Thursday, June 13, 2024

SALAH-OLYMPIC CLASH: WE ACCEPT AFN EXPLANATION – MURIC

 


13th June, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

SALAH-OLYMPIC CLASH: WE ACCEPT AFN EXPLANATION – MURIC  

 

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) says it has accepted the explanation made by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) following its complaint about the clash of the dates of Salah and the Olympic trials.  

 

AFN had earlier fixed the trial for the coming Olympics to start from 16th to 18th June, 2024 but MURIC rejected the date for coinciding with Salah dates which are also 16th to 18th June, 2024 (https://championnews.com.ng/muric-denounces-athletics-federation-of-nigeria-for-fixing-olympic-trial-on-sallah-days/)

 

Reacting to MURIC’s complaint, AFN said the clash was not deliberate. It also added that arrangements had been made to enable the Muslim athletes in the Nigerian Olympic team enjoy the Salah (https://guardian.ng/sport/athletics/national-trials-clash-with-sallah-celebration-a-coincidence-says-afn/).

 

In a swift reaction to AFN’s explanation on Thursday, 13th June, 2024, MURIC said:

 

“We accept the explanation given by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) concerning the clash of the Salah date with that of the Olympic trials. AFN has shown beyond reasonable doubt that it is a responsible and sensitive body. By responding to our allegation in this manner, the athletic body has proved that it has no hidden agenda.

 

“All is well that ends well. The worst families are those who keep malice. They do not express their feelings. They keep everything bottled up until there is an implosion. That is when they burst out in anger. It is always good to dialogue. It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. We made our complaint public. AFN gave its own explanations and made it clear that the clash was not intentional. That is how dialogue works.

 

“MURIC will never encourage anarchy. Our motto is ‘Dialogue, Not Violence’. It is those who want to smear our image who accuse us falsely of being controversial or violent. They attack us because we defend the Muslims whom they want to oppress. We stand between them, their intended victims and their diabolical intentions.

 

“That is why they accuse us of being controversial. MURIC is not controversial at all. We have been consistent. We have been standing up for justice for Muslims and for truth right from the day MURIC was established. That was way back in 1994. Our detractors are just trying to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Look at the way this issue with AFN ended. All misunderstandings are cleared. That is how we operate particularly whenever there is no foul play and there is mutual respect.

 

“AFN has shown that it understands the situation. It has made provision for Muslim athletes and their Christian mates to enjoy the Salah. Rams have even been provided to be slaughtered on that day. What else could we ask for? AFN has shown concern for our fears. MURIC is not deaf. We heard AFN loud and clear. Nigeria will be a better place if all agencies are like AFN.

 

“We appeal to Muslim athletes to show understanding and to cooperate with the AFN officials. We also urge their families whom they would leave behind to mark the Salah alone to bear with them. It is a national call. Nigeria needs them at these hours. The discomfort should be bourne with pride as service to Nigeria”.

 

#KudosAthleticFederationOfNigeria

#DialogueWorks

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

MURIC DENOUNCES ATHLETICS FEDERATION OF NIGERIA FOR FIXING OLYMPIC TRIAL ON SALAH DAYS – MURIC

 


11th June, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

MURIC DENOUNCES ATHLETICS FEDERATION OF NIGERIA FOR FIXING OLYMPIC TRIAL ON SALAH DAYS – MURIC

 

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria has allegedly fixed the trial for the coming Olympics to start from 16th to 18th June, 2024. Meanwhile, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has rejected the chosen date for coinciding with Salah dates which is also 16th to 18th June, 2024. 

 

MURIC described the development as an attempt to strangulate Muslim athletes and coaches and deny them the opportunity to compete with their Christian counterparts thereby opening the door wide open for an all-Christian Olympic team.

 

MURIC's allegation came via a statement issued on Tuesday, 11th June 2024 by its Founder and Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola. 

 

The press release stated further:

 

"The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has allegedly fixed the trial for the coming Olympics to start from 16th to 18th June, 2024. It is already public knowledge that the same 16th to 18th June, 2024 are the days of this year's Salah.

 

"The Olympic trial entails test runs to pick the best athletes who will represent Nigeria at the Olympics. The 2024 Olympics will take place in Paris from Friday, 26th July to Sunday, 11th August, 2024. 

