Monday, June 30, 2014


 30th June, 2014


Boko Haram insurgents yesterday ravaged three churches in villages near Chibok killing about 30 people. The villages attacked included Kautikari, Nasarawa, Gwaradina and Kwadake.


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly denounces this attack. Coming on the second day of the Ramadan fasting, we are constrained to conclude that this attack is an infringement on the rules of Ramadan which requires Muslims to pursue a robust spiritual programme involving supplications, glorification of Allah and enlightenment during the holy month.


Here lies further proof that Boko Haram is Haram. For whereas Islam teaches the halting of hostilities in Ramadan, Boko Haram chooses the same Ramadan to kill with reckless abandon; while Islam teaches the pursuance of education by both sexes from childhood to old age, Boko Haram forbids education for the girl-child; while Islam teaches peaceful coexistence, Boko Haram pursues a barbaric agenda of killing and maiming.


MURIC charges the Nigerian authorities to demonstrate commitment to the war against insurgents. We expect Nigerian soldiers to have studied the tactics adopted by the insurgents by now and to have evolved ways and means of truncating their gimmicks.    


At the same time, the Federal Government must start considering a round-table with the insurgents. This is a group that cannot build but it is capable of destroying. Wise counsel dictates that the Federal Government must stoop to conquer. Too many lives are lost on daily basis. The authorities should find ways of placating Boko Haram soonest in order to bring peace to the North East.


There are offers on ground for this initiative. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo recently revealed that he was in contact with the insurgents but FG’s reaction to his offer was cold. A lawyer who is allegedly close to the group, Hajiya Aisha Wakil, reported last week that Boko Haram was seeking amnesty and that the group was ready to swap the 219 girls with 70 Boko Haram detainees. We are yet to hear any reaction from FG.


The ball is in President Jonathan’s court. We charge the president to be more proactive in these matters. Nigerians are waiting to hear his response to the offers on ground. It is escapist to claim that Obasanjo knows how to see the president. There are things FG can facilitate in such circumstances. Nigerians are not fools.


We are very eager to see peace returning to the North East, the president’s North East, because the whole country is Mr. President’s constituency. Fire in the North East is therefore fire on the president’s roof.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Saturday, June 28, 2014


28th June, 2014

The Nigerian military yesterday barred a plane waiting to ferry 278 Muslims to Saudi Arabia from taking off. The aircraft was to take Muslims to the Holy land in order to perform ‘Umrah (Lesser Hajj). The military’s action also affected another aircraft chartered by a serving senator for the purpose of ferrying Muslims sponsored by him to Saudi Arabia to perform ‘Umrah.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) considers this as an unnecessary flexing of muscles. For now, we will stop short of calling it an hostile act calculated to cause logistic and psychological dislocation to innocent and harmless Muslims who were merely going to perform a religious duty.

The military’s action has succeeded in making Nigerian soldiers unpopular in an environment where they need the goodwill of the same victims of their high-handedness to defeat insurgents.

It is one of the worst miscalculations in human relations committed by the Nigerian Army in Boko-Haram-infested North Eastern Nigeria. Many questions remain unanswered from this action.

Exempli gratia, is the army being used as a tool for embarrassing Muslims and truncating efforts aimed at achieving spiritual fulfilment? Who gave the order to stop the plane from taking off and why? Is it another ‘order from above’? Is Aso Rock aware of this? Is this another anti-Muslim action of a Christian president and are we to expect more of such?

Tongues are wagging and Nigerian Muslims are already asking questions. MURIC therefore demands an explanation for this action from the military. We also expect some comments from the presidency.

Is Mr. President aware of this unpalatable development or not? Did Mr. President order Nigerian soldiers to disallow aircrafts taking Nigerian pilgrims to Saudi Arabia to perform a religious duty from flying?

MURIC reminds Nigerian authorities at all levels that the 1979 Nigerian constitution guarantees freedom of religion. We warn that those who strangulate religious freedom are merely creating tension.

It will be highly hypocritical for us to be talking about peace when we commit open rape on justice. We charge the relevant arms of the National Assembly to investigate this matter as a matter of urgency.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Friday, June 27, 2014



The Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, has urged Muslims to look out for the new moon of Ramadan on Friday.

The Secretary-General of the organisation, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, said in a statement that Friday, June 27, would be the 29th day of Sha’ban, 1435 A.H.

