This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
The Muslim Corpers Association of Nigeria (MCAN) yesterday
cleared the air on the raging controversy surrounding the purported ban of the
hijab in camps of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) across the country.
MCAN in two separate statements issued in Abuja revealed that members of its executive
held a meeting with the Director General of the NYSC, Brigadier General Johnson
Olawumi, where the issue was amicably settled
In the first statement titled ‘Ban of Hijab Within NYSC Scheme:
A False News’ MCAN reported that the DG apologized to the female corp member
who was harassed by the Benue State camp commandant who has since been banned
from the camp. The DG also promised to set up a committee to find a lasting
solution to the hijab affair. The committee, according to the report, will
coopt a member of the MCAN executive.
In the second
statement issued by MCAN titled ‘NYSC DG Discredits The Ban Of Hijab’, the group
confirmed that only the long hijab which reaches the ankles was banned while any
hijab which covers the bosom or reaches the knee is permitted.
The Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) welcomes the above development. Contrary to earlier perception,
we note with pleasure the DG’s amenable disposition to the hijab question and
his transparently liberal mien to religious issues.
We remind the NYSC authorities of the strategic importance of
the institution to virtually every Nigerian parent. We therefore urge the body to
inject doses of dynamism into its public relations so as to plug any lacuna in communication.
Early reaction to issues of public interest will go a long way in preventing
commend the maturity displayed by MCAN officials on the hijab controversy. We
charge all Muslim corpers to discharge their duties with patriotic zeal. We also
appeal to the press to avoid sensationalism in their reportage. We commend the
DG of the NYSC for his liberality and for adopting an open-door policy in his
handling of the hijab imbroglio.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The Director General of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC), Brigadier
General Johnson Olawumi yesterday in Abuja made a categorical statement banning
the use of hijab by youth corpers.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) rejects the purported ban. It is reckless,
baseless and preposterous. No public officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
should speak in such manner. The pronouncement smacks of power drunkenness. It
is a hate statement. The Director General needs to purge himself of Islamophobia.
On what ground is he banning the use of hijab? Security reason is not
enough because we have examples of armed robbers using police uniforms to rob.
Has anyone thought of banning police uniform? About forty armed robbers dressed
in army uniform attacked six banks in Agbara, Ogun State last week. They killed
a policeman and a pregnant woman. Should we ban army uniform because of that?
Brigadier General Johnson and his ilk are hiding under the security
challenge facing Nigeria to implement a hidden agenda, namely, to stigmatise
Muslims and to embarrass our daughters and wives who wear hijab.
Is General Johnson aware that female Muslims in the British police use
hijab on top of their uniform? Can he tell us how the hijab disturbs a corper’s
uniform? Does the DG know that hijab is an integral, nay, the most vital part
of a female Muslim’s dress? Does he know that female Muslim corpers feel as if
they are naked when disallowed from using the hijab? Is he aware of the
psychological trauma such female Muslim corpers go through?
can we spend a lifetime training our daughters to dress decently and you dehumanize
them in your camp within 24 hours? How dare you?
We affirm that we will use every constitutional means to stop this
religious apartheid against Muslims in the name of discipline and
regimentation. Why must Muslims face persecution everywhere in Nigeria? Why
cant the Nigerian system accommodate and integrate the Islamic culture? Why
cant Nigerian officials allow Islamic landmarks to stand pari passu with British colonial and Christian culture? Is Nigeria truly
independent or is it a banana republic created to serve only the interest of
the British imperial master? Must Muslims be forced to accept British Christian
mode of dressing?
We must ask who designed Nigeria’s school uniform? Who designed the army
and police uniforms? Was it not the British? What is the religion of the
British? Is every Nigerian in the same faith? So why cant we allow the Muslims
to retain their identity? Why cant the Muslims enjoy religious freedom in this
must Muslims be forced to dress like Christians? Why must Muslims be denied the
dividends of democracy? Any policy that fails to carry us along is exclusive. Nigeria
is for all of us. We reject an NYSC that promulgates anti-Muslim decrees.
