Although the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) is representing Muslims’ interest at the conference, as affirmed by Prof. Dawud Noibi, the Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria (MUSWEN); Facing the Kaaba provides this platform for Muslim individuals who do not have the opportunity to be at the conference to express their views on issues affecting Islam in the country.
As the delegates settle for business at the conference, some Muslims have reminded their delegates to consider the issue of undue discrimination against the use of hijab, marriageable age and Sharia as critical for discussion at the confab. Others suggests that restrictions in some areas (especially in the South west) by the traditionalists through ‘oro’ masqurades should be discussed.
Unity of the Ummah is important— Prof. Balogun
Professor Kamaldeen Balogun, a lecturer at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, department of Religious Studies said the presence of Muslim representatives should be for the unity of the country, adding that whatever decision reached should be for the unity of the Ummah and the country in general.
“The Muslim representatives at the national conference have their agenda. It is not in our power to decide or dictate what they should discuss since they are there by the grace of Allah for our own good.
But be that as it may, they should try and contribute meaningfully to the confab and ensure that all decisions reached are in the best interest of Islam.
This is because one cannot deny the fact that Nigeria is a multi-religious country even though we claim to be a secular state.” “Every religion should be allowed to practice their faith without hindrance or any form of persecution. The unity of the country however, should not be compromised.”
There should be freedom of worship
— Imam Yusuf
Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf, a lecturer at Department of Insurance, University of Lagos, Akoka opined that Muslim delegates should fight for legislation against contemptuous treatment of Muslims in the country.
“I want our representatives at the on going confab to fight for a legislation that will stop the treatment Muslims as second class citizen. There should be freedom of worship in all ramifications. Muslims should be allowed to dress, greet and worship in a way that conforms with the religion.”
“At times, when we have outdoor programmes and some non Muslims see us sitting on the mat or when we segregate where brothers sit from that of the sisters, they see us as uncivilised group of people. This is not fair in our own father-land,” he said.
Our leaders must be fair and just— Maroof
Adebesin Moroof, a civil servant in Abeokuta, Ogun state said Muslim delegates should emphasise on equality of Muslims with their counterparts in all socio-political endeavours adding that the loapsidedness in arrangment of state affairs and appointments are some of the injustices in the country.
“It is our prayer that Muslim delegates at the confab will try to ensure that the spiritual strength in them will keep them sailing through. I want them to emphasise on equality.
They should condemn the murder of all Christians in the north by Boko Haram, not because they are Christians, but because they are human beings – creatures of God.
As Muslim delegates, they should come against the exploitation of religion and religious sentiments. The delegates should work towards suggesting laws that will stop stereotype, stigmatization and dehumanization of one another.”
“I disagree with the use of religion as a political decoy and as a distraction from the critical things that bedevile our nation,” he said.