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'
Nigeria is marking its 58th independence
anniversary today, Monday 1st October, 2018. As usual, the Federal
Government (FG) has declared the day a public holiday.
In its Independence Day Message, the Muslim Rights Concern
(MURIC) has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari for his many achievements
in spite of daunting challenges. In particular, the Islamic human rights organization
hailed the president for displaying incomparable maturity and unequalled statesmanship
in steering the ship of the nation.
The message which was signed by the group’s director and
founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, identified the successful prosecution of the
war against corruption, the prudent management of the country’s scarce
resources, the technical defeat of Boko Haram insurgents, the unprecedented overcoming
of recession within one year, the tactical downsizing of the Biafra agitation, the
diversification of the economy, the aggressive provision of infrastructural
facilities across the nation like the second Niger Bridge, road and rail networks,
etc as areas of visible achievements of the president.
MURIC also cited the indiscriminate release of funds to all
states even when some governors remained irrationally hostile and erratic as
indisputable manifestation of magnanimity by the president. In particular, the executive
order directing the Nigerian Police to suspend criminal charges against the
opposition’s gubernatorial candidate, Ademola Adeleke, was another indubitable manifestation
The Islamic human rights organization reminded Nigerian
politicians that corruption is the bane of the country’s progress. It lamented
that corruption made Nigerian roads the best death traps in Africa, turned the hospitals
into public mortuaries, removed the glamour in education and nearly strangulated
“As we prepare for the 2019 elections, therefore, all the
political parties must steer clear of corrupt politicians. The battle cry
should be ‘total war on corruption’. The Nigerian electorate must distance
themselves from stomach infrastructure politicians who will feed them for only
one day to make them hungry for four whole years.
“The onus is on civil society and the Nigerian press to
educate voters. Nigerians should be taught how to become fishermen catching
fish by themselves instead of hungry villagers waiting for crumbs from the
tables of politicians. We must make our 58 years of independence more
meaningful by setting ourselves free from political charlatans.
“Politicians who hold the whole nation to ransom for their
selfish interests; those who arrogate to themselves all the milk and honey in
the land while the jamaheer continue to suffer; those who pay themselves N29
million per month for sleeping during National Assembly (NASS) sessions while the
proletariat cannot get a dignifying minimum wage; those who delay the country’s
budget for seven months and those who deduct huge sums from the allocations of
critical areas of infrastructure to add to their phony constituency projects
are not fit to represent the Nigerian people, talk less of leading them.
“In summary, the focus
in the 2019 election should be the emergence of a new, reformed NASS. It must
be a NASS that is totally committed to the war against corruption. At both
state and national levels, Nigerians should choose tested, trusted and credible
leaders. We charge the youth to emancipate themselves from the shackles of
laziness, indolence and corruption. There is nothing to emulate in emergency politicians
and opportunists whose only credentials are F9 parallel, the flair for criminal
propensity, a nuisance value and a godfather of armed robbers.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) recently conducted
nationwide recruitment exercise for which applicants were requested to appear
in white shorts, white round neck T-shirts, canvass
Reacting to the development,
the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described it as a deliberate exercise in
religious marginalization, economic deprivation and undisguised discrimination
against Muslim women.
MURIC’s reaction was
contained in a press statement signed by its director and founder, Professor
Ishaq Akintola on Thursday, 26th September, 2018.
The Islamic human
rights organization wondered why FRSC would issue a directive which is designed
to exclude a section of Nigerian citizens. Akintola said, “The whole world
knows that Muslim women do not wear shorts. It is therefore strange to hear the
FRSC requesting applicants of both sexes to appear in shorts. FRSC is a federal
road safety concern and its recruitment exercise should be inclusive.
“Or is FRSC telling us
that it only recognizes Christian women alone? Is FRSC telling us that it
cannot tolerate the sight of Muslim women? Is this federal agency only
interested in giving jobs to Christian women to the disadvantage of their
Muslim counterparts? Is FRSC unaware of the economic implication of this among
the Nigerian Muslim population? Is this not a deliberate attempt to empower
Christians and continuously impoverish Muslims?