We remind the DG that he cannot turn Muslims in NYSC camps into slaves.
This is not military rule. NYSC officials, including the DG will be acting ultra vires if they take actions which
violate the laws of the land. Section 38 (i) & (ii) of the 1999 Constitution
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees religious freedom. We seek the
enforcement of this right.
the hypocrisy of the system has been exposed. Can the NYSC Director General
explain why the NYSC allows female Muslim corpers in places like Kano and
Sokoto to use the hijab while their counterparts in the South are harassed and
Why this double standard? Is the ban only meant for the South? Or is it
further proof of the mythological ‘Northern-Muslim and Southern-Christian
dichotomy’? It had better not be.
We hope it will not get to a point when Nigerian Muslims will decide to opt
out of the NYSC service year. Yes, we may have no other option than to ask our
daughters to ignore an institution which targets them for ridicule, torment and
MURIC charges the NYSC to revisit its rules. Any aspect of those rules
which fails to respect the faith of Christians, Muslims or traditionalists
should be expunged. Such rules are draconian and counter-productive. They only
serve the interest of neo-imperialists.
appeal to the National Assembly to save Nigerian Muslims from annual
embarrassment in NYSC camps. Our daughters are being derobed in public courtesy
of a system that is blind to sociological realities, a system that has allowed
itself to be enslaved by the culture of the colonial master.
We call on the Director General of the NYSC to desist from precipitating a
religious crisis of monumental proportion over the hijab saga. Nigeria has
enough on its hands already. The DG should stop stirring the hornet’s nest. We insist
that Nigerian Muslims cannot be intimidated. Nobody should test our will.
Nigerian Muslims have the capacity to mobilize for peaceful protests in
all NYSC camps across the country if the molestation of our daughters continue.
Enough is enough. We did not bargain for an NYSC that has been hijacked by
religious bigots and Muslim-haters!
MURIC has a duty in loco parentis
to cry out against the persecution of female Muslim corpers. They are our
daughters and also our members. We charge all Islamic organizations in the
country to rise to the occasion.
cry out to our Mothers-in-Islam in the Federation of Muslim Women Associations
of Nigeria (FOMWAN), the Criterion and all other female Muslim organizations. It is taboo for a woman to ignore
her child’s cry! Muslim women arise, the slave masters are dragging our
daughters in the mud.
advise female Muslim corpers to continue to use their hijab. It is their
Allah-given fundamental human right. We are keeping a tab on those unscrupulous
elements who will snatch the hijab from the heads of our daughters or those
power drunk officials who will expel them from NYSC camps. Perhaps the time has
come to revisit the whole gamut of this NYSC affair.
Another bomb attack yesterday in a lorry
park in Yola killed 32 persons. About 80 others were injured.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is
deeply saddened by this tragedy. We are seriously disturbed that violent death
has become a recurring decimal in a geographical zone that has been peaceful
and quiet for decades.
While we note that the imminent defeat
facing the insurgents is the casu belli
of recent bomb explosions, we urge the major stakeholders in the zone,
particularly the state government and aid groups to focus attention on
increasing awareness among the citizens. Tuesday evening’s bomb blast is one
explosion too many. It amplifies the need to intensify citizen awareness more
than ever before.
We suggest that announcements on radio
and television should be repeated every fifteen minutes. Warnings printed on
leaflets should be distributed to the public in motor parks, markets, mosques
These announcements should educate citizens
on what to do in these days of insurgency, how to identify a prospective
suicide bomber, the danger in ignoring abandoned luggages, the need to report
strange faces in our communities to security agencies, etc.
Nigerians must not leave the war against
insurgents to the military alone. We must give our gallant soldiers every necessary
support. America was able to stem bombings because its citizens were on red
The military is doing what it should do at
the moment. Boko Haram fighters are feeling the heat. They are now on the run
and this informs their recourse to guerrilla warfare, striking behind the lines
and attacking soft targets. The aim is to embarrass the Federal Government.