“To this effect, members of the National Moon Sighting Committee have been deployed with appropriate gadgets in various parts of the country for easy sighting of the new moon.

“However, other individuals, who are able to sight the new moon, are requested to contact, through appropriate authorities, any of the following: The President-General of NSCIA and the Sultan of Sokoto on 08036470422; the Deputy President-General (North) of the NSCIA and the Shehu of Borno , 08037855555, 08023549558; as well as the Secretary–General on 08034540120.

“Others are the Emir of Gwandu and all other Emirs, 08036154369; Lamido of Adamawa, 07056344449; the Etsu Nupe, 08039668707; the Otaru of Auchi, 08033892928; the Deputy Secretary-General (North) of NSCIA, Prof. Tijani El-Miskin, 08023577013; the Deputy Secretary-General (South) of NSCIA (Sheikh Adam Idoko) on 08036759892.

“They are also to contact the President of the League of Imams and Alfas in Yoruba Land and Chief Imam of Osogbo on 08035740333; the Baba Adini of Lagos, Sheikh Hafiz Abou, on 08037273382 and the Chairman, National Moon Sighting Committee, Dr Hafis Wali, on 08036009090 and 08023037478.”

Oloyede added, “Where the authorities are satisfied that the crescent has been duly sighted, the President-General and Sultan of Sokoto will announce the commencement of fast.

“However, if the crescent is not sighted on Friday, the Tarawih prayer should be observed on Saturday, the June 28 for the commencement of Ramadan on the June 29, whether or not it is sighted on that Saturday.”

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


26th June, 2014

The Nigerian military arrested four hundred and eighty six (486) travelers about one week ago on the way to the Eastern part of Nigeria. The authorities claimed ab initio that the arrested travelers were Boko Haram fighters.


The same authorities later claimed that they were travellers except one of them who was described as a notorious Boko Haram kingpin. Instead of setting the rest 485 travellers free, the army declared that they were not in a hurry to do so.        


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) decries this culture of impunity being exhibited by the Nigerian military. The constitution is constantly swept aside by the army while Allah-given and fundamental rights of the citizens are flagrantly violated.


We note with serious concern that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 guarantees Right to freedom of movement. Chapter IV, Section 41(1) says “Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit therefrom.”

We also remind the authorities of the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, particularly Article 4, Clause 1 & 2 which says, “Human beings are inviolable. Every human being shall be entitled to respect for his life and the integrity of his person.”

In spite of these clear provisions, innocent traders are being denied freedom of movement on account of their being Northerners and Muslims. This makes a mockery of our democracy and turns the rule of law in Nigeria into mere charade.


Ceteris paribus, democracy is expected to guaranty the liberty of the individual including freedom of movement from one part of the country to another without let or hinderance. But the reverse is the case in Nigeria of today.

MURIC is deeply worried that Muslims and Northerners are constantly at the receiving end of arbitrary arrest, harassment, intimidation and extra-judicial killing.

We warn that the arrest and continued detention of these Northern travelers is a very dangerous precedent. It also amounts to religious and ethnic profiling.

It is interesting to note that despite the fact that kidnapping is rampant in the South Eastern part of Nigeria, no trader of Eastern origin has been arrested or turned back from any of the Northern states on the suspicion of being a kidnapper. The arrest and continued detention of the Muslim travelers therefore constitute a potent threat to national unity.

MURIC calls for the immediate release of the travelers. In the alternative, they should be charged to a competent court if suspected of having committed any crime. We charge the Federal Government to call the army to order before it is too late.

We appeal to the Security Committees of both Senate and the House of Representatives to investigate these human rights abuses. We call the attention of the international community, particularly the United Nations Organisation to the constant stigmatization and victimization of Nigerian Muslims.  

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


The Muslim Congress
2ND National Essay Competition (1435/2014)


ELIGIBILITY: Muslim youth between the ages of 16 and 35 years.