“We believe it is a
deliberate attempt to exclude Muslims. We are disappointed that FRSC has joined
the clique of anti-Muslim institutions that claim secularism in order to shortchange
Muslims. Muslims are being shut out of the economy of this country. Muslims are
being dragged to the bottom of the pyramid of poverty in Nigeria. Instructions which
make it impossible for Muslims to participate in nation-building are being
rolled out on a daily basis in public and private sectors.
“We remind FRSC that the
marginalization of any section of the Nigerian population by any agency is a
violation of Section 14(4) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
which stipulates that “The composition of the Government of the Federation, a
State, a local government council, or any of the agencies of such Government or
council, and the conduct of the affairs of the Government or council or such
agencies shall be carried out in such manner as to recognise the diversity of
the people within its area of authority and the need to promote a sense of
belonging and loyalty among all the people of the Federation”
“MURIC therefore rejects
the FRSC recruitment exercise for failing to recognize the diversity of our population.
It is illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional to issue directives which are
designed to exclude any section of the country. The exercise can best be
described as incomplete, sectional and discriminatory.
“To complete the
exercise, FRSC authorities must give Muslim women their own opportunity to
participate. A new date must be fixed for the recruitment of Muslim women in
the next few weeks. Nigeria belongs to us all. MURIC will not fold its hands
while our common patrimony is shared out among Christians alone.
“We advise FRSC and
all uniformed formations to take note of this observation in order to correct
the anomaly in future exercises. Marginalisation is the oil which lubricates the
engines of bitterness, animosity and rancour in any heterougeneous community
like Nigeria. Part of the problems facing Nigeria today is the failure of public
institutions and agencies to accept and fully integrate Muslims into the
system. Most institutions assume that the anti-Muslim system bequeathed by the
colonial master is the ideal thing. They never bother to look around to know if
it is all-inclusive”.
MURIC also has a message
for Muslim women. “We charge Muslim women all over the country to rise to the
occasion. Demand your Allah-given fundamental human rights and that includes
the right to employment, right to decent living and right to the dignity of
your human person. Nobody under the sun has the right to ask you to expose your
body. The Glorious Qur’an affirms that Allah Himself created mankind with
dignity. (Qur’an 17:70). Why then should you allow anyone to deprive you of
your Allah-endowed dignity?
urge the Federation of Muslim Women Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) to sensitise
and mobilize Muslim women across the country for the coming struggle which is
aimed at emancipating Nigerian Muslim women from the clutches of
neo-imperialists. Freedom is never offered on a platter of gold. It is no
longer fashionable to be docile.
Qur’an asserts, ‘Why should you not rise in the cause of Allah to defend men, women and
children who are oppressed due to their weakness? The weak ones cry out, “Our
Lord! rescue us from this city (Nigeria?) whose people are oppressors; and
raise for us from Thee one who will protect us, and send to us a helper!” (Qur’an4:75-76).
“If you dare to
struggle, you will dare to win. Muslim women in Nigeria must keep their eyes
open. They must adopt ‘discrimination against one is discrimination against all’
as a motto. The Nigerian Muslim woman has become an endangered specie and this
is the only way she can be defended because the authorities never show any
concern for their freedom. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
“On a last note, MURIC
demands a special recruitment exercise designed for Muslim women to be
conducted by FRSC in the next few weeks. We advise the federal agency to
consult FOMWAN on the modalities.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The gubernatorial election
which was held in Osun State on Saturday 22nd September, 2018 was
declared inconclusive and a new date, Thursday 27th September, 2018
has been fixed for a re-run.
According to the Muslim
Rights Concern (MURIC) in a press statement issued on Tuesday, 25th
September, 2018 and signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, its
office has been inundated with complaints from its members in Osun state who
fear a raw deal in the event of Senator Adeleke emerging winner after the
“Our members are
apprehensive. There is this information that Senator Adeleke pledged to return
mission schools to their owners if he becomes governor of Osun. We don’t peddle
rumour. We are therefore using this medium to ascertain the veracity of the
report. The distinguished senator has ample time to issue a disclaimer now.
