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light in the Muslim Students Society (MSS) and helped organize a series of events calling for the implemen- tation of sharia law. Eventually, after several bouts of unrest on the Zaria campus, the university authorities lost patience with him, and he was expelled on Decem- ber 14, 1979.25

It was at this point that he dedicated himself full time to promoting the cause of Islamic revolution. And just like his hero, Ayatollah Khomeini, he recorded sermons on cassette tapes that were widely distributed throughout northern Nigeria’s major towns and cities. Habitually, these fiery epistles attacked those in posi- tions of political and religious authority—the federal and state governments, the Sultan, the Emirs and the Brotherhoods. Indeed, it was the Qadiriyya’s and Tijan- iyya’s links to the northern establishment that marked them as targets of Zakzaky’s wrath. His main argu- ment was that the secular authorities were not fit to hold power, and that the traditional religious rulers, either through cowardice or self-serving interest, fa- cilitated their abuses by refusing to stand up to them.26 Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, therefore, he and his followers petitioned for the implementation of sharia law and sought to bring about an Islamic revolution similar to that which happened in Iran in 1979.

As well as circulating recordings of his sermons, Zakzaky and his followers, many of whom were stu- dents from ABU and other northern universities, print- ed newsletters and staged demonstrations. Then in the early 1990s, shortly after the Kano riots of 1991, they created the horas or guards. Modelled on the Revolu- tionary Guards in Iran, these militants were tasked with providing security at group meetings and other events. As a result, they frequently clashed with the police, Christian youths, and the members of rival


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