The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, on Monday said allegations that Nigeria was being “Islamised” is “false, baseless, deceptive, malicious and provocative.”
A statement by Ishaq Akintola, MURIC’s president, said the organisation rejected the allegation as it had no substance.
MURIC was reacting to a statement by some Christian elders under the aegis of the National Christian Elders Forum, NCEF recently, saying the country was being “Islamised”.
The Christian group, which includes former military generals, also demanded the reversal of an education policy that brings Christian Religious Knowledge and Islamic Religious Knowledge under a new subject called Religion and National Value.
But MURIC said the forum’s attempt to use the CRK and IRK controversy as a launching pad for its “tirades on Muslims” in the country stood logic on its head.
They said both Christian and Muslim leaders asked the Federal Government under ex-President Goodluck Jonathan to make the two subjects compulsory for students who belong to their respective faiths.
“However, we are not surprised at this latest development because Christian leaders are simply behaving to type. They have always been shouting wolves where there is none. Warnings against the ‘Islamisation’ of Nigeria is now an old song and nobody is interested any longer,” the statement said.
MURIC questioned why the new alarm was coming just after the bloody massacre of an entire Fulani Muslim population in Taraba State, saying “NCEF feels frustrated that its plot to ‘Christianise’ Muslim children by using the old deceptive curriculum failed when government introduced a policy which grants religious freedom to all.”
“What is wrong if government makes Christian Religious Knowledge compulsory for Christian students while Islamic Religious Knowledge is also made compulsory for Muslim students? How on earth does that translate to Islamising Nigeria?” it asked.
The organisation also alleged that there was a grand plot by the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, to “divert teachers of IRK to teach other subjects.”
“Senior officials in the Ministry of Education who are Christians are made to compromise their positions. They conspire with CAN to neutralize teachers trained for IRK,” MURIC alleged.
“These teachers are not allowed to teach IRK when employed. They are threatened with dismissal and offered alternative subjects to secure their source of daily bread. Thus CAN creates scarcity of IRK teachers by diverting experts in the field to other subjects. On the other hand, Christian graduates of any subject under the sky are given juicy offers to drop their core areas to teach CRK.
“Our claims are verifiable and we charge the Federal Ministry of Education in particular and the state ministries of education in the South West to launch an investigation into this. Many graduates of Islamic Studies who have been forcefully diverted to teach other subjects are ready to come forward.”
It said the Muslim body would not be cowed by the Christian “general”.
“Otherwise why the assemblage of Christian war veterans in the form of army generals and why the need for the emphasis on the military elements in the group? Why do Christian leaders always mobilize their army generals? This attitude is suggestive of subtle intimidation and coercion,” it said.
MURIC, therefore, charged the Nigerian military to caution its retired Christian generals, saying something had gone terribly wrong with their pre-retirement briefings.