Support Isioma Daniel

 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 journalist.

The first thing any reasonable person would say:
We hope that you are safe and fine and that you are recovering from your ordeal.
Who would think otherwise?

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 those include:

  1. Freedom of speech
  2. that Ms Daniel will be free to travel, study and work wherever she pleases
  3. also, naturally that Isioma Daniel will be able to live wherever she wants

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.
What is a life - if a life in hiding?

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 not alone.

Jean Wadier (jwadier1@yahoo.com)

Jean 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.