The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) says the proposed release of Sukuk eurobond by the federal government is purely business and not a plan to Islamise Nigeria.
The group said this in reaction to the claim of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that Sukuk is an attempt to sell Nigeria to Islamic nations.
In a statement on Thursday, Ishaq Akintola, director of MURIC, described CAN’s position as “not only infantile, petty and overbearing but also spiteful and egocentric”.
Akintola said the government had released “Christian-oriented bonds for decades and the Muslims did not complain for once”,
MURIC also said Christians already have their version of all that Muslims are demanding, asking “why should somebody keep blocking his brother from getting his own share when he already has his own?”
“Let us eschew primordial sentiments. Sukuk is purely business. We advise Christians to take their destiny in their own hands instead of allowing warlike leaders to lead them into an unnecessary confrontation with Muslims every time,” the statement read.
“Our position is based on the fact that CAN has all it needs in Nigeria today because the whole system is Christo-Western: education, the judicial system, the economy, everything.
“There is nothing the Muslims are demanding now that the Christians don’t have already on a platter of gold. It must also be stated that the Christians do not need the things that the Muslims are asking for.
“Have they ever seen Muslims opposing a benefit going to Christians? We did not protest when you started going to Jerusalem even though we know that it is not mandatory for Christians. Why is it that CAN always cry foul each time we seek parity?
“We must now ask CAN why it is playing dog in the manger. Shari‘ah is not for them but CAN screamed until the roofs nearly came down. OIC does not hurt any Christian but CAN shouted to high heavens. Hijab is for female Muslims alone but violent envy pushed CAN to shout itself hoarse. Islamic bank is for Muslims alone but CAN labeled it Islamisation of Nigeria. Can CAN give us a list of those who have been Islamised since Islamic banking started in the country?”
MURIC said CAN’s claim that Sukuk is unconstitutional is false, asking the Christian body to challenge it in court.
The group then urged CAN to stop inciting hatred among Muslims and Christians, adding that religion is meant to bind and not divide.
“How can laws made by the federal government be ultra vires? CAN is misleading Nigerian Christians. CAN should know what to do if it is unconstitutional. We challenge CAN to go to court today. It should not wait till tomorrow,” the statement read.
“If it is true that Sukuk implies Islamisation, then the stock exchange is imperialistic Christianisation. But almost the whole of Europe has embraced the Sukuk industry. This includes France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Luxemburg and Britain. Paris EUROPLACE established Sukuk as far back as 2007 and France has since established the Islamic Finance Commission. Germany issued its first Sukuk in 2004.
“CAN should stop misleading Nigerians and inciting Christians against their Muslim neighbours. We advise CAN leadership to desist from giving religion a bad name. The word ‘religion’ is from the Latin word ‘religio’ meaning ‘to link’, ‘to tie’ or ‘to bind’. Therefore religion is about linking people together in love and sharing. It is not about dividing them.”