 

"We reject the dates chosen by AFN for the trials because they coincide with Salah dates which are also 16th to 18th June, 2024. In actual fact, 17th and 18th are likely to be declared public holidays by the Federal Government in recognition of the Salah.

 

"This is an attempt to strangulate Muslim athletes and coaches and deny them the opportunity to compete with their Christian counterparts thereby opening the door wide open for an all-Christian Olympic team. It is christianisation of the sports sector. 

 

"Instead of giving equal opportunities to all, our Christian neighbours always find one way or the other to edge out Muslims from various sectors. They are not ready to coexist peacefully. They are not prepared to share. They are not tolerant of people of other faiths, particularly Muslims.

 

"They prefer systematic elimination through the provision of alternative priority. They will deliberately fix examinations on Salah day or fix tests and important meetings during the Friday prayer (Jumu'ah) period, thereby daring Muslims in the system to choose between going for Salah or Jumu'ah prayer and failing the examination or test or missing the important meeting.

 

"Of course the average Muslim can only have one priority, not two and we all know what that priority will be. Who will choose to fail an examination that he has been preparing for over a long period of time and probably an examination that comes once in a life time? 

 

"The average Christian has been conditioned to cause discomfort for Muslims wherever and whenever they have the ability to do so. This is the plague of Islamophobia sweeping all over Nigeria at present. Only the sober, liberal and God-fearing Christian is free of this virus called Islamophobia. We salute such saints.

 

"Already, Nigerian athletes have their eyes set on the Olympics. But their families are also putting pressure on them to celebrate Salah. In effect, they will not be able to concentrate fully on the trial if AFN holds the events during Salah. That means they will not be able to put in their best whereas their Christian counterparts will not have that challenge. AFN has succeeded in making the opportunities unequal. It is not fair. It is unjust. It is parochial.

 

"In the name of justice, fairness and equity, MURIC calls on the Athletics Federation of Nigeria to postpone the trial until after the Salah."

 

#AthleticFederationOfNigeria

#NoToTrialInSalah

#MuslimFestivalsMatter

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

Sunday, June 9, 2024

 

10th June, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

AVOID STRIKE IN SALAH, HAJJ WEEKS - MURIC

 

As negotiations and offers continue between the Federal Government (FG) and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reminded the labour union to avoid going on strike during the Salah and hajj operation. 

 

The faith-based human rights organization warned that NLC will have Nigerian Muslims to contend with if it goes on strike during Salah and before Muslim pilgrims return from hajj. 

 

This was disclosed in a press statement issued on Monday, 10th June, 2024 by the Founder and Executive Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola. 

 

He said further:

 

"The Federal Government of Nigeria (FG) has reportedly offered N62,000 as minimum wage. However, state governors have complicated the issue by declaring that they cannot even pay N60,000 which was earlier offered by FG. This created tension during the weekend amid fears that NLC may resume its suspended strike this week. 

 

"While we do not begrudge NLC pertaining to any minimum wage it demands, we are particularly concerned about the greatest happiness for the greatest number of Muslims during the Salah as well as the welfare and safe return of more than 60,000 Muslim pilgrims who are bona fide Nigerians and who are presently in the holy land. 

 

"It should be noted that MURIC issued three press statements last week (two on Monday 3rd June (https://www.muricnigeria.com/no-to-nlc-strike-in-salah-muric/; https://www.muricnigeria.com/nlc-strike-muric-calls-for-state-of-emergency-as-thousands-of-pilgrims-endangered/) and one on Wednesday 5th June (https://www.muricnigeria.com/nlc-strike-suspension-no-to-strike-eve-of-salah-muric/). All three statements were on the need for NLC to avoid going on strike during Salah and the airlift of pilgrims. 

 

"In view of the present development whereby the two parties are yet to reach an agreement, we are constrained to reiterate our warning. There should be no strike during the Salah and hajj weeks. A strike that constitutes threat to the lives of more than 60,000 people cannot be called a civil action. It is a direct act of hostility. It is enemy action.

 

"A man who deliberately began to cut a huge tree under which innocent people are sleeping cannot claim innocence after the tree falls and kills the people under it. He was not blind. He saw the people sleeping under the tree yet he cut it down. It is premeditated mass murder. 

