Thursday, June 28, 2018
28th June, 2018
RECOGNIZE FARMERS AND ANIMAL RIGHTS TO FORSTER PEACE
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has strongly condemned the massacre of 86 people in Barkin Ladi Local Government of Plateau State which occurred on Tuesday 26th June, 2018.
Though the group acknowledged the fact that the killings have been blamed on unscrupulous and disenchanted politicians, it said that it was unacceptable. “It is brutish, barbaric and inhuman. There can be no justification for such merciless brulality. We frown on the killing and rustling of cows, including all acts of cruelty to animals. In like manner, we find the destruction of farmers’ crops unacceptable, wicked and provocative.”
In a statement made available to our correspondent and signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC said there had been several complaints from time immemorial of the destruction of crops, cattle rustling and cruel attacks on cattle leading to wasteful death and injuries on the animals. It said herdsmen sometimes react to these hostilities by attacking those responsible for them. Some communities retaliate by killing the herdsmen.
The human rights organization said it focused its attention “on two of the usual casus belli of these recurring calamities, namely, the destruction of farmers’ crops and the ignorance of the average Nigerian regarding the denial of Allah-given fundamental rights of the animal kingdom in particular and the whole of nature in general.”
MURIC lamented that “Nigerian farmers have for long been complaining that herdsmen were destroying their crops. Their complaints have hitherto gone unheeded. This is very unfortunate because it seems successive regimes have failed to realize the implications. Destruction of crops by grazing cattle is a potential harbinger of scarcity of food. This may lead to sharp rise in the prices of food items and the attendant hunger and starvation particularly among the poor.”
Going further, the Islamic group said, “Nigerians are used to hearing of the fundamental rights of human beings but only a few are aware, not alone recognize the rights of animals and other forces of nature. This failure has often led to disasters of various types. Exampli gratia, flooding and the concomitant loss of lives and destruction of properties worth billions of naira are often caused by man’s disregard for the right of water to flow freely in its ordained path. This happens when we carelessly obstruct waterways with buildings or when we fill drainage with waste.
“Unknown to many, Islam has provided teachings on the relationship between man and other forces of the environment like rivers, forests, trees and animals. The Glorious Qur’an reminds us that birds and animals also form their own communities like us and that nothing has been omitted from its records (Qur’an 6:38; 16:5 – 9). It reveals Allah’s magnanimity in creating all the natural resources necessary for human survival (Qur’an 16:10 – 11) and exhorts mankind to use forest resources judiciously (Qur’an 12:47).
“The Glorious Qur’an also affirms that nature exists for the purpose of serving mankind. Qur’an 16:66 – 68 describes the animal kingdom and their various utility values to man. But at the same time it disapproves of all forms of disservice to nature (Qur’an 7:56), e.g. dumping waste to block the path of a flowing river or stream. Islam therefore regards the animal kingdom as a community which must be nurtured and preserved. The destruction of crops is equally retrogressive just as it is an attack on nature.
MURIC therefore contends that man is the custodian of nature by virtue of his being the vicegerent of Allah on earth. The custodian will be doing a disservice when he wilfully destroys any part of the environment. Akintola argued that this fact is clearly exemplified in the creation of Adam (peace be upon him Qur’an 2:30) and it is further demonstrated with the example of Noah who was instructed to put each pair of animals in his ark (Qur’an 11:40) for the survival of the animal kingdom.
Advocating kindness to animals and other forces of nature, the director said, “We assert that the custodian of nature must care for it since he benefits from it as well. This is why attacks on animals and the destruction of crops must be condemned by all right thinking Nigerians. It is criminalized in other climes and considered uncultured. Islamic eschatological teachings hold that man is accountable to Allah who made all animals subservient to man. He will be rewarded or punished yawm al-Qiyamah (on the Day of Judgement) depending on how he treats the forces of nature while on earth.
“Examples of this abound in stories from the hadith. A woman entered hell for tying down a cat and refusing to feed it, yet she did not set it free to fend for itself (Bukhari (54:15). Allah forgave a prostitute just because she gave water to a thirsty dog by tying her shoe to her scarf and fetching water for the dog from a well (Bukhari 54:16).
“Such stories teach mankind kindness to animals. Prophet Muhammad even said, ‘If you must kill an animal, kill without torture’ (An-Nawawi). The Prophet (SAW) forbade the practice whereby animals are incited to fight each other for the enjoyment of human beings (Bukhari and Muslim).”