“The question is very
simple, did you promise to return mission schools to their owners? The
implications are very serious when considered against the background of the
running battle over the mission schools between the Christians and Muslims in
the state in the past eight years.
“To assure Nigerians that
this is not just a conjecture of MURIC or our concern alone, the Muslim Community
of Osun State had earlier raised the alarm on this matter. In a widely publicized
press conference of 8th September, 2018, the president, Osun State
Muslim Community, Alhaji Mustapha Olawuyi, said inter alia:
‘One of them has been using ‘return of schools to missionaries
as one of his campaign promises. We are aware that this is a gimmick to swindle
the public. You can’t return the property that belongs to all of us to a
mission just because such schools bear mission names. We are all aware of
massive investments of public fund in these schools after it had been taken
over soon after independence with full compensation. We have told him to forget
it. Even if he has a pact with any group, it won’t fly. Any politician that
tries it will regret it.’
“As far as MURIC is concerned, we see a big threat to
religious freedom for Muslims if a candidate has entered into a pact with
Christians leaders to return schools to the missions. If Adeleke has a pact
with Christian leaders, what agreement does he have with the Muslims? He may be
taking Osun Muslims for a ride. He has to explain.
“He was only known as Senator Ademola Adeleke prior to his
emergence as candidate but suddenly he became ‘Nurudeen’. Our strong suspicion
is that this ‘Nurudeen’ converted to Christianity a long time ago but he now
finds it mandatory to portray himself as a Muslim in order to deceive gullible
Muslims. He appeared on Id ground during Salah. But that should not surprise
anyone because even Fayose attended Salah prayer wearing a turban. But why must
politicians deceive Muslims this way? We charge Senator Adeleke to elucidate on
“A second poser to which the distinguished senator must
respond before the re-run on Thursday is the repression of Muslim students in
Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State. MURIC has petitions from Muslim students
in the institution. They complain of religious discrimination, forceful
attendance of church services and refusal to allow them to worship as Muslims.
“Our question to Senator Adeleke on this is also very simple.
Distinguished Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria sir, what is your
connection with Adeleke University? We are aware that Dr. Deji Adeleke who
happens to be the senator’s brother, is the Pro-Chancellor of the institution.
“Given the passion with which members of the Adeleke family
have thrown their weight behind the senator’s political ambition, can the
distinguished senator separate his policies on education as a prospective governor
of Osun State from that of the university? Are Muslims in the state not going
to come under the sledge hammer just as Muslim students are facing persecution
in Adeleke University?”
MURIC also raised issues on the hijab affair. “The road to
freedom to use hijab in public schools was rough and hard. We doubt if Muslims
in the state will be ready to tolerate a reverse in case an anti-Muslim
governor emerges winner. The president of Osun State Muslim Community expatiated
‘Again, this is a back door approach to banish hijab from public
schools. We have seen hate and lack of religious tolerance displayed in the
Adeleke University Ede and the Bowen University in Iwo. And as the majority
group in Osun, we will not fold our hands and allow that happen in our schools.
It will be resisted with full force. We just fought for hijab for three years,
so anyone who intends to mitigate our rights or oppress us should forget his
ambition to become a governor in this state. In Osun State, we are aware of our
rights and we have enlightened populace.’
If it is true that a pledge was made to return schools to
the missionaries, then religion has been introduced into the politics of Osun
state. Therefore, nobody should tell MURIC not to intervene in the politics of
Osun state. This is not about supporting any political party. Our members are
spread across all the political parties but our interest lies in the protection
of the Allah-given fundamental rights of Muslims.
To round off, we implore the distinguished senator to expatiate
upon the issues raised above and allow the Osun electorate to decide the rest.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has kicked against the
action of Mrs. J.O. Sadare, principal of Isolo Senior Secondary School who
suspended five female Muslim students on Friday 13th September, 2018
for wearing hijab. MURIC described the principal’s action as overzealous,
infantile and condescending.
MURIC’s reaction is contained in a press statement signed
by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 24th
September, 2018. According to the human rights organization, Mrs. Shadare’s
action is a manifestation of acrobatic religiousity.