 

"It is in the same manner Nigerian Muslims will hold NLC leadership responsible for any loss of life or discomfort which may befall Muslim pilgrims on account of a strike embarked upon by NLC during the Salah and before the return of pilgrims from Saudi Arabia. 

 

“NLC leaders are neither blind nor deaf. They heard that Muslims are in Salah mood. They also saw Muslim pilgrims departing Nigeria for Saudi Arabia. If NLC goes on strike now and aviation workers close the Nigerian airspace as well as the airports, it will be a deliberate act of excommunicating 60,000 Nigerians and disallowing them from returning to their fatherland.

 

“This will be in violation of Section 41 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on freedom of movement which stipulates inter alia that every Nigerian shall have the right to travel in and out of Nigeria without let or hinderance.

 

"We therefore call on opinion leaders as well as all men and women of goodwill to call NLC leadership to order now before they commit hara-kiri. Nigerian Muslims are not comfortable with any strike at this point in time. We are in Salah and hajj weeks."

 

#NlcStrike

#SalahHajjWeeks

#MuslimFestivalsMatter

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

Friday, June 7, 2024

WAEC SUPERVISOR DISALLOWS HIJAB: MURIC KICKS

 

7th June, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

WAEC SUPERVISOR DISALLOWS HIJAB: MURIC KICKS


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has kicked against the action of the geography supervisor of the West African Examinations Board for forcing female Muslim candidates to remove their hijab.    


A statement issued on Friday, 7th June, 2024 by the Founder and Executive Director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, asked WAEC authorities to sanction the erring supervisor as a deterrent to other ignorant religious bigots like him.


The full statement reads:


“The Geography Supervisor of the WAEC examination taken on Friday 31st May, 2024 at the International School, Ibadan, infringed on Allah-given fundamental rights of female Muslim students by forcing all of them to remove their hijabs before entering the examination hall.


“This is intimidation, coercion and harassment. The supervisor’s action is illegal, illegitimate, unlawful and unconstitutional. It is also in disregard of the rule of law and in contempt of the rulings of the courts of the land, including the Supreme Court.


“We note with pleasure that WAEC had issued a circular which allowed candidates to use hijab and forbade their harassment. We therefore call upon WAEC authorities to discipline this erring supervisor.


“The supervisor’s action is equally provocative and capable of causing public disorder. We note with much concern that instead of confronting those who violate their rights, Muslims in the South-West have been taking legal action. What is most disturbing is that even though the courts have been ruling in favour of the Muslims, their oppressors have always been recalcitrant and stubbornly refusing to comply with court rulings.


“This is a sad narrative in the history of interreligious relationship in the South-West. The natural concomitant followup is that very soon, Muslim leaders in the region will leave the Muslim youths and ask them to take their destiny in their hands since the law appears helpless. The Muslim youths will have no choice than to defend themselves.


“Those who refuse to respect the rule of law will have to face the rule of chaos. They will face the anger of oppressed Muslims who have been pushed to the wall. It is simply impossible for Muslims in the South-West to be law-abiding if the Christians are lawless. There is no other way to put it.


“From now on, examination centres and workplaces where Allah-given fundamental human rights of Muslims are violated will be blacklisted for future peaceful picketing. It is the next stage in the struggle to liberate Muslims from the shackles of oppression, downpression and repression.”


#Waec

#SanctionGeographySupervisor


Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

Thursday, June 6, 2024

MOVE TO PROBE EL-RUFAI ILL-ADVISED – MURIC

 


6th June, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

MOVE TO PROBE EL-RUFAI ILL-ADVISED – MURIC

 

As the Kaduna State’s special committee prepares to probe the state’s former governor, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has described the move as ill-advised. The group insisted that those behind the attempt are enemies of Kaduna State.       

 

This was contained in a statement issued on Thursday 6th June, 2024, by MURIC’s Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

The statement reads:

 

“The special committee set up by the Kaduna State House of Assembly has recommended that the former governor of the state, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, should be probed (https://www.crimechannels.com/el-rufai-administration-to-be-probed-for-abuse-of-office-money-laundering/#google_vignette).

 

“MURIC received the news with a pinch of salt. There can be no clean motive behind the attempt. Those who want to probe El-Rufai are not looking for stolen money. It is political vendetta. They are out to stain Mallam’s good name using falsehood, manipulations and manufactured figures as their weapons. It is unsavory, laughable and preposterous. It is an ill-advised move.  