Akintola also cited portions of the Bible which promote good treatment of animals. “We jog the minds of Christendom in Nigeria regarding biblical teachings on man and his environment, particularly animal species. Genesis 1:28 lays emphasis on man’s dominion over nature while the Book of Isaiah teaches man to allow animals to graze.
“It says, ‘The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them (the herdsman?). And the cow and the bear shall feed, their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den’” (Isaiah 11:6 – 8). See also Levticus 19:23 – 24; Deutronomy 22:6 – 7.
MURIC submitted that wildlife population will thrive if both Christians and Muslims follow the teachings in their scriptures and show kindness to animals. “Whatever form of hatred we feel for the owners or the herdsmen,” Akintola maintained, “cattle rustling, killing and maiming of cows are grievous acts of wickedness to the animal kingdom.”
MURIC also frowned on states which has rejected cattle ranching, saying, “Rejection of ranching is denial of animal rights and such denial can be compared to plotting the extinction of the animal kingdom. Yet we may be cutting our noses to spite our faces when we endanger the lives of animals unduly because man is an integral part of nature and nature is interdependent. For so long as we enjoy the milk and beef which come from cattle, a sense of appreciation combined with self-preservation should propel us towards caring for them.”
MURIC therefore called on governments at various levels to strentghen the existing laws on cruelty to animals. “We charge environmental agencies like the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) to step up their enlightenment programmes and to prevail on the Nigerian authorities to give teeth to laws protecting animals from torture, maltreatment and extinction. In the same vein, governments at various levels should criminalise the destruction of crops. The National Assembly should be able to enact laws to this effect.
“On a last note, we appeal to Nigerians to change their attitude to animals, to stop all acts of wickedness towards them and to do everything possible for their preservation. Herdsmen are advised to respect human life and to desist from destroying farmers’ crops.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Wednesday, June 27, 2018
FULANI THREAT OF WAR IS FAKE
This is very urgent please.
MURIC cautions Nigerians about a false statement being circulated today Wednesday 27th June, 2018 purportedly from the Fulani National Movement (FUNAM) and dated 25/6/18.
The statement which was signed by Badu Salisu Ahmadu and Umar Amir Shehu made sweeping and alarming claims and threats against perceived enemies of the Fulani people.
MURIC can confirm that the statement is fake. FUNAM president has just refuted the statement in a radio program in Abuja.
Please disregard this highly explosive statement. It is one of the handiworks of enemies of the Nigerian state. It is another proof that disgruntled politicians, looters under trial and their agents are fueling the killings in different parts of Nigeria.
We urge all citizens to remain calm and law abiding. We advise citizens to go about their normal businesses.
Nigeria shall overcome by the Grace of Allah.
Please share this message in order to give it very wide circulation.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern
Sunday, June 24, 2018
25th June, 2018
CHRISTIAN ELDERS FORUM RELIVING DON QUIXOTE - MURIC
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has compared the National Christian Elders Forum (NCEF) to Don Quixote, Don Quixote, a legendary knight who fought imaginary foes on a non-existent battle field. Don Quixote was the creation of Miguel de Cervantes in his novel entitled Don Quixote which was published in two parts in 1605 and 1615.
It will be recalled that NCEF, under the chairmanship of Solomon Asemota SAN, made several allegations at a press conference held in Abuja on Friday 22nd June, 2018.
The group accused the Buhari administration of embarking on stealth jihad because all its June 12 awardees (Chief M. K. O. Abiola, Baba Gana Kingibe and Chief Gani Fawehinmi) were Muslims “ostensibly to swell the ranks of Muslims in the roll call of these awards.”
NCEF also alleged that “EFCC is becoming the prosecuting arm of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI)”; that “the 1975 coup (and other preceding coups), were jihad, promoted for the Islamization of Nigeria for Sharia to replace democracy”; that “the current Federal Government in Nigeria is openly pursuing an anti-Christian agenda that has resulted in countless murders of Christians…” and that “The present generation of Christians in Nigeria may cease to exist in 25 years from now (2043), beginning from 2018” due to incessant killings.
But in a reaction signed by the director of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC held that it could not resist laughing at these allegations. “They are all baseless, unfounded and ridiculous. They exist only in the figment of NCEF’s imagination. These allegations are symptomatic of intellectual poverty and desertification of thinking faculty. NCEF is reliving Don Quixote. MURIC is laughing in Latin.”
