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'
Sunday, December 11, 2016
MAULUD MESSAGE: SET INNOCENT CAPTIVES FREE
12th December, 2016
SET INNOCENT CAPTIVES FREE
As Nigerian Muslims
join more than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world to mark the birth of the
Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the Federal Government has declared
today, Monday 12th December, 2015 as a public holiday.
The Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC) felicitates with the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of
the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu
Sa‘ad Abubakar III CFR, mni on this august occasion. We also
congratulate Nigerian Muslims and the entire Nigerian citizenry for witnessing
this great day.
Today is a very special day because it marks the birth of
the greatest man that ever lived. Prophet Muhammad was sent to the whole world
(Qur’an 34:28) as a mercy from Allah (Qur’an 28:46-47), a mercy to believers
(Qur’an 9:61) and a compassion to Muslims and non-Muslims alike (Qur’an
21:107). He was an exemplary leader (Qur’an 33:21) and the seal of all prophets
Though he came in a
period of oppression, he brought justice and equity. He replaced disorder with
order, retrogression with progress, cruelty with kindness and hatred with love.
Despite the tornado of
false accusations leveled against him by detractors and professional liars, a
number of non-Muslim authors see him as the light of the world. Geo Lind-say
Johnson called him “an advanced psychic as well as a true prophet of God”.
Stanley Lane Poole said “Muhammad had mighty powers of imagination of the mind”.
Marmaduke Pickthall affirmed that “Muhammad was a sincere man who gave many
beautiful precepts for human welfare”.
La Martine said
Muhammad was “a philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of
ideas, the restorer of rational beliefs, is there any man greater than he?” To
cap the edifice, Michael Hart in his book entitled The Great 100 picked
Muhammad as the greatest of all men. This is the man we are celebrating today.
MURIC gives FG a pat in the back for recognizing this day
and for declaring a public holiday to mark it. But this is not enough. FG must
do something more pragmatic and more tangible to mark the occasion. Just as
Prophet Muhammad was a champion of justice and liberty, we call on FG to
demonstrate those great principles of fairness and equity by setting free all
men and women who are languishing in Nigerian jails for no just cause.
Top on the list are
the 54 soldiers who were imprisoned for refusing to fight Boko Haram insurgents
with poor weapons. These 54 soldiers are the true heroes who exposed the $2.1
billion arms fraud. Next are thousands of awaiting trial inmates in Nigerian
prisons all over the country. The Nigerian House of Representatives revealed
last month (November 2016) that two thirds of the inmates of Nigerian prisons
are awaiting trial. This is not only alarming but also disheartening. It makes
a mockery of our system.
We are not unaware
that Nigerians are praying fervently for their country yet we continue to go
from bad to worse and from the frying pan into the fire. It seems all our
prayers are in vain. We warn that the prayers of Nigerians from the churches
and mosques are being blocked by the curses of the oppressed and the wailings
of innocent ones held in prisons under severely inhuman conditions.
How can our prayers be answered when we are so wicked to
our fellowmen? How can our prayers be answered when thousands of innocent men
and women are in chains?
In conclusion, MURIC charges FG to immediately set the
machinery in motion for a massive and radical decongestion of prisons. Let the
innocent inmates go. Set our people free. Let the 54 soldiers go home to their
families and loved ones. They are heroes, not criminals. They are patriots, not
rebels. Purify the land and see what Allah will do for Nigeria.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)