years of occupying Palestine's land, we are mourning because the truth is Israeli State is created on the basis of terrorism and what is not yours is not yours, no matter years of oppression and hostage it would slip someday along with those supporting them. Israel will fall with her allies certainly."[10]

Zakzaky is fluent in the English, Hausa, Spanish, Arabic and Persian languages. He has lectured in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Niger, Algeria, Britain, France, Spain, the United States, Lebanon, Azerbaijan and Iran.

Zaria Quds day massacre[edit]

Main article: Zaria Quds Massacres

On Friday 25 July 2014, Nigerian Army reportedly gunned down 35 followers of Ibrahim Zakzaky including his 3 undergraduate biological sons[11] after pro-Palestinian procession in Zaria. The brutal murder drew world attention and wworld wide sympathizers which lead the Nigerian Government to set up committee to investigate the action.[12] The UK based Islamic Human Rights Commission launched a thorough fact-finding mission on the killings and finally published a comprehensive report titled Zaria Massacres and the Role of the Military Military in October 2014, narrating the incidence, findings and recommendations. The work was co-authoured by Massoud Shadjareh and Abed Choudhury and printed in United Kingdom.[13]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Nigeria's firebrand Muslim leaders BBC News, 1 October 2001.
  2. ^ "Biography of Mu'allim Ibrahim Al-Zakzaky". Bregava.tripod.com. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  3. ^ a b "Official Website Of The Islamic Movement In Nigeria". Islamicmovement.org. 1953-05-05. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  4. ^ http://www.pointerexpress.com/
  5. ^ "Almizan". Almizan. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Middle East Strategic Information: Profile of an African Hezbollah, 25 January 2009
  8. ^ "How to Campaign". Bregava.tripod.com. 1996-09-12. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  9. ^ a b "3 die as Moslem, police clash in Zaria - Vanguard (Nigeria)". Vanguardngr.com. 2009-09-19. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  10. ^ Israeli State Would Crumble, Says Zakzaky (Page 1 of 1)
  11. ^ Punch Newspaper. "Soldiers killed three Elzakzaky sons, 32 others.". Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  12. ^ PM News. "Nigerian government investigating alleged killing of Elzakzaky kids,followers/". Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  13. ^ "IHRC. Zaria Quds Massacre: The role of the Military". IHRC United Kingdom. October 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2015.