 

“The current administration in Kaduna will do well to concentrate on building on the enviable achievements of the former governor instead of digging pits for his predecessor. Introducing politics of bitterness to Kaduna State is alien to the political culture and tradition laid down by the great Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto.

 

“Any attempt to de-market El-Rufai today is an attempt at undermining the possibility of a continued handshake across the Niger which was characterized by the North-South-West alliance in the February 2023 election. El-Rufai’s role in making the alliance a fait accompli gave Kaduna State special prominence. Therefore, only those who do not wish Kaduna State and, by extension, the North, well can promote the idea of probing El-Rufai.

 

“Any attempt by Kaduna lawmakers to shake the status quo is politically na├»ve, myopic and kindergarten. Kaduna politicians should stop searching for a needle in a whole collection of haystacks.”

 

#NasirElRufai

#KadunaAssemblyProbe

#WrongDirection

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

NLC STRIKE SUSPENSION: NO TO STRIKE EVE OF SALAH – MURIC

 


5th June, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

NLC STRIKE SUSPENSION: NO TO STRIKE EVE OF SALAH – MURIC

 

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) suspended its strike yesterday but it vowed to review the situation in a week's time. This has prompted the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) to warn the union not to resume strike on the eve of Salah.

 

The warning was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday, 5th June, 2024 by the group's Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola. 

 

He said:

 

"The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) suspended its strike yesterday for one week only. The union vowed to review the situation in a week's time. 

 

"A quick calculation shows that NLC's one week moratorium falls due on Tuesday, 11th June, 2024. That is approximately on the eve of this year's Id al-kabiir (Salah). It has been widely reported that Arafat day is Saturday, 15th June while Salah per se is 16th. Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th June are likely to be declared holidays by the Federal Government. It will be meaningless to declare holidays during a general strike.

 

"Of course the final decision concerning the exact date of Salah rests with Nigeria's umbrella Islamic organization under the able leadership of the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). 

 

"Muslims take Salah very serious and by tradition, the whole week before Salah day proper is usually set aside for preparations by Muslim families.

 

"Kicking off another strike on the eve of Salah will definitely be seen as an act of hostility towards Muslims. It is probably not in the best interest of NLC to incur the wrath of Nigerian Muslims while claiming to embark on industrial action to advance the people's welfare. 

 

"Muslims form a clear majority of Nigeria's estimated 220 million people. Those who doubted and contested this projection have learned the hard way. Therefore, if it is true that NLC will need the goodwill of the people to make its strike succeed, it will be unwise to attack the sensibility of Muslims by embarking on an anti-Muslim strike. 

 

"We affirm clearly, categorically and emphatically that another strike on the eve of Salah will be an anti-Muslim strike. Muslims are duty-bound to break it. 

 

"Apart from being treasonable, switching off the national grid is an act of sadism. It is only those who enjoy inflicting pains on people who do such things. Only Allah knows how many babies died in their incubators while that wicked act lasted. The emergency wards in hospitals are still counting their dead. Women in serious labour could not access their hospitals. Some bled to death. Is NLC proud?

 

"To switch off the national grid again next week will mean condemning the Muslim festival to a feast without electricity, without water, without charm. We reject a feast of blackness, tears and deaths.

 

"We therefore warn NLC not to embark on a wild goose chase. We advise that any strike to be declared should be after Salah. NLC should stop pretending that there are no Muslims in Nigeria. Those who tried it in the past have had themselves to blame. Nobody will rubbish our faith and get away with it. If you dare Nigerian Muslims, even your union will disown you at the end of the day and Nigerians will eventually reject you.

 

“We warn NLC that Nigerian Muslims will not forget those who messed up their festival and brought despair to them when they should be feasting. We are not unaware of NLC’s nocturnal romance with a particular political party whose presidential candidate is now junketing from one mosque to another.

 

“We will be surprised if this presidential candidate fails to know when to call NLC to order. By the way, the attitude of NLC towards Muslims has already indicated that any government headed by an NLC favourite will be an open enemy of Nigerian Muslims.

