Sunday, November 22, 2020

LEVERAGE ON WORKFREE FRIDAY IN BENUE - MURIC

 

23rd November, 2020

 

PRESS RELEASE:

LEVERAGE ON WORKFREE FRIDAY IN BENUE - MURIC

      

The government of Benue State has approved Friday as a workfree day. This is one of the measures aimed at cushioning the effect of COVID-19 in the state. However, the measure is to run for three months only, from 6th November, 2020 to 29th January, 2021. This is to enable civil servants in the state to harvest their farm products during the period (https://www.akelicious.net/benue-state-govt-approves-fridays-as-work-free-day/)

 

 

In its reaction to the development, the Nigerian Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), which has been in the forefront of the campaign for a workfree Friday, has welcomed the three-month moratorium. MURIC described it as a half measure and a temporary relief for workers in Benue State. In addition, the group called on Northern governors and legislators to leverage on the directive by declaring workfree Friday throughout the year. MURIC’s observation came on Monday, 23rd November, 2020 through its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

 

According to MURIC, “The hypocrisy of Muslim-haters has been exposed by the action of the Benue State government. Our critics claim that there would be confusion if Friday is declared a workfree day. But a whole state has gone ahead to declare the day free and heaven has not fallen in Makurdi. Though the state government’s intention has nothing to do with allowing Muslims to worship, it has served as a reference point. What it implies is that a workfree Friday is possible if the political will is there.

 

 

“The onus is therefore on Northern governors and legislators to set the ball rolling. If the Benue State governor can issue a directive to declare Friday free for three months to promote a bumper harvest, Northern governors and legislators have every reason to leverage on that by introducing workfree Friday bills in their houses of assembly which the governors can pass into law.

 

 

“The freedom of Nigerian Muslims is in the hands of their political leaders. Nobody is going to set them free until they are ready to break the shackles with their own hands. What is good for agricultural bumper harvest is good for robust spiritual fulfilment. It is also a wakeup call for Muslim the youth to go into politics in large number. The destiny of nations is shaped by politicians. Muslims who fail to participate in politics will be ruled by politicians who hate Muslims.

 

 

“MURIC calls on Nigerian Muslims to open their eyes very wide. Muslim families are scattered like wild oats every Friday. The father is working in the office while the mother is teaching in a school at a distant location. The children are learning in separate schools. The Muslim family cannot attend the same mosque together on Friday. Meanwhile Christian families go to the same church together and listen to the same sermon on Saturday and Sunday. This situation has far-reaching effects on spiritual development.

 

 

“What MURIC is saying in essence is that Nigerian Muslims are seriously shortchanged in the system and there is need for redress. The Northern states where Muslims are in overwhelming majority must wake up to this reality. The Federal Government (FG) is not ready to listen even though we have been on this campaign since 1993 when the director of MURIC published his 135-page book

Entitled ‘The Friday Question’.

 

 

“It is also a potential area of interest whenever FG is ready for restructuring. The gross imbalance in the recognition of days of worship for Christians and Muslims must be addressed under restructuring. Those who are clamouring for restructuring should take note because restructuring must not be selective. It is supposed to address lopsidedness in all facets of the Nigerian life.

 

 

“A system that gives Christians two days (Saturday for Seventh Day Adventists and Sunday for other Christians) but gives nothing to the Muslims cannot be described as fair or just. It is a contravention of the law of natural justice. Two out of seven days per week for Christians and nothing for Muslims is grossly unfair. Mathematicians should put that together. It means Nigerian Christians are given 104 days out of 365 days of every year to worship their God. That is a whopping 28.57%! But the Muslims are given nothing. Yet our neighbours shout to high heaven that Nigeria is Islamised and the cry of ‘Islamisation’ rents the air.

 

“Islamisation my foot!”

