•As NASFAT partners Carter Center on Status of Women
The Chief Missioner of Nasrul-lahi-il-Fatih Society, NASFAT, Sheikh AbdulAzeez Onike, declared that the association will never allow the manipulation of religious textual scriptures to make Islam look anti-woman, stressing that Islam supports justice for all.
Onike stated this while reacting to issues about women and girls rights during a live roundtable discussion at the 62nd Special Session of the Carter Center on the status of women, held in New York, United States recently.
The Forum is a platform for organizational and individual collaboration among diverse defenders of women’s and girls’ human rights as part of the Center’s Mobilizing Action for Women and Girls initiative.
This initiative encourages and supports greater efforts by scholars, activists, policymakers, and leaders of major faiths to ensure that women everywhere enjoy the same respect and protections as men.
The areas of collaboration between the leading Islamic organisation in Nigeria and the Carter Center include, Training which will include intellectual vaccination against misconception about Muslim women. Other areas include Economic Empowerment/ Skill acquisition programme.
NASFAT is currently collaborating with The Carter Centre(TCC) for over two years with the aim of achieving gender equality, empowerment and training.
The partnership with the carter center, necessitated trainings of some key officials of NASFAT at TOSTAN institute, Thais, Senegal.
According to Onike: “Never will the religious textual scriptures be allowed to be manipulated to make Islam look anti-woman. If the Prophet could be a member of human right group (Hilful Fudul) and also reportedly say about the group “I witnessed a treaty at the home of Abdullah bin Jad’aan. If I am asked to attend such meeting now, I would answer.” [ Sunan Al-Bayhaqi Al-Kubra: 12859, then Islam supports justice for all,” he said.
Reacting to question on why exposing Women and girls to their rights using the scriptures and juxtaposing it with articles of universal declaration of human rights (UDHR); Onike stated: “Saying of Our Noble Prophet (pbuh) “ If any of you sees a bad thing, correct with your hand, mouth or heart. Again, according to A.R. Bernard “The ignorance of the oppressed is strength for the oppressor”
He added that the training and exposure at Toastan, Senegal Sponsored by THE CARTER CENTER, would afford them the opportunity to appreciate more the nexus between articles of Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
According to Onike, using religious scriptural provisions to deny women their rights and making Islam look anti-women, was one of the focal point the collaboration would be looked into. These areas include female genital mutilation, conceptual misconceptions and early child development.
There is deliberate attempt to get what is wanted from the scripture (speaking to the text) and lack of understanding of the objectives of the law giver (God).
He said: “Whoever want to inherit illegally and undeservedly would have to come up with fake and false family history. People hide under misconstrued and misunderstood textual provisions, deliberately or ignorantly to deny women their rights.
According to him, the target will be Nasfat Women, female Muslims generally, youth leaders and Imams (religious leaders), adding that the “intellectual vaccinations” could be achieved through train the trainers course using materials produced by Islamic education trust/dawah institute of Nigeria and others.
“We will let our Imam to discuss the issues in their Friday sermons, Nasfat Sunday fellowship program (asalatu), various Nasfat committees and annual gatherings.