By Sam Eyoboka & Caleb Ayansina
ABUJA—The National Christian Elders Forum, NCEF, yesterday, described the allegation by the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, that the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, was Islamophobic over the latter’s objection to Sukuk Bond by the Federal Government was untenable and purely mischievous.
NECF said that instead of NSCIA to address some cogent issues it raised in its statement, the Islamic body was busy pointing accusing fingers.
The body insisted that promotion of Sharia, in any of its forms in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society, shall produce nothing but contention and acrimony as Nigeria was currently witnessing.
NECF in a statement by its Chairman, Mr Solomon Asemota, in Abuja, said: “We cannot close our eyes to egregious infractions on the Constitution and the advent of religious extremism and insurgency in the country, of which the Christian community seems to be the prime target, while Islamic religious extremists are the antagonists.
“National Christian Elders Forum insists that Sukkuk is stealth Jihad contrary to Sections 1 and 10 of the Nigerian Constitution. Therefore, other nations may adopt it, but the Nigerian Constitution forbids such infractions in Nigeria.
“This is crucial in a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society like Nigeria when it is realized that the tenets of Sharia is opposed to the Constitution as “any system of man-made law is considered illicit under Islamic law, for whose adherents Allah already has provided the only law permitted, sharia.” Sharia and Democracy can never co-exist in harmony.
“The allegation that CAN is Islamophobic is untenable and purely mischievous. If leaders of Islam in Nigeria have demonstrated inability to call Boko Haram and Fulani herdsmen to order, after the atrocities both terrorist organizations have committed largely against Christians, Christian churches, Christian businesses and Christian communities, it would be unfair and unjust for the same leaders of Islam to turn around and accuse Christians of Islamophobia.
“It is akin to slapping a man and yet complain that the man screamed. Do leaders of Islam expect Christians to keep mute while violent Jihad (Boko Haram, Fulani herdsmen) and stealth Jihad also known as stealth jihad with money (Sukkuk) are all used to negate Section 38 (1) of the Constitution and destroy the secularity of the Nigerian State?
“NCEF also observed the unfortunate attempt of the NSCIA to equate Christian religion with capitalism. There are structures and institutions developed by capitalist states which are the bedrock of modern capitalist societies.
“Interestingly, most of the capitalist states are secular. It is therefore rather unfortunate that such capitalist institutions would now be labeled “Christian” and used as justification to introduce Sharia, which is based purely on Quran, Hadith and Islamic jurisprudence, into the Nigerian State.
“Without belaboring these issues, we wish to draw the attention of NSCIA to the recent Press Release of the National Christian Elders Forum. To date, leaders of Islam are yet to respond to salient issues raised in the press release.”