13 Muslim groups under the umbrella of Muslims United for Peace and Justice yesterday called on the federal government to ensure justice for the killers of Deborah Samuel, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto who was lynched over alleged blasphemy recently.
The groups, however, urged the federal and state governments to strengthen or promulgate laws to criminalize blasphemy, and killing for blasphemy outside the law, and faithfully enforce them.
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Professor Lakin Akintola, an Islamic human rights activist and Executive Director of Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), who addressed a press conference in Lagos alongside other Muslim leaders, called for justice against the perpetrators, “irrespective of the nature of their motivation or the justification they claim.”
He said the tragic event could be utilized as a turning point in Muslim-Christian relations and herald a new peaceful co-existence, adding, “These are achievable ideals if each religious adherent will embrace and sincerely practice the sublime messages of their faith.”
He also called for deep introspection by leaders of the Christian community and urged them to employ all means to fend off intolerance.
Akintola added, “We express strong solidarity with voices of reason and moderation amongst scholars of Islam and declare readiness to continue working together to strengthen the pillars of national peace, reconciliation and understanding.
“We urge leaders of faiths to continue to enlighten and educate adherents on the need for mutual respect, to focus on messages of love and work against voices of hatred and extremism amongst them.
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