 

"MURIC is not fighting NLC but the labour union should steer clear of Islamic landmarks. We are prepared to work with NLC and other groups in the interest of Nigeria but the red line which should not be crossed is our religion. We will not compromise Islam even for all the gold in the world.

 

“NLC should therefore note that its one week moratorium is too close for comfort. Two weeks looks more like it. That deadline will likely fall on Tuesday, 11th June. That is when Muslims will be at the peak of preparations for the Salah which, ceteris paribus, will come up on Sunday, 16th June.

 

“NLC should be inclusive and considerate. They should realise that there are Muslims in this country and those Muslims have the right to celebrate their Salah in peace, not in pieces. Our families should be allowed to come together during Salah. With a strike like this in Salah, NLC will scatter Muslim families like wild oats. We refuse to celebrate Salah like slaves in our land. We refuse to be oppressed. One week deadline? It had better not be.

 

“Should NLC insist on resuming the strike during Salah, MURIC will mobilise Muslims in all parts of the country against the strike. We will break it. We will break it because we know NLC dare not pursue a strike campaign during Christmas.

 

“The Muslims whom NLC has elected to ignore and has loved to hate will be its albatross. Julius Caesar was also warned to ‘beware the Ides of March’. But if NLC respects our Salah and does not resume its strike while it lasted, the union will receive our blessing.

 

"As we draw the curtain, our message to Nigerian Muslims is this, 'Salah is just a few days away and we know you are already preparing for it. It is your Allah-given fundamental human right to enjoy the Salah days. We call on all Muslims North and South of Nigeria to disobey any instruction from any union that may disrupt his or her Salah. We wish you Barka de Salah in advance'.

 

#NlcOneWeekMoratorium

#NlcThreatToHappySalah

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

Monday, June 3, 2024

NLC STRIKE: MURIC CALLS FOR STATE OF EMERGENCY AS THOUSANDS OF PILGRIMS ENDANGERED

 


3rd June, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

NLC STRIKE: MURIC CALLS FOR STATE OF EMERGENCY AS

THOUSANDS OF PILGRIMS ENDANGERED


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has raised an alarm concerning the threat posed by the strike embarked upon by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to the lives of thousands of Nigerian pilgrims and the airlifting operation of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON). 


In an S.O.S issued on Monday afternoon 3rd June, 2024, Professor Ishaq Akintola, head of MURIC, said a plane sent to airlift pilgrims from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia was turned back by striking aviation workers in Nigeria. The aircraft was forced to return to Jedda airport empty. 


"Meanwhile, thousands of Nigerian pilgrims are now in danger while the airlift operation has already been halted. Thousands of Muslim pilgrims who have left their homes for the airports are now stranded.

 

"Nigerian Muslims are now asking NLC why it had to declare a national strike at a time more than 60,000 Nigerians are being airlifted. The families of these intending pilgrims are now in a high state of fear and anxiety. 


“Apart from the confusion and hardship which the ongoing NLC strike constitutes to preparations being made by Muslim faithfuls for the Id al-Kabiir festival, the lives of Muslim pilgrims are now under palpable threat. Is this not sabotage? Is this not intentional? Can a national union of NLC calliber say it is unaware of Muslim preparations for hajj and Salah?


“We charge NLC to call off its strike with immediate effect. We are not ready to gamble with the lives of thousands of Nigerian Muslims who are already in the pilgrim camps. This strike hits the most sensitive nerves in the anatomy of Nigerian Muslims. Call off the strike immediately or face the wrath of Nigerian Muslims nationwide.


"This is an emergency and it has to be handled with speed. The lives of more than 60,000 Muslim pilgrims are in danger and the Federal government must move to save them.


“In case NLC fails to heed our appeal by 8 am tomorrow Tuesday, 4th June, 2024,  we call on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to declare a state of emergency. It is already clear that recalcitrance is in the DNA of the present NLC leadership. Bureacratic norms of a democracy cannot cure the gangarene called NLC. Gangarenes are burned out with hot iron. They are not cured.


 NLC leaders have detached themselves from the rest of Nigerians. Their demands are irrational and superfluous. Nigerians no longer trust it's leadership. Only a state of emergency can rescue the country from the vice grip of NLC.



#NlcStrike

#SaveNigerianPilgrims

#StateOfEmergencyNow


Professor Ishaq Akintola, 

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).