A MUSLIM RESPONSE TO THE CATHOLIC BISHOP MEMO TO THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE

2

For the good of our nation, we make a passionate plea that Islam must now be ready to be just a religion like others in the country. Otherwise, the present and future unity and religious harmony in our nation will continue to be seriously jeopardised.
This is mainly a northern problem and this largely for historical reasons. At least until recently, Muslims in the middle belt and especially the Southwest, have lived comfortably with their brothers and sisters of Christian faith, without seeking special attention or status.

The above is an excerpt from a memo of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) to the delegates of the National Conference. The part of the CBCN memo I was privy to was free from offensive, irresponsible conspiracy theories and wild allegations that we are familiar with in the usually reckless and “agberoish” public statements from the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).

Haven said that, We must now respectfully disagree with the esteemed Catholic Bishops, as Nigeria Muslims we see things radically differently from them.

Since colonial days, there has been what appears to be a consistent systematic attempt to force Christianity down the throat of Muslims. This is more evident in the southern part of the country where thousands of Muslim Children seeking formal education were coerced into Christianity for many decades before and after independence. Muslim children, in the region today, are still molested by their Christian principals and teachers, they are made mockery of, the Prophet of Islam is insulted at will and young Muslimah are beaten and sent out of school because they choose to wear the Islamic veil which is a compulsory requirement for Muslim women.

In work places these intolerant behaviour by Christians goes unabated. Several Muslim female Nurses and judicial staffs have lost their jobs in federal and state owned establishments in recent times just because they insist on using the Islamic veil. Apparently, their Christian bosses could not stand the sight of a Muslim woman on Hijab. Higher institutions, particularly law faculties and nursing schools has become battle ground for Muslim female students that want to exercise their fundamental human right to practice their religion by using the Islamic veil and their Christian teachers who insist they dress like Christians. Nursing Students, Nurses and health workers suffer the worst form of maltreatment and humiliation from their Christian bosses and teachers. Muslim immigrant minority communities in Britain are treated better than Muslims in the hands of Christians in Nigeria.

About three years ago, a university authority in River State demolished a student makeshift Mosque in the school campus, this they did after denying the Muslim Students’ authorisation to erect a place of worship within the campus. Officials of the school came, on that fateful Friday, with some machete wading shirtless thugs and bulldozer[s] and they levelled the Mosque to rubble. The Muslim students were prevented from removing from the building their personal belongings which included laptops, books, certificates and other valuables. When they attempted taking pictures with their mobile phones, the mobile phones where confiscated, those who attempted to protest in anger where immediately arrested. Christian fellowships have allocated and makeshift places of worship within the campus, but Muslim Students still observe their prayers five times everyday outside after three years.

The unjust practices of the practitioners of Christianity in Nigeria are so obvious that even a blind can see it crystal clearly. While selecting delegates to the national conference, they selected pastors and Bishops to represent the South-West, a region with arguably more Muslims than any other religion; they did not even have the decency to pick two Muslims in the fifteen man delegation. The North-Central that include Muslim majority states like Kwara, Niger Kogi, Nassarawa and Taraba had just four Muslims delegates and eleven Christians. We do not know of a Muslim in the delegation South-East and South-South. In the Muslim dominated North-East and North-West Christian minority communities where represent in their delegations.

Undoubtedly, it is Christians that should be admonished to let Muslims exist in the space called Nigeria. Muslims have made lots of un-reciprocated sacrifices for Christians in the country. Saturday and Sunday were given as public holiday because Christians could not decide which among the two should be sabbat, yet Christians could not tolerate a Hausa word in Arabic inscription in the Nigeria currency, they had it removed. Nigeria Christians could not even tolerant Islamic banking that operates even in a Christian country like Britain, they raised hell when it was introduced as if there was a law that compared them to bank with it. For joining the Organisation of Islamic Countries OIC, Nigeria had to recognise the racist/apartheid entity of Israel just to please Christians, our honour as Muslims had to be sacrificed so that Christians will be happy.

The summary of the Bishops proposal is that they want the North to abandon the little that is left from our pre-colonial heritage (Shari’ah) for the pleasure of Christianity. While we are asking for our rights to be respected, they want us to give away the little that we have left. The respected Bishops and so many Nigeria Christians see nothing wrong in Muslims being subjected to common law which is Christian law. They fail to acknowledge the reality that the religion of Muslims is Islam and not Christianity and that the law of Muslims is the Shari’ah and not common law.

Our message to our Christian brothers and sisters is that we are not seeking special attention and status as the Bishops seems to suggest, what we want [and we will get in sha Allah one way or the other] is to be allowed to be Muslims and practice our religion which is Islam. Islam and Christianity are two different religions and should be treated as such. It is not justice to subject two different people with different moral values and way of life to a particular system without taking into cognizance their individual peculiarities.

I believe I speak for every Muslim who knows his or her worth that we refuse to continuously under the shadows of Christianity. If you want me to become a Christian, preach Christianity to me and do not force it down my throat. We will spit it out even if we I have to cough out our lungs along with it. Let us know our limits, live and allow others to live. This ought not to be difficult.