 

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director, 
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

SUIT AGAINST ARABIC SIGN OF ACROBATIC RELIGIOUSITY

 

16th November, 2020

 

PRESS RELEASE:

SUIT AGAINST ARABIC SIGN OF ACROBATIC RELIGIOUSITY

      

The Nigerian Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has described the suit challenging the Arabic inscription on the Nigerian currency (naira) as acrobatic religiousity. MURIC made the assertion on Monday, 16th November, 2020 while responding to a suit filed by a Lagos-based lawyer, Malcolm Omirhobo. MURIC’s statement was issued by its director and founder, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

 

Omirhobo argued that the Arabic inscription on naira notes portray Nigeria as an Islamic state contrary to the country’s constitutional status of a secular state. The lawyer also filed a similar suit against the Nigerian Army seeking the removal of Arabic inscriptions from its logo. The cases are being heard before Justice Mohammed Liman at the Lagos High Court. (https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2020/11/10/cbn-opposes-suit-to-remove-arabic-inscriptions-from-banknotes/)

 

 

 

But according to MURIC, “Omirhobo’s approach is not only na├»ve, it is pedestrian and kindergarten. This suit against Arabic on naira manifests acute desertification of religious tolerance, exhibition of undiluted acrobatic religiousity, NAFDAC-registered gymnastic spirituality and Oxford cum Harvard-certificated ignorance.

 

 

“How many times do we need to tell our Christian neighbours that Nigeria is not a secular but a multi-religious state. A secular state is one that does not recognize religion as in communist states. But Nigeria recognizes all the religions in the country and the Constitution also begins with the words ‘under God’. Secular states do not recognize the existence of God.

 

 

“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 says inter alia at its very beginning, ‘We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: having firmly and solemnly resolved : to live in unity and harmony as one indivisible and indissoluble sovereign Nation under God…’ So how can Nigeria be a secular state when we are ‘under God’? In addition, nowhere in the whole constitution was the word ‘secular’ ever used and we challenge anyone who can find that word from the constitution to mention the chapter, section and sub-section.

 

 

“Seeking to remove Arabic from the naira is the height of ignorance because Arabic is just a language like English or French, not a religion. By the way, what is on the naira is not even Arabic. It is ‘Ajami’ using Arabic letters as a form of transliteration. Even if Omirhobo single-handedly succeeds in removing Arabic from the naira, is he going to remove the numerals 5, 10, 100, 1000 indicating the denominations as well? If he cannot, then he still has a long way to go because even those numbers are Arabic.

 

 

“The numerical system (1, 2, 3, 4, etc) were invented by a Muslim mathematician by name Alkhawarizmi (died 850) in the 9th century. Nay and more than that. Whereas ancient Greeks had men like Plato, Aristotle, Euclide, Thales, Theodocius, etc whose scientific theories only managed to survive their times and Europe boasts today of scholars like Nicholas Copernicus, Francis Bacon, Galileo Galilei, Rene Descartes and Isaac Newton with their moribund and Godless postulates, the list of renowned Muslim scientists is endless.

 

 

“The truth is that religious fanatics have grown paranoia about Islam and they arrogate the Arabic language to the religion alone whereas this is not true. Their hatred for Islam and the Muslims is transferred to the Arabic language. This transferred aggression beclouded their perspicacity to the extent that they fail to realize that Islam is not synonymous with Arabic language.

 

 

“For instance, Israel’s currency has Arabic inscription on it. Nigerian Christians who go on pilgrimage to Jerusalem every year spend Israel’s money and see Arabic on it. Did they tear it into pieces in anger? They did not ask the Israeli authorities to remove the Arabic on their currency but when they return to Nigeria they maintain their hardline opposition to Arabic on naira. Where is objectivity? Is this not articulated religiousity?

 

 

“Again, hardly would any imported electronic gadget enter Nigeria without its manual containing an Arabic section. That is business sense, not religion. But Muslim-haters are swayed by emotion and they cannot separate the wheat from the chaff. Common sense is not so common. Of course there are still Christians who are moderate, liberal and realistic. They are the few exceptions who will not allow themselves to be led by the nose.

 

 

“One major argument against the removal of Arabic from the naira is that a large percentage of the Nigerian population will be cut off from our monetary system if Arabic is removed from the naira because Arabic is one of the local languages in Nigeria. It is used by the Shuwa Arabs in Borno State. Therefore Arabic cannot be a foreign language.

