Nigerian cleric in court on blasphemy charges

A controversial Muslim cleric accused of blasphemy has appeared in an Islamic court in Kano, northern Nigeria.

Sheikh Abduljabbar Kabar – whose father was an influential leader of a Qadiriyya sect – has been at loggerheads with the authorities, who say his preachings could incite violence.

He denies the allegations. If found guilty, he could be sentenced to death by the Islamic court.

Kano is among a dozen states in northern Nigeria where the Sharia legal system is practised alongside the country’s secular laws.

The precise nature of Sheikh Kabara’s comments that caused offence remains unclear, but mainstream religious leaders in Nigeria have distanced themselves from the teachings.

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