These attackers are not ghosts. The fact
that they are still able to inflict serious damage implies negligence on the
part of the citizens. The state governments in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe should
raise the alert level to deep red.
The non-governmental organizations and aid
agencies in the zone should enlighten citizens in the three states on the
principles of self-survival and the significance of staying alive. More
importantly, they must create awareness on the after-effects of falling victims
of bomb attacks and the implications of losing one’s limbs in such
As a necessary precaution, all the
remaining state governments throughout Nigeria should be on the tip-toes of alertness.
They should properly educate their citizens on what to do to avert bomb attacks
inside commercial vehicles, in motor parks, markets, workplaces, bus stops, airports,
We urge the press to take up this
challenge. In view of the fact that educating the public is one of the cardinal
functions of the press, the Nigerian print and electronic media is invited to
embed in their publications and programmes short but catchy jingles capable of
heightening security consciousness among the citizenry.
To round up, MURIC charges citizens in the
North East in particular and the whole country in general, to be vigilant in
order to avoid more bomb blasts. Peace is around the corner. We remind
Nigerians that dead men can neither enjoy the dividends of democracy nor reap
the fruits of Buhari’s change mantra.
All hands must be on deck: the army, the
police, the state governments, the press, aid agencies, NGOs and all citizens. A
united citizenry can never be defeated. We refuse to be intimidated by
merchants of terror. But we must all remember that eternal vigilance is the
price of liberty. Every citizen must therefore do the needful.
Terrorists on Friday 13th November, 2015 launched seven
coordinated attacks on Paris killing at least 129 people. The attacks occurred
at the Stade de France, the Petit Cambodge restaurant, the Le Carillon bar, the
Rue de la Fontaine au Roi, the Casa Nostra pizzeria, the la Belle Equipe and
the Bataclan Concert.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns these attacks. They are
despicable, vicious and barbaric. They take humanity back to the Stone Age,
grant unfettered licence to lawlessness and fuel universal chaos.
It is becoming more glaring that the main preoccupation of the Islamic
State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is the shedding of innocent blood and the precipitation
of religious war, particularly between Christians of the West and Muslims of
the Middle East.
dissociate ourselves from the violent propensity of ISIS and its blood-thirsty
associates in Al-Qaedah and Boko Haram whose stock-in-trade is the
misinterpretation of the peaceful message of Islam. We reject the hate messages
of messengers of death who ask Muslims to kill Westerners. We affirm clearly
and unequivocally that Islam neither teaches racism nor does it endorse
MURIC calls on Muslim youths all over the world to save Islamdom from an implosion
induced by extremism. This they can do by distancing themselves from radical
and violent groups.
Nonetheless, we charge the West to look beyond the attacks. The authors of
these horrendous attacks have merely manifested homicidal tendencies propelled
by perceived provocations, presumably from anti-Muslim legislations in France
and the genocides in Bosnia, Myammar, Central African Republic, etc in which
thousands of Muslims were killed in cold blood while the West stood akimbo and
the United Nations did nothing.
invite the world to ponder over the anatomy of terrorism and the cause-effect
theory. There can be no smoke without fire. The fire which causes violence and
terrorism is injustice. Unfortunately, while everyone is talking about the need
for peace, nobody is talking about justice.
posit that peace is neither an orphan nor is it a lone ranger. We believe in
two dogmas: one, peace is born from the wombs of justice. Two: peace must walk
parri pasu with equity. Peace walks hand in hand down the isle with justice. Justice
is the soul of peace. Nobody can deny one and still enjoy the other. The world
must therefore make a choice. To be, or not to be? That is the question.
conclusion, we stand side by side with France today in its fight
against terrorism.We condole all those who were bereaved in the Paris
terrorist attacks and pray that Almighty Allah will give them the strength to
bear the losses.
charge the misled agents of destruction in ISIS, Al-Qaedah and Boko Haram to go
back to the true and peaceful message of Islam. We appeal to countries of the
West to return to the drawing board for the purpose of charting a new course based
on justice, mutual respect and the recognition of Allah-given fundamental human
rights in their dealings with Muslims all over the world.