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'
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE: TIME TO CEMENT CHRISTIAN-MUSLIM RELATIONS
23rd December 2015,
TIME TO CEMENT
Christians all over the world will celebrate Christmas on Friday, 25th
December, 2015. Millions of Nigerian Christians will partake in this annual
event which marks the birth of Jesus (peace be upon him).
of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitate with our Christian brothers on
this occasion. It is instructive that the birthdays of the two major religious
figures came so intimately close this year, 24th and 25th
of December. This is not a mere coincidence. There is a message in it for us.
God wants Christians and Muslims to come closer.
We opine that instead of igniting hatred, bitterness and violence,
religion should generate love, kindness and peaceful coexistence. All religions
including Bhudism, Christianity, Confucianism, Islam, Jainism, African
Traditional Religion, etc, teach love and mercy for homo sapien.
is no religion that teaches hatred and enjoins its adherents to kill and maim.
The problem we have in Nigeria is that people abuse religion. They use it as a
launching pad for their selfish desires. Politicians exploit religion to
satisfy their greed and avarice while ethnic jingoists masquerade under the
canopy of religion to wet their murderous and cannibalistic appetite.
MURIC avers that it is not too late for Nigerians to put religion in its
proper perspective. In other words, we are appealing to Nigerians to utilize religion
both vertically and horizontally. In the vertical dimension, Nigerians must see
religion as a relationship between man and God. Horizontally, it is mandatory on
Nigerians to regard religion as a means of improving relationship among the
is therefore the need for Nigerians to redesign their religious practices, services,
conventions, processions, etc, in such a way that other citizens are not made
to suffer any form of hardship, be it inability to sleep due to noisy religious
services or free access to the roads due to worshippers’ interference with
traffic on the roads.
Every Nigerian, nay every human being came from Adam and Adam came from
ordinary dust. All of us shall return to dust and finally to God. We must
therefore share love. We must learn to tolerate one another. We must learn to
for the love of God, Nigeria would have caved under in the face of both
internal and external conspiracies, hate speeches, treasonable actions, massive
killings and destruction of churches and mosques. But Nigeria survived up till
now because God is a God of love and He loves this country tremendously. Now
that we have survived Boko Haram onslaught is the time to cement
Christian-Muslim relationship. We therefore appeal to clerics to preach love
notes with serious concern that in spite of the proliferation of churches and
mosques, morality is at its lowest ebb in this country.
should therefore be a central theme in messages emanating from places of
worship. Governments at both federal and state levels should also support the
campaign against falling moral standards by encouraging the teaching of
Christian and Islamic studies at all levels in the education sector.
we charge every Nigerian to cooperate with the Federal Government in its
efforts to sanitise the system and enthrone transparency, probity and accountability.
Only thus can this great country move forward. We therefore call on religious
leaders from both sides to stop hobnobbing with corrupt politicians.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)