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NSCIA, other Moslem groups condemn attempted terror attack

By Mohammed Abubakar, Terhemba Daka (Abuja), Ifedayo Sayo, (Ado-Ekiti) and Sulaimon Salau (Lagos)   |   31 December 2009   |   4:19 am  

According to the statement: “We deplore the reprehensible act which put the lives of so many passengers and crew at great risk. We, however, thank the Almighty Allah that the evil design did not materialise.

 “Be that as it may, the Muslims unequivocally reject the insinuation in some quarters linking the embarrassing and condemnable incident to Islam. Islam as a religion of peace, abhors violence and forbids extra-judicial killing of people. On our part, we would continue to pray Allah to make justice prevail everywhere in the world so as to banish one of the main causes of uncontrollable anger that tends to propel otherwise sane people to resort to violence and acts of terror.”

Similarly, AMIN, in a statement by its National Chairman, Sheikh Ibrahim Saleh Alhussaini, among others, advised that all must be ready to protect the rule of law in Nigeria. Also, dialogue must be intensified on issues in dispute so that a culture of moderation could be nurtured to yield lasting stability and prosperity for all nations.

The statement argued that the denial of some people’s rights, suppression and injustice results in nothing, but extremism that leads to terrorism, which in most cases consumes innocent lives. It however reminded Moslems globally to recognise the fact that Islam is a religion of peace, which always preaches peaceful co-existence.

“Therefore, let us hold fast to the teachings of our religion and offer more prayers for peace and stability for Nigeria and other nations.”

The AMIN chairman, who is also the chairman of the Fatwa committees of both NSCIA and Jama’atu Nasir Islam (JNI), sought the application of the principles of justice and equality on all and sundry, according to the sovereignty of every nation for the interest of humanity and peaceful co-existence, while also advocating the promotion of real democracy, human rights, development and stability in the world instead of competition in manufacturing weapons of mass destruction.

The statement also prayed for the quick recovery of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and enjoined other Nigerians to pray for his recovery so that he could come back to move the nation forward.

Some Islamic scholars and groups have also declared that there is no al-Qaeda group in the country.

The groups said the case of Farouk Mutallab should be treated on its merit and not linked with Islam or Moslems in Nigeria, noting that by all standards, Islam abhors acts of terrorism.

The National Co-ordinator of Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO), Mallam Abdullahi Shuaib, in a statement made available to The Guardian yesterday said the incident was an unfortunate one. “Very embarrassing and nauseating. The act of bombing a civilian aircraft is criminally minded and highly condemnable.”

He absolved Mutallab’s father, saying: “The father of the boy that committed the act is a well-known and respected person in the country and abroad. All his life, Abdulmutallab has no blemished record of criminal act(s) or tendency. Rather, he has contributed immensely to the growth and development of the country as an astute banker, investor and elderstatesman.”

In different reactions, the Islamic scholars and groups said Nigerians are not terrorists and urged relevant security agencies to investigate the matter dispassionately.

The Director of Media & Communications of Moslem Public Affairs Centre (MPAC), Mr. Disu Kamor, said all attacks that threaten peace or that are aimed at civilian targets, even in a state of war, are terrorism, are not in tandem with Islamic tradition and are therefore un-Islamic.

Kamor, in a separate statement made available to The Guardian yesterday said: “MPAC has consistently condemned all acts of terrorism, whether carried out by individuals, groups or states. We repudiate anyone or any group that plans or carries out a terrorist act and we welcome early actions by law enforcement authorities against credible threats to the safety of the travelling public.

“MPAC reaffirms Islam’s teachings of peace, justice and tolerance for all. We reaffirm that Islam fiercely rejects any act of terrorism and does not tolerate the use of terrorism for any purpose, regardless of the identity of the aggressors or the nature of their motives,” he said

An Abuja-based Islamic Scholar, Malam Abdulfattah Adeyemi said: “I want to say confidently that there is no connection between the accused and any religious group in Nigeria.

“We are a nation that is focused. We are at the phase of re-branding and trying to move the nation forward.”

Adeyemi added: “Just like people have accused so many other countries, Moslem and non-Moslem countries, citizens and non- citizens of so many things, people should look into this matter very critically and refrain from generalised conclusions.”

“I would like to say personally that Nigerians are not criminals, Nigerians are not terrorists, and … Nigerians are not oppressors. Nigerians are great people wherever they are, home or even abroad,” he added.

Speaking in the same vein, The Imam, University of Abuja, Dr. Taofik Abdulazeez, said: “… we plead with Nigerians to take this news with extreme caution and to also caution Nigerians and Nigerian authorities not to rush into actions and not to draw costly conclusions out of it.”

“However, it is viewed as Allah’s own design to beam a searchlight into the possible connection between economic prosperity and tendency to criminality,” he added.

The Moslem community in Ekiti State has also condemned the botched attempt.

In a statement yesterday by the Baba Egbe Musulumi of Ado-Ekiti, Alhaji Jamiu, the community said though the said Mutallab claimed to be a Moslem, he neither represents the Islamic faith nor is his action a reflection of the Islamic position on issues.

According to the statement, “Islam is a religion of peace which has as its central element peaceful co-existence with people of other faiths. Prophet Mohammed demonstrated this by living peacefully with people of other faiths while he was in Medina.

“As a member of NAIREC and Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, what we preach is peaceful co-existence between Moslems and people of other faiths”

The group added that violence or religious fundamentalism has no basis in Islam and anybody who preaches violence or engages in violence under the pretext of propagating Islam is on his own.

They described Umar Mutallab as a misguided youth, a disgrace and an embarrassment to Islam and it is unfortunate that rather than condemning Umar alone, many have condemned all Nigerian Moslems.

They also admonished Moslem youths to desist from acts that can tarnish the image of Islam and steer clear of dangerous organisations that give Islam a bad name.

The community further advised parents to take good care of their children and not to over-pamper them, saying the case of Mutallab appears to be that of a more of a spoilt brat.

In an interview in Abuja, Abass Braimah exposed that terrorism, now a global threat would soon creep into the country to threaten lives and projects of government.

“It is very sad, not just for Nigeria but for Africa as a continent and the entire world because terrorism is a global problem.

“It is just unfortunate that Nigeria which has had a clean bill when it comes to terrorist activities, is not touched by it, and it goes to show that no country in the world is insulated.

“It is a global problem; it is a global challenge and is a problem that needs global efforts and responsibility.

“It is very sad, but I think it is a clarion call for Nigeria as a country to tighten up its loose ends in terms of internal security,” he said.

The lawmaker called on parents to always watch the actions and activities of their children to ensure that they don’t deviate from values and norms of the family and society.

In his words, “It is again a clarion call on parents to keep an eye on their children to make sure that these children do not imbibe certain negative elements that will of course twist their reasoning.”



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