By Luka Binniyat
KADUNA – Thousands of Muslims, yesterday, thronged the Nnamdi Azikwe Eastern by-pass of Kaduna town in a peaceful demonstration against a movie said to have blasphemed Islam.
The protesters who dragged the flags of the United States and that of Israel, on the ground, were chanting “Death to America!, “death to Israel”, and moved from the Sheik Dahiru Bauch House, Askolayi, down to Sheik Gumi Market, in Tudun Wada part of Kaduna, covering about 4km.
Meanwhile, the Muslim umbrella body in Nigeria, the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) held a Press Conference in Kaduna, yesterday, and warned against comments that would threaten the sovereignty of the Nigerian state, while joining in attacking the said movie.
During the demonstration, many non-Muslims scampered for safety, but it went with a heavy security presence, and there was no recorded incidence of lawlessness.
Meanwhile, addressing a news conference in Kaduna yesterday on behalf of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Mohammad Sa’ad Abubakar, President General of NSCIA, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu said, “Nigeria is ours and it is only we Nigerians that can salvage her.
“The NSCIA and JNI wish to state that religion, Islam especially, is a harbinger of peace and harmony. It is therefore unfortunate that some elements use the name of Islam to commit evil which every religion abhors. In essence, for those who do not know what Islam means; Islam is meant to propagate virtues, peace and universal brotherhood.
“All Nigerians have to appreciate that Nigeria is ours and it is only we that can salvage her. We have to desist from all utterances and acts that are capable of undermining our corporate existence as a nation as God does not make mistakes, our togetherness, despite our diversity, as a single nation, the largest country of the blacks in the world, could not have been an accident.
“We need to think more together, work more together and address our problems together. Muslims especially are supposed to be role models based on the pristine teachings of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and it is to these teachings the NSCIA and JNI wish to direct our attention:
“We enjoin all our Imams to dedicate their respective Juma’ah Kutbah of Friday, September 28, 2012 as a special sermon on calling our people to be conscious of Allah and be loyal to the nation. They are also urged, in addition to their sermons, to pray for Nigeria as well as our leaders and the generality of the citizens.
“More so, we would want to remind leaders at all levels to be fair, just and selfless in discharging their responsibilities. They should always remember that justice and selflessness are the cornerstone of good governance which is the surest ticket to peace, stability and sustainable development.
“We should always live according to the message of Islam and exhibit the virtues of honesty, kindness, generosity, sincerity, discipline, self-restraint and Godliness that it teaches. We should avoid wrong-doing and actions capable of misrepresenting us and our noble religion that has contributed so much to world civilization. We should uphold peace, preach peace and live peacefully with our fellow citizens”.