IGHO HAKEEM OHWOJEHERI
Twitter handler @naijainfoman
Khartoum, Sudan

 

NB

If you find this piece offensive, there is nothing I can do to help you. But if you dispute any fact therein, consider this an open invitation to write a enjoinder. Thanks.

Advertisements

22 thoughts on “A MUSLIM RESPONSE TO THE CATHOLIC BISHOP MEMO TO THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE

    • I read this as a person that have no religion and do not take sides, but, am afriad this is badly done, truth has never been so muddled up! it is a disgrace that we are as a people would be fighting over religiosn that we have no stake in. the summary of this peice points ” It is not justice to subject two different people with different moral values and way of life to a particular system…” if we have ireconcilable differences, it means we are advocating for the division of the country, sadly, i must add. Is it possible for you religious people to just practice your religion in the privacy of your rooms and let us live together as a people? Can you children of “Abraham” just keep your religions in your bedrooms and let us have a ciruclar society where everyone would be govern by a common law and not theocracy? I see where Boko Haram is gettingits support from

      • No my brother, you are the one that is getting it wrong, or perhaps you simply refuse to get it wright even though you claim not to have a religion.

        As a matter of fact, I can’t see how you have not taken sides here despite your claim to the contrary. Your last statement, about “where Boko Haram is getting support from” say all about your prejudiced judgment.

        By the way, the op hasn’t said anything new or contrary to the reality on ground; they are well documented fact.

        Be that as it may, please informed that religion can never be practiced alone- no, it is communal. Please be rightly guided.

      • I find it amazing that you should say we should just stay in our bedrooms and practice our religion while you “civilized” people make up laws that is fair seeming to you, for us to live by. This is God’s Earth and we are His creation and only His law is the law we should live by. How could you expect someone who loves and fears God to act like He does exists outside of there homes? while you and those like you have the right to boldly forget about God in and outside of your homes and you call that being fair. People like you are the most injustice while thinking you are being just. We fight to establish God’s rule over His creation on earth and you seem puzzled by it, while you fight to abolish God’s rule and saying it is just and fair. The evil that people do while thinking that it was good amazes me.

      • You quoted me out of context. I said:

        “It is not justice to subject two different people with different moral values and way of life to a particular system without taking into cognizance their individual peculiarities”.

        If english language is your problem, let me rephrase; The Nigeria system should take cognisance of our different cultures and way of life. This does not mean I am advocating that the country should break as you unintelligently concluded.

        You want us to practice our religion in our houses and you can practice you atheism in the society. Why don’t you practise your secularism in the house and allow us to practice religion in the society? Why must it be the way you want it and not the way we [religious people] want it?

    • I agree with Haji that you have written well. however, I think there is a conceptual or spiritual blunder contained in the statement when you asserted as follows – “we fight to God can fight for himself. I rather think that some religions fight to establish themselves while some others uses persuasion to establish themselves. If every religion has to go by that same concept of fighting to establish establish themselves and or their relevance to this generation, the whole world/earth will be so heated up that it will reach its boiling and or melting point within a matter of days. The melting point will obviously mark the end of the human race.

      On a second thought, I am beginning to think that mother earth is already fed up with humanity. May be that melting point should be hastened. Humans are so supposed to epitomise God’s excellence. Unfortunately, the same humans have given God so much food for thought, that God himself may be getting ready wrap up the human race.

      Please let no man arrogate to himself that he is fighting for God because God can very certainly and very ably fight for himself. Thank you.

      • with correction:
        I agree with Haji that you have written well. however, I think there is a conceptual or spiritual blunder contained in the statement when you asserted as follows – “we fight to establish God’s rule over his creation on earth and you seem puzzled by it …” The truth is that God can fight for himself. I rather think that some religions (not just one) fight to establish themselves while some others uses persuasion to establish themselves. If every religion has to go by that same concept of fighting for establishment and or for relevance (of “themselves” or their “god”)to this generation, the whole world/earth will be so heated up that it will reach its boiling point and or melting point within a matter of days. The melting point will obviously mark the end of the human race.

        On a second thought, I am beginning to think that mother earth is already fed up with humanity. May be that melting point should be hastened up after all. Humans are supposed to epitomise God’s excellence. Unfortunately, the same humans have given God so much food for thought, that God himself may be getting ready to wrap up the human race.

        Please let no man arrogate to himself that he is fighting for God because God can very certainly and very ably fight for himself. Thank you.

  1. I do not know who you are or what is chasing you , but i Can say one thing categorically your hatred has blind you to the reality on ground , Saying the constitution of the country is a christain constitution is another pointer to the reality of your blindness, if you are yoruba i will simply advice you that (ti aba un sun ekun a ma un ri na ooo) and do n ot bring this your brigandship into south west, we have all co-existed for ages, we start worshipping sango before we even know any of the new born Gods, and if they are not going to give us peace then let us simply turn back to our old religion abi (osa bo le gbemi semi bi ose bami) simple, what is the essence of living earth like hell when you can get to heaven and make a choice. And stop this written (if you do not have a job go and hang yourself ) let us leave in our co-existing peace.

