Wednesday, May 7, 2014


7th May, 2014

The insurgent group, Boko Haram, yesterday claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of about 273 girls of a government secondary school in Chibok, Borno State. The claim was made via a video clip in which the group’s leader, Shekau, threatened to sell off the girls. Another set of 8 girls has also been kidnapped in the same area this week.  


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and indeed the entire mainstream Muslim Ummah of Nigeria commiserate with parents of the abducted girls, the authorities of the affected school, the government and people of Borno State and the good people of Nigeria. We share the pain and the trauma of the past three weeks and pray that the nightmare will end in happiness for the victims and the rest of Nigerians.


MURIC hereby clearly, unambiguously and unequivocally declares the action of the renegades as categorically unacceptable. This criminal, inhuman, sadistic, archaic and barbaric act stands in contradistinction to the tenets of Islam regarding the treatment of the girl-child, women in general as well as the conduct of war.  


Islam promises the girl-child life, not death; hope, not frustration; liberty, not captivity. It was Islam which forbade the ancient and pernicious policy of burying female children alive (Qur’an 16:58-59; 81:8-9). The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) called men who are kind to women the best among men. He said, “The most perfect Muslims are the best in conduct and the best of you are the best in conduct to women.”


 He also said, “Whoever has a daughter and does not insult her but treats her equally with the male children, Allah will give him a place in paradise”. Where then did Boko Haram get its despicable doctrine which dishonours the girl-child?


The case of Boko Haram has become an interesting study in religious perversity. Islam teaches peaceful coexistence, Boko Haram insists on killing and maiming innocent people in the name of religion. Prophet Muhammad said, “Do not kill the monks in monasteries, and do not kill those sitting in places of worship” (Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal), Boko Haram kills people inside churches and mosques. Boko Haram has indeed become a social gangarene which must be burned out with hot iron.


MURIC charges the leadership of Boko Haram to retrace its steps. Our daughters cannot be held captive even under Shari’ah law talk less of selling them into slavery because our cities are not at war with Boko Haram. It is only the military who are engaging the insurgents.


Civilian targets are therefore haram for Boko Haram. It is even most cowardly to focus attacks on soft targets like women and little girls. It beats all rules of chivalry. Real men do not brutalize little girls. This is why the Prophet forbade the killing, hurting or harassment of women, little children and elderly people during wars.


We call on Muslims in the conflict areas and those in  neighbouring countries of Chad, Niger and Cameroon to resist any attempt to sell these innocent girls in their territory. Islam does not promote slavery, neither does it condon forceful marriage.  


We call on the Federal Government to leave the anti-kidnap protesters alone. Peaceful protest is a legitimate means of expressing dissent. Instead of chasing shadows, the Federal Government should harness its anti-terrorism arsenals and disburse them effectively.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Thursday, May 1, 2014


2nd May, 2014

Another bomb exploded in Nyanya, Abuja yesterday allegedly killing ten people and injuring about a dozen others. The bomb was reportedly triggered off from a white gulf car parked a few meters away from the scene of the first bomb which occurred two weeks ago.


We are shocked beyond words not only by the audacity of the perpetrators but also by the failure of our security apparatus. The fact that this second explosion occurred almost at the same spot with the first one accentuates the grave danger facing Nigerians in the hands of terrorists and the seeming helplessness of the security agencies.


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns this dastardly act. We are also constrained to conclude that we are all to blame for the deteriorating security situation in the country.


The Federal Government (FG) takes the lion share of the blame for monopolizing the security agencies (police, army, etc) without allowing state governments to create complementary outfits contrary to international best practices. The same FG details too many security agents around top government officials leaving too few to protect the jamaheer (poor masses).


But because security is a corporate responsibility, the citizenry must share the rest of the blame. The police and other security agencies alone cannot secure lives and properties.


Security is a joint enterprise. The citizens must compliment the efforts of the security agencies with readiness to provide information. They must also be on the tip-toes of alertness.


MURIC therefore charges every Nigerian citizen to take up his or her own share of the responsibility. Terrorists are not ghosts. Henceforth, unfamiliar faces who park vehicles in our neighbourhoods must be challenged whether they try to leave the vehicle or remain seated therein. We must quickly inform the police if they cannot give satisfactory explanation. The same applies to strangers who attempt to abandon bags and baggages particularly in public places.


The security agencies must build confidence in the citizens to ensure their cooperation. They must therefore roll out concrete and verifiable facts to the public instead of figments of imagination and fabricated security abracadabra.


On its own part, FG must be more transparent, sensitive and accountable. FG must be willing to delegate some modicum of responsibility for the maintenance of security to the states. It must take pragmatic steps towards accepting states as partners in the crucial task of ensuring security.


Posterity will not forgive members of the National Assembly and delegates in the ongoing national conference if they turn deaf ears to the agitation for the creation of state police.


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)