Continuing, the Islamic human rights organization said, “We are constrained to ask if we need to conduct an all-encompassing examination of medical fitness for religious leaders in Nigeria. How can anyone just jump to the conclusion that the present administration which merely yielded to persistent agitations over the June 12 saga was engaging in jihad because all the June 12 awardees are Muslims.
“NCEF has deliberately and most wickedly twisted a coincidence to whip up gymnastic religiousity. The group also goofed by saying that Abiola was not a Sunni Muslim. How much of Abiola’s Islam do they know? This claim amounts to desecration of the dead.”
MURIC pointedly denied any connection between JNI and EFCC. “How could there be a connection between the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) and EFCC?” It querried. “Was it not Obasanjo who established the EFCC? The last time we checked, Obasanjo had not made up his mind to become a Muslim. NCEF’s imagination is running wild. Nigerians should not be surprised if by tomorrow NCEF claims that the Saudi king is plotting to become the next American president in order to Islamise the whole West.
“If Nigerian Muslims have never claimed that the January 15, 1966 coup was an attempt at Christianising the country, how can NCEF, in its rational moment (which of course is very rare), claim that the 1975 coup was a jihad?”
Akintola argued that facts on ground also rubbish NCEF’s allegation that the Buhari administration is pursuing an anti-Christian agenda. According to him, “Christians have more cabinet positions in this regime. Christians and Muslims have 18 ministers each but both the Secretary to the Government of the Federation as well as the Head of Service are Christians. This gives Christians 20 positions while Muslims remain 18. Yet Muslims have not started complaining. NCEF needs to check its mathematical expertise. 18 cannot be higher than 20. NCEF’s vituperations are portraying Nigerian Christians in bad light and that is to say the least.”
The Islamic group also contends that the large number of Muslim casualties in the ongoing killings has belied NCEF’s claim of the killing of Christians. “It has been established beyond any reasonable doubt that more Muslims have fallen victims and the number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) which has risen above 1.5 million Muslims has further cemented this position. Therefore, NCEF is merely crying wolf where none exists with its allegation that the present generation of Christians in Nigeria may cease to exist in 25 years from now.
“One of the most wicked claims of NCEF is that only Christians are being haunted and jailed by EFCC. Col. Sambo Dasuki has been in detention for almost three years. Did NCEF hear of any claim from JNI or from the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) that a Muslim is being persecuted? What of the former governors of Niger and Jigawa states? Are they not Muslims and have they not fallen under EFCC axe?
“These allegations are as ridiculous as saying that Buhari is Islamising the Green Eagles and that was why he strategically placed Ahmed Musa in Iceland’s eighteen to score two goals for Nigeria in the ongoing World Cup in Russia. NCEF pontifications can also be likened to declaring that although his predecessor returned a meager N50 million in seven years, Professor Ishaq Oloyede as JAMB registrar returned a mind-boggling N7.8 billion naira to the Federal Government (FG) in order to Islamise the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB). Not to be left out of the Islamisation race, Hameed Ali fetched FG a record N1 trillion from Customs in 2017 alone.”
MURIC said it could not help wondering why NCEF must demonise performers. “Why must excellence be sacrificed on the altar of mediocrity? Who stopped Obasanjo from Christianising Nigeria by giving us light instead of darkness for our $26 billion? Why didn’t Jonathan Christianise this country by treating stealing as corruption?”
Akintola maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari, Professor Ishaq Oloyede and Hameed Ali have become reference points in integrity. “Religion and other sentiments apart, Nigerians see them as models. These three men have set standards, not for religion or for Muslims alone, but for all Nigerians and their successors will have a moral burden on their consciences if they perform below them particularly in the areas of probity and accountability.”
MURIC blamed Christian elders forum for yielding to perception. “Apart from deliberate mischief, perception appears to be NCEF’s major undoing, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) therefore needs urgent re-engineering of the perception of its flock. In particular CAN should fumigate its immediate environment in order to rid it of this notorious NCEF Islamisation virus. CAN should also beware of dissidence in the body of Christ in Nigeria as we suspect open rebellion in NCEF’s statement. CAN is therefore advised to call NCEF to order.
“As we round off, MURIC urges NCEF to allow excellence to determine rewards, not mediocrity. We should let integrity supplant mediocrity as the criterion and accept credibility as the yardstick instead of ethnicity while antecedence replaces religion and all other primordial sentiments. We should liberalise our thinking, Nigerianise our orientation and stop seeing religious colouring in everything. As at today, NCEF is living in the land of fantasy with its quixotic disposition. The earlier it faces reality, the better.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)