A court in Nigeria has ruled that, rather like Fight Club, you do not talk about punishment amputations on Twitter. A human rights organization, the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, had been hosting debates on social media sites in an attempt to draw attention to the issue, until a pro-Sharia group, the Association of Muslim Brotherhood of Nigeria, decided otherwise.
Oddly enough, the ruling does not cover a case in the Chief Swordsman (Punishment) of Kaduna’s “Pending” tray, but rather one that occurred over a decade ago, when a man had his hand cut off for stealing a cow. “An order is hereby given restraining the respondents either by themselves or their agents from opening a chat forum on Facebook, Twitter, or any blog for the purpose of the debate on the amputation of Malam Buba Bello Jangebe.”
You would think that social media sites are not particularly popular with Sharia Law proponents. Wrong. After a British guy ended his marriage on Facebook last year, a couple of Sharia lawyers claimed that, rather like SMS, divorce on Facebook or Twitter would be acceptable. “It is merely a new way of declaring your intentions,” said one, Zulkifli Che Yong. “In the old days, people used to send letters, telegrams, and faxes, but with the advent of technology, it is becoming easier. It does not matter what medium you use as long as the intent is clear.”