SUBMISSION: The essay should not exceed 2000 words and must clearly indicate the name, sex, age, address, religion, state of origin, profession and contact phones of the entrant (writer).  The soft copy in PDF format should be sent to
DATE OF SUBMISSION: From 15th Ramadan - 14th Shawwal 1435 (13th July - 11th August 2014)
PRIZES: The best submission shall attract Star prizes as follows:

3RD POSITION – WASHING MACHINE                                                                  
Also, beautiful prizes await the next best ten entries.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


21st June, 2014

The gubernatorial election is being held in Ekiti State today under a coercive over-militarisation. It has been alleged that about 2, 860 mobile police officers and men, another 310 mobile policemen drawn from within the state, at least about 2,280 officers and men of the Nigerian Army, 1,800 agents of the State Security Service, 15,000 Civil Defence officers and men and 12,340 regular police are currently in Ekiti State. This brings the total number of security personnel in Ekiti for the purpose of the election to 36,590.

The Muslim Rights Concern is flabbergasted by this open invasion and flagrant display of Federal power. It is nothing short of Gestapo-style treatment. We strongly condemn this attempt at arm-twisting the liberty-loving and democracy-inclined people of Ekiti State into accepting doctored results of a gubernatorial election which the ruling party is hell-bent on turning into its favour.

Insiders know what happens when a military siege is laid on the electorate. We have little confidence in the outcome of such an election. People should be allowed to freely choose their favourite candidates but this cannot be possible if they are being intimidated by a superfluous presence of security agents who are armed to the teeth.

The fact that Governor Amaechi and other leaders of the APC were turned back by stern-looking soldiers when they attempted to join other party faithfuls in the last leg of campaigns in Ekiti speaks volumes about the intention of the ruling party and what it intends to use the security agents for.

We recall that President Jonathan and his vice were in the same state with a retinue of ministers to campaign for the Peoples’ Democratic Party. Why then is the Federal Government using soldiers and policemen to turn back governors and chieftains of the opposition party?

This is symptomatic of a serious lack of level playing ground for all. Ekiti State has been turned into an enlarged Animal Farm where ‘four legs may be good, but two legs better’.

MURIC faults the silence of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the face of these outrageous maneuvers. INEC as an impartial electoral referee should have spelled out the rules capable of ensuring free campaigns and an electoral environment devoid of Hitleric invasion.

For the records, the Jonathan administration will go down as the least tolerant to the opposition party in post-independence Nigeria.

Aircrafts ferrying members of the opposition are seized at will. Soldiers threaten to shoot governors. Policemen block the entrance to governors’ offices and compel them to make a detour. MURIC is constrained to conclude that Nigeria’s democracy in the present dispensation is a sham, a charade, a sheer hocus pocus.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

Friday, June 20, 2014


You are cordially invited to The Companion National Discourse holding as follows:

DATE:      Sunday, June 22, 2014

Venue:     University of Lagos Main Auditorium

Time: 10.30 am

Theme: Corruption and the Challenge of Good Governance in Nigeria

GUEST SPEAKER: MALAM NASIR EL-RUFAI (Former Minister of Federal Capital Territory)


18th June, 2014

Alhaji Abdul Azeez Arisekola Alao, the Aaare Musulumi of Yorubaland and Vice-President, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) for Southern Nigeria died today at the age of 69.


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is saddened by his departure from this world. He was a shining model for all and a leader of exemplary qualities.


Arisekola was a deeply religious man. He was a lover and promoter of peace. He was a philanthropist nulli secundus, a humanist primus inter pareil and a patriot numero uno.  He was kind to a fault and he was also a very pious man.


As a committed Muslim, he single-handedly funded the propagation of Islam in the whole South-West of Nigeria for several decades. As a philanthropist, his generousity knew no religious or ethnic bounds. He fed thousands on a daily basis without asking for anything in return. He was a true friend of the poor. He loved the city of Ibadan with immense passion, Oyo State with great zeal and Nigeria with an unusual patriotism.

Unlike many other wealthy Nigerians, he rose from a very poor background. With little education, he built a great business empire by dint of hardwork and transparency. His business acumen and fame started manifesting from the 50s.

The death of Aare Arisekola Alao has left a mighty lacuna which may be difficult to fill for a very long time.

MURIC commiserates with the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the NSCIA, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the Muslim Ummah of Nigeria and the Nigerian people at large. We pray that Almighty Allah will forgive Aare Arisekola, shower His Mercy on him and grant him Al-Jannah al-firdaus. We also pray that Allah will give his family the strength to bear this great loss.  

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)


13th June, 2014

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo declared yesterday that he could reach out to the violent Boko Haram sect over the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls by the sect. However, he regretted that the Federal Government was yet to give him the go ahead.


