I do not know Isioma Daniel and have never met
her; this is not the point. I heard of Ms Daniel's situation as many
people have: the Fatwa ... and that she probably fled to the United
States. All of that, after she wrote an article "With the
World at Your Feet" - which irked some. All those facts are
public and the only thing I know for sure: Ms Daniel is a fashion
journalist (until last week with the Nigerian ThisDay newspaper); she
did only one thing: She wrote an article and did her job as a
The first thing any reasonable person would say:
Some people have experienced what you are going
through, some voices are being heard in your support already.
Next, many people would like to hear from you,
given the (electronic) means of communication today, one would hope
that you can safely send a message to the world with your story.
We should also demand
that all constitutional rights be guaranteed for Isioma Daniel and
It seems that in Nigeria already a petition circulates
against the Fatwa [see This Day- Dec. 3]. And, all artists,
journalists and writers should join those voices.
Finally, the best guarantee Isioma Daniel has that the
nightmare ends, once and for all, is for the international community
to show its support.
Wherever Ms Daniel wants to go, wants to speak,
whenever she feels like telling her story - people from all
avenues, and especially, writers, artists and journalists should make
sure that she can do so - if she so wishes.
In other times, we have heard of Salman Rushdie's
fate; we also expressed our support, hopefully for the better.
In some way, we are all prisoners in our own jails, to
some extent. We are all subjects to the fates, fatwas edicted by some
groups, managers of some kind, leaders of sorts, teachers and
evaluators who decide of our fates, proffer some edict for our place
in the hierarchy, in this world.
We are all Isioma Daniel
because freedom is one, whole and indivisible: we may share her fate
if we do not reject the edicts and break her isolation in exile. We
cannot remain silent and we have to say: No to all Fatwas.
Please show your support and E-mail your name and
address so that we can let the powers be known that Isioma Daniel is
Wadier is a writer and a translator and he is on the French Committee
of 'Not in Our Names' (Pas en Notre Nom) to oppose War in Iraq.