The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has asked the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) to “mind its business and stop opposing the Muslims right to operate Shariah.”
MURIC Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said this in a statement on Sunday.
This followed a warning the PFN issued against the move by any group to introduce Sharia law to the South-West through the ongoing constitutional review being carried out by the Senate.
“PFN and other Christian groups are fully aware that Shariah was in the South West decades before the arrival of Christianity in 1842. Shariah was practiced in Ede under Oba Abibu Olagunju (Habeeb, a Muslim name) and the Ede Shariah Court operated up till 1913 at Agbeni area of the town.
“It was moved to Agbongbon area in 1914. Shariah was applied in Iwo under Oba Momodu Lamuye (Muhammad Lamuye) who died in 1906. Even the seventh Akirun of Ikirun, Oba Aliyu Oyewole (died 1912), instituted Shariah in Ikirun in 1910.
“These are just examples of the existence and spread of Shariah in Yorubaland and the Christian leaders are not oblivious of the fact that it was the British Christian colonialists who stopped Shariah in Yorubaland and imposed Christian common law,” Akintola said.
He added that the PFN and other Christians are equally aware of the rising tide of Islamic awareness in the same South West and that they were only afraid that the sleeping giant is waking up to take back what belongs to it.
He said, “Our Christian neighbours know well that Shariah is the Allah-given fundamental human right of Muslims. But they are determined to deprive us of it using unorthodox methods. They believe they are at war with Muslims and to them, everything is fair in war. They are using both fair and foul means to achieve their objective.
“We call on Nigerians to understand the siege mentality of our Christian neighbours. Like all aggressors, they believe that attack is the best form of defence. As the benefactors and inheritors of colonial rampage that lasted more than a century, they are determined to keep all the loot which their principal bequeathed to them. They are determined to keep the Muslims in a concentration camp into which the colonial masters drove them.
“The Constitution Review Panel asked Nigerians to forward their views regarding what they want in the constitution. Each group is supposed to submit its needs. But instead of telling the panel what the Christians want, PFN has gone ahead to say what they do not want Muslims to ask for. It is an attempt to gag Muslims in the South West and it will not work.”
He said that the claim of religious tolerance in the South-West is a sham and a mantra designed to keep Yoruba Muslims in perpetual slavery.
“Muslims in the region are waking up and asking for freedom. We demand a halt to the forceful use of Christian school uniform, Christian education, Christian law. We demand civil Shariah, not criminal Shariah that involves the cutting of hands but civil Shariah to regulate Muslim marriages, inheritance, family affairs. It has nothing to do with Christians. We will use every peaceful and constitutional means available to attain this objective,” he added.