– Warns against reprisal attacks on Christians in Kano, other Northern states
Nine Muslim children who had been kidnapped, converted to Christianity and sold into slavery were rescued by the Kano Police Command on Friday, 11th October, 2019. The children were abducted in Kano and taken to Onitsha in Anambra State.
The abduction has been condemned by an Islamic group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) which spoke through its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday, 14th October, 2019. In its most recent press release, MURIC described the latest discovery as nauseating, wicked and reprehensible.
“Kidnappers have taken over the house of God. The phenomenon of kidnapping for Christ has now rented the air. We are shocked to our marrows. It is the height of acrobatic religiousity, gymnastic spirituality and paradoxical criminality. It is such a big shame that some Christian fanatics will live among us only for the purpose of abducting our children, converting them to Christianity and selling them into slavery. Kidnapping for Christ is disgusting, nauseating, wicked and reprehensible.
“We see it as an extension of the ‘Nigeria for Christ’ slogan. Christian evangelists are no longer satisfied with their illegal taking over of commercial vehicles where they scream over the heads of peaceful and law-abiding Nigerians going or coming from work. The overnight vigils where they raise noise level beyond 100 decibels are not enough for them.
“They are now stealing our children as the latter emerge from their Islamiyyah schools. Why do they hate us so much? Why do they pretend to be our neighbours? An open declaration of hostilities would have been better because it would have alerted us to the fact that we are living in the midst of foes.
“Nonetheless, MURIC will not allow emotion to becloud its intervention in this sensitive and ugly development. We are aware that not all Christians are involved in this criminal behavior. Many adherents of Christianity are decent and peace-loving. Such Christians will never decend so low as to seize, convert and sell Muslim children.
“We therefore appeal to Muslims throughout the federation to dispassionately separate the wheat from the chaff. This Kano 9 incident should not be allowed to generate animosity between them and their Christian neighbours. Neither should it ignite spontaneous attacks on non-indigenes in Muslim majority areas.
“Nonetheless, MURIC charges Muslim parents to be security conscious particularly around their children. Mallams in charge of Islamiyyah schools and madrasahs all over Nigeria are urged to do head-counting before the commencement of classes and immediately after. Muslim children should be given security tips. For instance, movement in groups should be encouraged while residents should heighten their vigilance.”
MURIC blamed the phenomenon of abduction for Christ on aggressive proselytisation.
“This kind of abduction can be traced to Christian aggressive proselytization in Nigeria. Nigerian Christians take preaching like war. The firebrand evangelists take over commercial vehicles. It is only in Nigeria that people preach inside buses and distract the attention of drivers.
“Such arrant nonsense is not allowed in saner climes but in Nigeria, once one Christian starts this abnormal thing inside a commercial bus, others encourage him by clapping and singing along with him whether or not there are Muslims in the same vehicle. It is total disregard for social decorum and aggravated assault on civilized behavior.
The organization also argued that the Kano 9 imbroglio could not have been the first.
“We have every reason to contend that the Kano 9 imbroglio is not the first. The systematic abduction of Muslim children has been going on long before 2014. These Christian kidnappers are methodical and meticulous. They study the environment for some time and plan their escape routes with microscopic accuracy.
“The Kano 9 were just lucky to have been found. Thousands have disappeared without trace. There must be other criminal syndicates like those caught recently. The identities of Muslim kids are changed once they are abducted. They are then given Christian names and sold away to human traffickers and ritualists. It is another angle to the crusade against Muslims and it changes the narrative.
“MURIC holds firebrand Christian clerics who preach hate in their churches responsible for this onslaught against Muslims and their children. Our mosques are being demolished. Our children are being kidnapped and forcefully converted to Christianity.
“School authorities lock out Muslim children on account of ordinary head scarf. The Muslim girl-child suffers daily from the illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional and blatant impunity of Christian school officials. Muslims have become endangered species in Nigeria. Oh God! What have we done to deserve this?
“We appeal to the security agencies to provide adequate security around Islamiyyah schools and protect Muslim children from Christian abductors. The Kano 9 culprits must face the full wrath of the law. There must be no cover-up.
“They work in syndicates. Efforts must be made to apprehend other Christian groups targeting Muslim children for abduction. Security agents should beam their searchlights on night buses leaving the cities, particularly northern and South Western cities where Muslim population is thick. Good Christians should reject and expose the bad eggs among them in the same way that mainstream Muslims rejected and exposed Boko Haram.
MURIC also mocked some activists and the rest of civil society for being selective.
“We are miffed by the attitude of some members of civil society and human rights activists. They raise hell and brimstone when a single Christian is involved in what looks like a denial but look the other way when thousands of Muslims are deprived. This is selective activism. It is sheer playing to the gallery.
“Nigerians will recall the hullabaloo that followed the Ese Oruru saga in March 2016. Where are the advocates of girl-child rights who nearly brought down the ceilings of heaven over a mere case of elopement? Where are the human rights lawyers today?
Who will defend the poor, innocent Muslim children now that our human rights lawyers have elected to press the mute button on their remote controls? Why have the Nobel prize winners maintained a deafening silence over the persecution of hijab-wearing students in the South West?
“The hijab controversy has been raging in the South West for over three years now and they are yet to find their voice. They have refused to speak up for millions of female Muslim children who have been repressed, depressed and oppressed. Many of them have been forced out of school and our human rights activists believe it is business as usual. We affirm that double standards have the capacity to diminish credibility. Nigerians should know them for what they are the next time they speak again.
“On the foreign scene, we are not surprised that the question on the lips of President Donald Trump is always ‘Why are you killing Christians in Nigeria?’ Trump will never ask, ‘Why are you persecuting Muslim girls in Nigeria?’ As the arrow head of Christian crusade against Muslims all over the world, we jog Trump’s conscience on the travails of the Muslim girl-child in South West Nigeria.
“We call on justice-loving Americans to speak up. We appeal to the United Nations to check the violation of Allah-given fundamental right of the Nigerian Muslim girl-child to the dignity of her human person and the manifestation of her personal identity as a Muslim.
“In our closing remarks, we strongly denounce kidnapping in the name of Christ. We urge the police to prosecute those arrested over the Kano 9 pallaver. We also appeal to the security agencies to provide adequate protection for Islamiyyah school children.
“Finally, we charge the UN to check the infringements against the Nigerian Muslim girl-child. We urge Nigerian Muslims to regard abductors of the Kano 9 as the black sheep in Christiandom who do not in any way represent Nigerian Christians as a corporate whole. The good Muslims and good Christians should therefore expose the evil ones and continue to peacefully coexist in the interest of the Nigerian project.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)