 

 

“Furthermore, the Bible used by Christians in Israel, Egypt, Palestine, Libya, Syria and other Arab countries are printed in Arabic language only because that is the only language they understand. Does that make the Bible an Islamic Bible? Their church services are conducted in Arabic. Have those churches become mosques?

 

 

“Interestingly enough, God is called Allah in the Arabic Bible. If Arab Christians want to say ‘God is great’, they also say ‘Allahu Akbar’. To thank God they say ‘alhamdulilah’ just like Muslims. The population of Palestine is 12 million and 7% (about 840,000) of this number are Christians. Yet the language of this 7% is Arabic. Perhaps Omirhobo will like to apply to the International Court at the Hagues to reject them as Christians because they speak Arabic?

 

 

“Omirhobo’s argument that Arabic on naira notes portrays Nigeria as an Islamic state holds no water because if Arabic is Islam, then English is Christianity. Hence if Arabic on the naira note is Islamisation, non-Arabic letters on the same naira is Christianisation. By extension, if the use of Arabic is Islamisation, the use of English language in Nigeria, particularly as a lingua franca, is the mother of all christianisation.

 

 

“For equity, therefore, Nigeria should have two official languages: Arabic and English with priority and emphasis in that alphabetical order. But in their magnanimity, tolerance and wisdom, Nigerian Muslims have not come forward to demand that Arabic should be Nigeria’s second official language. For that reason alone, the plaintiff’s request for the removal of Arabic from the naira is frivolous, petty, selfish, myopic and parochial.

 

“Perhaps the plaintiff thinks Nigerian Muslims were the ones who initiated the inscription of Arabic on both the army badge and the naira notes. Omirhobo needs to be told that even the colonial masters inscribed Arabic on the currency printed by Britain and used in Nigeria. The words: ‘pound daya’, i.e. one pound was inscribed on colonial currency. Omirhobo may therefore need to sue the Queen of England.

 

 

“To continue along the lanes of history, it was not even Nigerian Muslim leaders who brought the idea of Arabic in the Nigerian currency in post-independence Nigeria. The man who initiated it was a Christian, a Urhobo officer by name General David Akpode Ejoor (rtd). He was the one who introduced the Arabic inscription and the Star emblem into the Nigeria Army crest. He was given the assignment and research led him to pick the Arabic words ‘nasrun minallahi’ (meaning ‘victory is from God’) and a committee made up of three ministers of the First Republic : Muhammadu Ribadu (Defence), Festus Okotie-Eboh (Finance) and Yar'adua (Works and Housing) approved his choice. Ejoor confirmed this in his book ‘Reminiscences’ (page 16).

 

 

“The Christian who took the Central Bank of Nigeria to court claiming the country has been Islamized because of the Arabic inscription on the naira note failed to see how heavily Nigeria has been Christianized by observing Saturday as a public holiday because of the Seventh Day Adventists and Sunday because of other Christians. But the Muslims are not given any day at all.  

 

 

“MURIC appeals to Nigerians not to allow the fear mongers and merchants of hate continue to spread fear and sow discord among us. Many of those saddled with the task of uniting us have become instruments of division. Ex-President Jonathan is an example. He removed Arabic from the naira because he listened to hate preachers whom he took along on his futile but numerous trips to Jerusalem. They indoctrinated him into believing that Arabic on the naira implies Islamisation. Although he saw Arabic on Israeli currency on his trips to Jerusalem, yet he swallowed the lie hook, line and sinker. Of course it cost him his much-coveted second term because his action had been rightly interpreted as anti-Muslim.

 

 

“We charge Nigerians to open up their minds in order to avoid becoming victims of accidental civilisation or, worse still, educated illiterates. Arabic is not Islam and Islam is not Arabic. One is a language, the other is a religion. Let us learn to understand, to tolerate, to give, to forgive and to love.”

