Nigerian Christians will tomorrow join their counterparts across the globe in celebrating Christmas. The festival marks the birth of Jesus (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) prays for the safety and well-being of all adherents of the Christian faith before, during and after Christmas. As usual, we reaffirm our goodwill for our Christian neighbours and assure all foreigners in the country of our commitment to their safety and welfare. Essentially, we reject the perverse ideology of those who ask Muslims to kill Westerners. Islam is not a racist religion.
We remind all Nigerians that religion is expected to serve as a link among homo sapiens. It should therefore not divide us. Love is sine qua non as an ingredient of righteousness. Religion is therefore dry and incomplete where there is no love.
MURIC therefore invites Nigerians to love, to tolerate and to forgive one another. We need these three qualities (love, tolerance and forgiveness) in order to build a peaceful and progressive nation.
We charge politicians to avoid whipping up religious sentiment during the ongoing electioneering campaign. By the same token, we remind prospective voters to shun religious prejudice and ethnic jingoism. Picking candidates on the basis of credibility is the mark of an enlightened electorate.
We warn that any God-fearing Christian or Muslim can successfully lead Nigeria to El Dorado whereas a deceitful Christian or Muslim hypocrite can only end up dividing the country and worsening the sufferings of Nigerians. Religion is therefore not the issue.
Finally, we appeal to Nigerians to spend the Yuletide period in praying for the return of peace to our dear country. We also charge religious leaders to set good example by closing ranks and by encouraging interfaith dialogue.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)