The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has called on the Federal Government of Nigeria (FG) to declare Tuesday 11th September, 2018 as a public holiday in recognition of the first day of the Islamic calendar for the year 1440 AH (i.e. 1st Muharram, 1440 After Hijrah).
In a reminder statement signed by the director of the human rights organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Thursday, 6th September, 2018, MURIC contended that FG has been giving Nigerian Christians their own 1st January while ignoring the Muslims’ 1st Muharram. This, according to the group, is not fair.
“1st January is from the Gregorian calendar and the latter is a product of gymnastic make-belief and historic hocus-pocus that the British Christian colonialists imposed on Nigerian Muslims. This was after forcefully supplanting the Islamic calendar which had been in use in this country for 800 years before the advent of the British. It provides ample evidence of religious segregation and spiritual apartheid.
“For the sake of microscopic clarity, MURIC is not asking for the cancelation of 1st January whether it is in honour of Janus the Roman god of gates or for Ogun the Yoruba god of iron. Neither are we asking because the Islamic hijrah calendar is divine (Qur’an 9:36; 2:189; 10:5 and 17:12). We have no intention of taking what belongs to the Christians from them. Let the Christians continue to enjoy what they have been enjoying but give the Muslims their own too. That is fairness. All we are saying: Give Us Hijrah Day!
“A mental calculation of the total number of holidays enjoyed in Nigeria shows that they are eight (8): Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Id al-Kabir, Id al-Fitr and Maulud an-Nabiyy. Five (5) of the eight holidays belong to Christians (Christmas Day, Boxing Day, 1st January, Good Friday and Easter Monday).
“Only three (3) holidays belong to Muslims, viz, Id al-Kabir, Id al-Fitr and Maulud an-Nabiyy. Five to three is a wide margin in a multi religious social contract. FG must work towards closing that gap in the interest of peace and harmony. Therefore, FG should give the Muslims 1st Muharram.This will bring the number of holidays to be enjoyed by Muslims to four while Christians still continue to enjoy five. Is this too much to ask?
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)