…Slams CAN, says one billion lies can’t quench light of Islam
By Luminous Jannamike
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, yesterday asked the Federal Government to conduct a full-scale religious census of the entire workforce of its Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, to ascertain the states of origin and religious affiliations of the country’s workforce.
The call came against the backdrop of recent outcry by Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, that the shortlisting of more Muslims as Justices of the Court of Appeal was an attempt to Islamise the judiciary. The apex Islamic body said one billion lies by CAN, unleashed on Muslims, would not extinguish the light of Islam in the country. NSCIA also noted that Christianity preaches love, honesty, sincerity, tolerance, good neighbourliness and kindness, among other virtues, and, therefore, urged CAN to desist from blackmail and bigotry.
The Council, in a statement co-signed by Prof. Salisu Shehu and Arc. Haruna Zuberu Usman-Ugwu, its Deputy Secretary-General and Ag. Director of Administration, lambasted CAN, saying Muslims would no longer tolerate any bigoted propaganda whenever a Muslim was at the helm of affairs in the country. The NSCIA said CAN kept mum when Christians dominated the political appointments by past governments, but was swift to claim religious marginalisation when the tides favoured the Muslims.
It stated: “The attention of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has been drawn to the insinuations and vituperations that trailed the shortlisting of 20 Justices-designate by the Federal Judicial Service Commission, FJSC. “It would be noted that except it is compelled to do so, the Council has often resisted joining issues with the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) as a matter of principle.
“However, NSCIA would not allow the serial falsehood of CAN and its propensity for character assassination of people on the basis of their religious identity to stand because truth is irrefragable.
“The unassailable truth is that Justices of the Court of Appeal (JCAs) are 70 but the North with 19 states has 34, while the South with 17 states has 36. The cacophony of Christian marginalisation that constitutes the singsong of CAN is a blatant lie, a deliberate distortion and a devilish strategy of shedding crocodile tears or crying while flogging Muslims with barefaced oppression and systemic repression in Nigeria.
“Though religion preaches love, honesty, sincerity, tolerance, good neighbourliness and kindness, among other virtues, CAN has succeeded in creating a Nigerian version of Christianity, which is anchored on morbid hatred, undisguised dishonesty, caustic insincerity, religious intolerance, perennial hostility and outright wickedness.
“If CAN has its way, it would annihilate Muslims from Nigeria but one billion CANs of calumny unleashed on us cannot extinguish the light of Islam here and elsewhere, even if they try it.” The apex Muslim body said it was the same strategy of crying wolf by CAN that underpinned the hijab crisis in Kwara state.
It said, “It is given that the right to hijab is constitutionally guaranteed. However, to CAN, constitutionality does not matter where intolerance festers and it has resorted to toe the path of violence.
“The schools in question are public schools which are financed and administered by the state government. It is even ironical that a number of the female teachers in these schools use hijab. Would CAN also ask the state government to disengage all the ‘Hijabi teachers’ in the affected schools?
“CAN argued that the use of hijab in the affected schools will ‘cause discrimination and allow terrorists to easily identify our children and wards.’ What a jaundiced argument! Assuming that was true, would the withdrawal of all the Hijabi students in the affected schools not make the children to be more easily identified?
“It, therefore, beats imagination that CAN can be so blinded by Islamophobia as to promote anarchy in the land by denying willing Muslim girls the right to hijab in state-funded schools in Ilorin of all towns, repaying the tolerance of the Muslim hosts with intolerance!
Even in the West, willing school girls and professionals are accorded their rights to hijab and a Baptist College in Australia less than two years ago changed its dress code to accommodate its Hijabi students.
“However, in Nigeria, CAN leaders appear to practise a different version of Christianity and they undermine democracy by violating the lawful judgements of competent courts of law.”
Continuing, the NSCIA said: “For the purpose of hindsight, Muslims have over the years been bearing their persecution and marginalisation in Nigeria with religious patience and dignified forbearance without the NSCIA heating up the polity, occupying public spaces or inciting confrontation with constituted authorities. “As far as those who run the affairs of CAN are concerned, Nigeria may as well descend into war since in their demonic calculations”.