“It is now clear to everyone that some Lagos teachers have their
anti-Muslim agenda. They just hate the sight of Muslims. We have no iota of
doubt that the state government is unaware of the actions of these Muslim
haters. The sad thing is that such teachers are tarnishing the image of the
state government by their actions. It is quite disappointing that when the
whole world is trying to ecourage the girl child to realize her full potential,
some Lagos teachers are bent on retarding her progress by sending her out of
school. We therefore call on Lagos State Government to protect the Muslim girl
“Like Leah Sharibu and the Chibok girls, female Muslim
students in Lagos are in captivity. They are not free to ‘manifest’ their faith
as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Their
parents watch helplessly as their daughters are derobed and molested in public.
There have been instances when Christian teachers go to the extent of beating
up female Muslim students in hijab inside commercial vehicles and on the
streets. The Muslim girl child is now an endangered specie in Lagos State
schools as a result of the refusal of the state government to obey the order of
a higher court.
“Apart from the Isolo incident, there have been six
different instances where Allah-given fundamental rights of female Muslim students
were violated in Lagos schools. All the six instances occurred in 2017 alone.
This is apart from those reported earlier and those that were not reported. We
have the names of the teachers involved in the six cases. We also know their
schools. The records are in the cooler for appropriate legal action at a future
“Those claiming that there is religious tolerance in the
South West can now see the fallacy in that claim. The reality is that Muslims
are at the receiving end and the peace of the graveyard which the region is
enjoying now is due to the uncommon resilience and astounding forbearance of
“It is true to some extent that Christians and Muslims live
together peacefully in Yorubaland. They even live in the same houses without
fighting. But that is only because they know one another individually. A
different scenario plays itself out when they face religious matters in their
communities or in their states. Christians bitterly oppose the requests of
Muslims and they flagrantly violate the rights of the latter.
“The same Christian neighbour or fellow tenant who plays
and jokes with his Muslim co-tenant is the same man who will snatch the hijab
of a female Muslim student from her head when he gets to the school where he is
a teacher. He is the same man who will vehemently and viciously attack the idea
of Islamic banking or disallow the Muslim staff under him from going for Jum’ah
“Analysed further, this means that the perceived friendship
and tolerance among Christians and Muslims in the South West exist only among
individuals who know themselves but there is bitter enemity on institutional
matters. It is only on the surface. There is a wide gulf between them when
issues affect Muslims generally. Examples are the hijab affair, the Friday
question, Islamic banking, Shari’ah, etc.
“The reaction of Christians in the State of Osun when the
state government approved the use of hijab in public schools after a court of
competent jurisdiction ruled in favour of hijab is a good example. The state
branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) ordered Christian students
to wear church garments like choir dresses to school. There was pandemonium. It
is therefore our considered opinion that the South West is sitting on a keg of
gunpowder for so long as Muslims are denied their civil rights.
“The best advice we can give Lagos State now is to allow
sleeping dogs to lie. Stop stirring the hornet’s nest. Let the Muslims go. The
issue of hijab in particular has gone viral. It is now a matter of serious international
concern. Advanced democracies of the world like Britain, Germany and the United
States allow Muslims to use it in school. In the South West, Osun, Ekiti, Oyo
and Ogun have approved it. It remains Lagos and Ondo alone. What is the ‘center
of excellence’ waiting for? Should the ‘center of excellence’ be the last to
dish out a dividend of democracy?
“As we round up, we warn teachers and principals not to
export their religious gymnastics to public schools. Lagos State government
should respect the decision of the Court of Appeal. That is the path of
honour.Lagos as the center of
excellence should walk its talk. Lagos has a moral duty
to protect the Muslim girl child. It is the only path towards peaceful coexistence.
Lagos authorities should not wait until Muslim students and
their parents mobilize to schools where their daughters are abused, stigmatized
and traumatized. The continuous harassment of the Muslim girl child over hijab
is a serious threat to public peace, a cog in the wheel of democracy, a drag on
global best practices and a dent on the efforts of the state government to
engender religious harmony”.
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)