We consider this development as light at the end of the tunnel. We are however astonished that the Federal Government is yet to come to fully comprehend the far-reaching implications of the Chibok girls imbroglio. Time is running out fast.


While the Federal Government dilly dallied, another set of twenty women of Fulani extraction were kidnapped during the week in the same area. We remind the Federal Government that the primary responsibility of governments is the protection of lives and properties. The buck stops at the table of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.


We warn that this is not the time to play politics with a sensitive matter. In fact it is no longer a national issue. It has become a matter of international concern. Every other thing should therefore become secondary as far as this country is concerned. The kidnap of the Chibok girls should be at the pinnacle of all issues in government circles. It is nulli secundus.


The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) therefore calls on the Federal Government to give former President Olusegun Obasanjo the green light since he has established contact with the Boko Haram leadership. We commend the former president for taking the bull by the horn in spite of the great risk involved.


We call attention to the fact that this has happened in other climes. Ex-Presidents Jimmy Carter and George Bush of the United States have mediated in several crises around the world. So did former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the Ukrainian crisis.


It is also on record that this same ex-President Obasanjo has mediated in Sudan and many other countries. His pedigree should suffice for President Jonathan to repose some modicum of confidence in him regardless of their personal differences. This is a national cause and primordial sentiments must take the back seat. This is the time to exhibit statesmanship.


MURIC urges President Jonathan to expedite action on the matter now before it is too late. The Federal Government should be happy that it is an ex-president of Nigeria who has seized this initiative and not any of the former presidents of the United States or an ex-Prime Minister of Britain. It remains the pride of Nigeria if we are able to resolve this kidnap saga in-house. It will also be the pride of the African continent.


President Jonathan must also seriously consider the advice offered by the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubabakar III. The Sultan advised yesterday that the Federal Government should swap the kidnapped girls with Boko Haram prisoners before it is too late. MURIC fully supports this call.


MURIC appeals to Nigerians to intensify their prayers in churches, mosques, homes and other gatherings for the safe release of the kidnapped Chibok girls as well as their Fulani counterparts.


Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)



The piece below is an interview with a newspaper reporter. The interview was to have been published in yesterday’s publication of the newspaper (Sunday 8th June, 2014). Perhaps the reporter dropped it because he found it too hot. He therefore used the responses of other Islamic scholars whose views did not ‘offend’ his own sensibility.

1. What is the Islamic injunction on violence and killing in the name of God?

Islam forbids the killing of innocent people for whatever reason. Life is sacred in Islam. The Glorious Qur’an says, “…Allah has made life sacred, therefore do not kill except by legal right …” (6:151)

To further amplify the concept of the sacredness of life in Islam, the Glorious Qur’an compares the unjust killing of a single person to the killing of the whole of humanity. It says, “… If anyone slays a fellow human being except by legal right, it will be as if he has slain the whole of mankind; and if anyone saves the life of a single person, it will be as if he has saved all mankind …”

Furthermore, the Qur’an forbids aggression. Muslims must not be the first to start an attack. They are only permitted to repel attacks, “Fight those who fight you but do not transgress the limits because Allah does not love transgressors” (Qur’an 3:190-192).

The Qur’an also says “there is no compulsion in religion (Qur’an 2:256). This means that people should not be forced to embrace any religion including Islam.

Reminding Muslims that not everyone will become a Muslim, that they should therefore tolerate people of other faiths and that they should not take extreme positions over their differences with others, Allah says: “If your Lord had so wished, He could have made mankind one people” (Qur’an 11:118).

The Qur’an urges admonition, not intimidation and it affirms that Muslims should leave those who reject the message; they should not attempt to punish them but instead they should leave them for Allah, “Give admonition, for you are one to admonish. You are not one to compel mankind. As for those who reject your admonition, (leave them alone) Allah will punish them severely” (not you, Qur’an 88: 21-24).

Religious tolerance is advocated either when non-Muslims attempt to draw Muslims to their religion or when Muslims face people of other religions in dialogue, “Say, Oh you unbelievers, I will not worship what you worship. You also will not worship what I worship. Neither will I worship what you worship. For you be your religion and for me mine” (Qur’an 109:1 – 6).

Prophet Muhammad warned against violence. He said, “Beware of violence. You must be peaceful”. He also forbade Muslims from attacking people who are inside monasteries, churches and mosques.

2. What is the quality of teaching/preaching by Moslem clerics on peaceful co-existence and brotherliness and how do members understand the message?

