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MURIC asks FG to recognise Islamic holidays, allow soldiers wear hijab, keep beards


Muslim Rights Concern

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has sent a list of grievances it wants the Federal Government to address.

The Prof Akintola-led group, in a New Year message on Saturday, said addressing the grievances would bring to an end to religious violence which –  it claimed – was caused by the denial of Muslims’ Islamic fundamental human rights in the country.

MURIC’s grievance list, which contained six reliefs being sought by Nigerian Muslims, asks the FG to “recognise the Hijrah holiday; recognise Islamic marriages; Friday holiday question; acceptance of caps, turban, hijab and beards for identity cards, driving licences and international travelling passports; acceptance of beards and hijab in uniformed organisations like the army, police, NYSC, etc and, finally, the establishment of Shariah courts in all states where there is a significant number of Muslims” in the country.

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MURIC said it listed the items at the beginning of the year 2020 but the government failed to address their grievances.

According to the organisation, the war against Boko Haram had not been won because the regime of the President, Maj Gen Muhammadu Buhari (retd), did not adopt the carrot and stick technique.

MURIC said that government’s dependency on the use of force was not yielding the desired results, adding that as soldiers battle insurgents on the field, there must also be a genuine dialogue with Muslim leaders and groups in the country.

“Deradicalisation will remain a farce until all Allah-given fundamental human rights are willingly rendered to Nigerian Muslims,” the group said.

MURIC said that there was the possibility that those who engage in terrorism and other forms of criminalities may repent if they see government introducing reforms which conform with the yearnings of Muslims in the country.

“But a situation whereby Muslims continue to suffer excruciating pain every day without any hope in sight is the major cause of the protracted insurgency in the North East.

“The perception of insurgents seeking the forceful establishment of an Islamic caliphate is that Nigeria is being run along Christian line and all Islamic landmarks have been eliminated. FG owes it a duty to correct this erroneous and dangerous perception,” the group said.

The Islamic organization wondered why the Federal Government should declare a national holiday on the 1st of January but has ignored the demand of Nigerian Muslims for the recognition of the first day of the Hijrah calendar.

“FG is thereby giving us the impression that Nigeria only recognises Christianity at the national level but Islam is non grata. This is gross injustice and it is a major grievance nursed by conscious Muslims against the Nigerian state,” MURIC said.

The group called on the federal government to withdraw recognition for January 1 and allow states to make the decision.

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MURIC said that this is what should obtain in a true federation, calling on the government to consider restructuring the country.

“It is our contention that no true deradicalisation of extremist religious groups can take place without addressing the grievances of Nigerian Muslims,” he said.