 

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director, 
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

 

Thursday, November 12, 2020

MURIC DEMANDS JUSTICE FOR MUSLIM GIRL STOLEN BY KADUNA PASTOR

 

13th November, 2020

 

PRESS RELEASE:

MURIC DEMANDS JUSTICE FOR MUSLIM GIRL STOLEN BY KADUNA PASTOR

      

The plight of a Muslim girl, Sadiya Idris, who was stolen by a Kaduna pastor, Reverend Jonah Gangers, has been brought into limelight. Although the case is already in court, the Nigerian Islamic human rights organization, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called for a speedy trial and the arrest and prosecution of the accomplices of Rev. Gangers. MURIC made the demand in a statement issued on Friday, 13th November, 2020. MURIC’s press release was signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

 

The group said, “Sadiya Idris of Tudun Nupawa, Kaduna, was kidnapped in 2013 at the age of eleven by Reverend Jonah Gangers who resides in Barakallahu, Kaduna, and has his church there. The reverend was allegedly aided by a dubious character called Peter. Sadiya was kept against her wish in Rev. Gangers’ house until the suspects felt it was safe enough to move her.

 

 

“Meanwhile Sadiya’s parents, Mallam Idris and Mallama Rukayya searched everywhere in vain for their missing daughter. The family lodged the case at the Gidan Gayu Police Divisional Headquarters at Tudun Wada, Kaduna.

 

 

“Rev. Gangers and his accomplices took Sadiya to Plateau State, forcefully and illegally converted her and finally registered her as Christiana Gangers Joseph in a missionary school in the state. The girl was kept in captivity for seven years (2013 – 2020) both in school and also in the reverend’s house in Kaduna during the holidays as she was not allowed to step out alone.

 

 

“Sadiya Idris (Christiana Gangers) eventually escaped in 2020 on a day she was sent to the market alone. She remembered her original background and approached Muslims in a mosque in Jos who took her to Kaduna where she guided them to her father’s house. Although Rev. Gangers was arrested, he was granted bail and he is freely roaming the streets of Kaduna.

 

 

“The case was adjourned by the Magistrate Court I on the first hearing to 18th September, 2020, Again it was adjourned to 16th October, 2020. But the judge ruled on 16th October that the Magistrate Court had no jurisdiction on the matter. He therefore referred it to the Kaduna State Ministry of Justice for advice. We expected the matter to go to the High Court at that juncture but to our surprise it was referred back to the Magistrate Court where a new date of 23rd November, 2020 has just been given.

 

 

“MURIC strongly decries this ding-dong affair. Procrastination is the thief of time and justice delayed is justice denied. Both Sadiya’s father and mother went through a long period of trauma. The pain of losing his daughter killed Mallam Idris and the mother, now widowed, is still suffering from the pangs of the horrible seven-year experience.

 

 

“Rev. Gangers is digging in. He is abusing the terms of the bail granted to him. We strongly suspect that he is attempting to subvert the course of justice. We also see a fundamental flaw in the handling of this case because no other person was accosted apart from Rev. Gangers.

 

 

“We assert that the suspect could not have acted alone. He has accomplices and the longer he remains free the deeper he would dig his bunker. We believe that right now records are being tampered with and pieces of evidence are being obliterated. There may be no more trace of the girl’s attendance in the missionary school in Plateau State by the time the case goes into full swing in the High Court.

 

 

“We therefore demand that Rev. Gangers should be re-arrested in order to get details of his accomplices from him. Thereafter, those implicated should be arrested and prosecuted along with the main suspect. Gangers’ claim that Sadiya was lost and he found her is another cock and bull story. Why didn’t he report the case at a police station or an orphanage?

 

 

A dangerous game is playing out in Northern Nigeria. Muslim children are being targeted by Christian groups who kidnap them and take them to distant lands where they are sold to Christian families and forcefully converted. 

 

 

“It will be recalled that nine Muslim children from Kano were rescued by the police on 11th October, 2019 after they had been kidnapped and forcefully converted to Christianity in Onitsha, Anambra State. There have been other similar cases of kidnapping for Christ. It is shameful that religious institutions are getting involved in criminal and inhuman activities like kidnapping. People like Rev. Gangers must be taught a lesson in order to make the streets safe for children.

 

 

“We call on the Kaduna State Ministry of Justice to expedite action on the Sadiya Idris case. All eyes are on the ministry and Nigerian Muslims have already showed keen interest in this particular case. MURIC will not rest until Sadiya Idris, her mother and her deceased father who died without setting his eyes on his beloved daughter, get justice.”

 

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director, 
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)