The quality is high and it is repeated weekly but few Muslims have the opportunity of listening to it. This is because the teaching or preaching is done mainly on Fridays during the weekly Jumat service from about 1 – 2 pm. Unfortunately few Muslims are able to reach the mosque early enough to hear the sermon (khutbah) because they are in their workplaces.

Friday service in the mosque has two parts. The first part is the sermon and it lasts about 30 minutes. The second part is the salat or prayer per se. This lasts only a few minutes, between five and seven minutes.

In reality, 90% of those who attend the Friday service arrive late. Most mosques are virtually empty at the beginning of the service because Muslim workers are either still at work or they are on their way to the mosque.

This may be due to the distance between a Muslim’s place of work and the mosque or because permission is not given to him or her by the employer on time. Some Muslims are not even permitted at all to leave work for the mosque.

You see, Friday is not free like Sunday. Christian families go to church together on Sunday whereas Muslims do not have that luxury. Muslim families do not listen to the same sermon. The husband may be a civil servant in the ministry, the wife a teacher and the children are all in one school or the other. They have to go to different mosques.

This has very serious implications for moral upbringing within the family. Christian families do not experience this inconvenience. This is part of the issue when the Muslims talk about marginalization. Who feels it knows it.

Colonialism brought oppression and marginalization of Muslims and until these issues are addressed, the headache will remain. I addressed this matter as early as 1993 in my book entitled The Friday Question but people thought I was one extremist from another planet. It is interesting that even some Muslims do not know the implications.

By denying the Muslims workfree Friday, Nigerians are cutting their noses to spite their faces. How can Friday sermons on peaceful coexistence have any impact on Muslims if the same Muslims are unable to listen to the sermons simply because they are at work?

When the Muslims demanded workfree Friday, their detractors screamed blue murder. They said we wanted to Islamise Nigeria whereas they are the ones who have Christianised Nigeria and it has become institutionalized. But it has a price. Everything has a price. If you deny people the opportunity to be educated, you will pay the price one day.

3.  Does Islam encourage 'forced marriage' and human trafficking?

Islam forbids forced marriage and human trafficking. Any marriage conducted without meeting the four conditions stipulated by the Shari’ah is null and void and of no legal value. What are these four conditions?

One: Proposal and acceptance (i.e. the man must propose and the woman must accept or vice versa)

Two: A dowry (mahr) must be given by the man and collected by the woman. The dowry may be in cash or kind as agreed between the two.

Three: The parents must approve the marriage (parents from both sides).

Four: There must be witnesses.

On the matter of human trafficking, this is alien to Islam. Qur’an 49:13 affirms that all mankind are equal. It says Allah created us so that we may help one another and not to be cruel to one another. It is the fear Allah that makes a difference.


7th June, 2014

Nigerian soldiers descended on several media outposts on Friday morning confiscating and destroying copies of the Punch, Leadership and the Nation newspapers destined for the north and southern parts of the country.



Defending its action, the military claimed that intelligence indicated that materials with grave security implications were being moved across the country through newsprint related consignments.


We are miffed by this exhibition of crass impunity. This action by the military is a threat to democracy. The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) sees dark and dangerous days ahead as we approach the 2015 general elections.

The question is what is the military trying to hide? If they get away with this they will get away with anything. Civil society should rise today and challenge this assault on freedom of expression. Nobody can be free if the press is not free. As the Fourth Estate of the Realm, the press plays the vital role of defending democracy and civil liberties.

The press is the voice of the voiceless and the numero uno in the defence line of the citizenry. This latest attack is an attempt to stop the press from playing that role. It is a blatant rape on democracy.

By attacking media outfits and by seizing and destroying copies of newspapers, the military has employed brute force to infringe on the freedom of the press. The soldiers have also manifested gross disrespect for the rule of law.

The attack also exposes the hollowness of assurances about the military’s respect for democracy and its readiness to bow to civilian authority.

This operation has shown that the military institution is still neck-deep in disgust for civilized behavior and denial of civil liberties.

MURIC calls on the affected newspapers to challenge this action in court and to seek damages. We call on the people’s representatives in the National Assembly to probe this ugly incident immediately.

Above all, we charge the press to refuse to be intimidated. It is one of the hazards of the noble profession of journalism. The media must not bow to the barbaric onslaught of Babylon.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)