Fact-checkers at the Centre for Democracy Development (CDD) on Thursday, November 27, spotted a letter from the Kano state HISBAH Board barring Cool FM in the state from announcing adverts on Black Friday deals. The letter titled, “Letter of Notofication” shared widely online claimed that calling Friday – a day assumed to be holy – black is derogatory to Islam.
The letter reads: “Accordingly, we wish express our concern on the Friday as “Black Friday” and further inform you that the majority of inhabitants of Kano State are Muslims that consider Friday as Holy Day.” The Board further warned the radio station to desist from calling the day black with immediate effect as their member would be monitoring the activities of Cool FM.
CDD fact checkers reached out to the Commandant General (CG), Sheikh Muhammad Haroun Ibn Sina, who confirmed the authenticity of the letter addressed to the Cool FM “Manger.”
CDD also obtained a video recording of the CG, where he spoke extensively about the history and origin of black Friday.
In a telephone conversation with CDD and contrary to the letter from the board, Ibn Sina said while it is improper to tag any Friday as black, they have not stopped any activity of the day from taking place and they have not barred any radio from calling the name.
Ibn Sina said: “Friday is reputable and blessed of all days, it is improper to call it black, what we did was to preach to Muslims on that”
“What we did is to draw the attention of all Muslims against the day. We stationed our men in all the markets and gathering places to ensure there is no mixture of men and women indecently as part of activities of the day, we are a commission which upholds good values and stops un-Islamic practices”
“We didn’t stop anyone from partaking in the day,” Ibn Sina added.
According to him, while they are stopping the activities of the day, they are against tagging the day as “black” for reasons that some Muslim youth (male and female) will mix up and would not even attend Juma’at Prayer, and that is part of what his Commission is established to prevent.
CDD checks show that “Black Friday” is an informal name for the Friday after Thanksgiving in the United State of America. “Black Friday” has been celebrated since the beginning of the US Christmas shopping season since 1952.
Evidence from the history and origin of “Black Friday”, dates back to the 1950s, Police in the city of Philadelphia used the term to describe the chaos that ensued on the day after Thanksgiving, when hordes of suburban shoppers and tourists flooded into the city in advance of the big Army-Navy football game held on that Saturday every year. Not only would Philadelphia Police not be able to take the day off, but they would have to work extra-long shifts dealing with the additional crowds and traffic. Shoplifters would also take advantage of the bedlam in stores to make off with merchandise, adding to the law enforcement headache.
Recently, the day has been adopted by many shop owners and businesses around the world, including Nigeria, as a day for shopping where most items are heavily discounted. Items are widely advertised in the market to mark the holiday sales. Buyers and customers save for items they need and wait until “Black Friday” to be able to get the best buy.
In addition, the word “Black” is not evil as perceived, majority of the global citizens are black, including Africa and particularly, Nigeria. It is important to state without equivocation that Nigerians are black people.
“Black Friday” is not unholy as claimed by the Kano State Hisbah Board. The history and origin of “Black Friday” is not in any way associated with any religious activity and does not target any religious belief.
The term “Black Friday” is a big sale day, which originated from the United States and has since spread across the global community.
CDD is urging Nigerians to always verify the authenticity of stories before sharing them.
You can forward suspicious messages for verification via +2349062910568 or contact us on Twitter @CDDWestAfrica
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