The Muslim Rights Concern has supported the closure of mosques and churches by Lagos State Environment Protection Agency, LASEPA for constituting noise pollution to the community.
LASEPA recently announced the shutting down of 53 churches, mosques and hotels in the state over noise pollution.
The shut places of worship were accused of constituting nuisance to residents and using residential places for religious activities.
A statement by MURIC’s director, Ishaq Akintola, urges the affected sanctuaries to take the decision in good faith as it does not violate their rights to worship.
“The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, gives kudos to LASEPA and the Lagos State Government for taking this bold step.
“This development is further proof that LASG is ready to walk its talk as Lagos is generally referred to as the center of excellence.
“It also proves that the state government is committed to the improvement of health of its citizens as well as the maintenance of decorum, civilized living, law and order.
“We call on the owners of the affected religious houses, their pastors and Imams as well as Lagosians in general to take the action of LASEPA in good faith and to turn a new leaf.
“This is no case of victimization or abuse of fundamental human rights. The fact is that Nigerians are fond of abusing religion.
“Nigeria is the only country in the world where people hide under the canopy of freedom of religion to infringe on Allah-given fundamental human rights of others.
“It is our contention that ignorance, arrogance, callousness, lack of respect for the rule of law as well as crass impunity are factors responsible for noisemaking in places of worship.
“We therefore invite LASEPA to lay more emphasis on educating Lagosians on the effects of noise pollution on residents.
“Noise pollution has been largely responsible for falling academic standard in schools because noise from places of worship penetrate homes and distract students who are busy doing their school assignments, teachers who are marking their students’ scripts, lecturers who are busy researching in various fields of human endeavour, etc.
“It is an irony that the children of pastors and Imams who are responsible for the noise are also victims of their parents’ thoughtlessness.
“We are aware that the 53 affected places of worship are not the only places where pandemonium reigns supreme in Lagos State.
“In fact there are hundreds of other offenders with whom nemesis has not caught up. We remind the authorities of such religious centers of the long arms of the law.
“MURIC laments the sad phenomenon of religious overzealousness in Nigeria as a whole and that of Lagos in particular.
“We are nonplussed at the high rate of corruption despite the proliferation of churches and mosques in the land. The leaders who stole billions of dollars which are currently being investigated were shuttling weekly between Jerusalem, Makkah and Abuja.
“Yet it did not stop them from pocketing our commonwealth and subjecting us to abject poverty.”