The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has berated the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, over its comment that the proposed release of Sukuk Eurobond by the federal government was part of plans to Islamise Nigeria.
In a statement on Thursday, Ishaq Akintola, President of MURIC, described CAN’s position as “not only infantile, petty and overbearing but also spiteful and egocentric”.
CAN had in a statement on Tuesday claimed that the Sukuk was an attempt to “Islamise” Nigeria through the backdoor.
According to the statement, signed by its General Secretary, Musa Asake, the Christian body also demanded the abrogation of the laws and framework behind the bond and threatened to seek legal redress if that was not done.
The group said the Federal Government was trying to sell the nation to Arab countries through the Sukuk Bond, arguing that the government was pursuing an Islamisation agenda.
But Mr. Akintola, a professor, said in his statement that the government had released “Christian-oriented bonds for decades and the Muslims did not complain for once”, adding that the body should stop misleading Nigerians and inciting Christians against their Muslim neighbours.
MURIC also explained that Sukuk is purely business and has no elements of “Islamisation”.
“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?”
On CAN’s claim that Sukuk was unconstitutional, the body said such claim is false, stressing that its legality could however be challenged in the court.
“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.
“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,” Mr. Akintola said.
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