    • Bro or sis. I do not see any reality that is different from what the guy just stated above.I would recommend that every citizen of the world take a course in Islam 101.To help you all understand that Islam is not a passive religion which can be confined.It is dominant which is necessary because logically any thing called a religion is Culture.The purpose of religions is not to pray for worldly possessions which is ephemeral and transient but for true guidance which establishes a code of conduct that will always dominate your life if truly you want to be guided.I f you wanna start an argument on the tenacity of Religion and the efficacy of Islam I welcome you to dialogue with me.For the sake of peace and tolerance please go and find out more about Islam from the first hand perspective.You can never understand Islam from the outside because of your delusions and stereotypes.Take a course in Islam and you will never remain in your misguidance again.At least is not going to hurt you .its gonna help you increase in Knowledge of the most Contemporary issue in the world which is ISLAM.

  2. I hate (with passion) all religion fanatics (Imams,pastors,bishops,clerics). They are all devil incarnates. They will never have peace. I hate them all.

  3. It is unfortunate how people tend to cover up the truth for whatever reasons. I have seen the different levels of oppression from the christian folks as I grew up as a little child and through my university days and even with my current work experience. This has been the norm – muslims have been oppressed under the hood and Islamic beliefs and core values have been insulted and abused without apologies. The system itself is steered towards seeing Islam as evil and make muslims feel inferior. You dont have to agree with me but I know what I have undergone growing up to be an easy going upright muslim looking unto Allah alone.

  4. I just hope all Nigerians will allow one another to practise his/her faith peacefully. It is so unfortunate that the victims(Muslims) of religious intolerance in Nigeria are the ones being accused all the time.

  5. It is very funny how people who out of desperation wants every other person to practice their believe system always shout aloud that some people are intolerant.
    If you won’t allow me dress the way I want because it is not in tandem with your religion,if you think I have no right to choose the law to obey as it portrays my religious inclination,if you think my membership of any international organization is being an extremist tendencies and if you think my choice to bank without profiteering and without investing my wealth in sectors I see as against my religious teaching is offensive to you and if you see my children and sisters covering up themselves to school is offending your sight and yet you claim I am not tolerant,I am then forced to seek understanding on what the word “Tolerance” really mean.
    May be I should just be allowed to live my cave men life my way while you indulge in your secularism and social living as it pleases you,or what do you think?.

  6. It is unfortunate that the writer of this parable doesn’t understand the Quoted statement of the Bishops. what they are trying to say is Both Islam and Christianity should be allowed to be practiced just exactly like other religion in the country (be it traditional or whatever).. after-all we can see what Bokoharam is claiming and trying to bring into existence (they said no western stuff will be allowed in there region, tell me are those north region only belong to Muslims?? for them to reject western life. Please brothers and sister we have to get this straight that Nigeria doesn’t not belong to Arabic countries and it will never be!! let everyone practice his or her religion just like any other west-African country

  7. Am a muslim nd I knw what is islam.
    I dn want to waste my time to say a lot .all what I want say is…IF ISLAM IS A GOD KINGDOM HE (GOD) MOST PROTECT HIS KINGDOM let them (can) do whatever they want.
    Up to nw no body hv ever say a word on the realationship betwing jery gana ( secrtary of c.a.n) and Muhammad yusuf ()

  8. I don’t know if the guy who wrote this script is a Nigeria or Arab,he says Xtians are mad at inscriptions is arabic, are we arabs or nigeria,if he’s saying that muslim in Nigeria do not suscribes to the nigeria tribes,then logically they are not Nigerians and there is no Nigeria.The history of african slave trade and the input of arabs enslavery (till now Yaya Toure case & ManCity amongst others),calls into question where this guy’s loyalty lies,
    Another point is he justifying bh activities bcos its squarely the woke of northern muslims– (arab agenda).
    Were did he get the statistics that muslims are more in taraba, Nassarawa,kwara & Kogi state .

    My analysis is this is another Sudan -brainwashed arab ‘Nigerian’,all these comments is just doesn’t make sense,very evasive and full of lies and inconsistency – a trait f brain-washes bigot .
    For the guy saying everyone in world needs to read Quran,its not in the read(how about the guys that cannot read, you want force them),its the seed,
    A man is a god on the earth ,he has brains,eyes, mouth to thing & decided .I’m sorry all the argument presented by this guys are simply childish and very low-mindded in this thinking.Its a shame,these are the kind of guys who will be running the northern Nigeria or some place in Nigeria, our youth do not have any hope with these kind of people,its an insult to call these kind of man a Nigeria and he doesn’t demonstrate the capacity of intellectialism

    • I have been admonished to be gentle with people like you. I gave an open challenge to any one of you who felt the facts contain in the article is not accurate to write a rejoinder. I did not present an argument, I presented facts that Muslims are discriminated.

      Assuming you are right and I am a brainwashed “Arab-Nigerian” whatever that means, it still doesn’t change the facts that is contained in the article.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s