Charlie Hebdo: Our Position, – Says Da’wah Council

News, Religion

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria, a conglomeration of 47 Muslim organisations in the country has condemned in strong terms, the recent publication of a cartoon by a French magazine.

In a statement issued to Journalists in Sokoto on Monday, the President of the Council, Mohammad Lawal Maidoki observed that the magazine was bent on using its pen to promote destructions of lives and properties in the name of Journalism.

According to the President, “Although we believe in the freedom of speech; freedom of association; freedom of religion and all other rights such as right of protection; right to security of life and property among others, we in strong terms, express our anger and total objection and hereby condemn the publication of the new cartoon by the French magazine.”

Maidoki stressed that the Muslim world and the non-Muslims, who respect the personality of Prophet Muhammad were not happy “with the action of the magazine, the French government and the UN.”

He observed that in spite of freedom of speech, there is freedom as well as laws that protect not only dignitaries but also ordinary persons, “not to talk of a prophet who is a part of the symbol of our faith.”

Maidoki added that much as Muslims were enjoined to believe and respect all prophets, “we believe that no doctrine of any religion enjoins insults on other people’s belief.”

He further stressed that although Muslims were not in support of any violence that could lead to destructions of lives and properties, they do not joke with the person of prophet Muhammad “and we do not take it lightly or fold our arms while he is being ridiculed, abused or even disrespected by anybody.”

Acknowledging that Journalism was not about creating confusion, promoting crisis or encouraging hate between communities , countries or regions, Maidoki added that “We believe that the ethics of the profession is against character assassination, libel or slander.

“How many journalists are now in detention or prisons in different countries simply because they wrote articles that are considered to incite people against governments,” he said asking that if such could not be tolerated, why should the Muslims support the magazine for publishing a cartoon that defame or radicle the prophet?

He emphasised that the western world should not take Muslims as “impatient, fundamentalists or fanatics simply for reacting to actions that ridicule our religion and the prophet.”

The Council condemned the actions of individuals, groups, governments or organisations that participated in any rally which supported Charlie Hebdo. “Islam is a religion of peace and certainly history will never forgive them.”

Da’wah Council Reacts to Bishops’ Claim on Boko Haram

Religion

By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria, an umbrella body of 47 different Islamic organisations in Sokoto on Monday reacted to the claim of Prelate Samuel Uche that the Fulani/Kanuri that are desperate to get power were behind the Boko Haram insurgency in the North.

Addressing Journalists at the office of Sokoto state Zakkat and Endowment Committee, the President of the Council, Muhammad Lawal Maidoki described the entire claim contained in a national daily as “full of contradictions, false allegations and ethnic bigotry.”

According to him, as Islamic organisations that preach religious harmony and peaceful coexistence in Nigeria, “It is imperative on us to draw the attention of the good citizens of Nigeria on the dangers of the allegations made by Samuel Uche and the need for people who claim to be religious leaders to guard their utterances in a trying period of this nature in our country.”

The Council alleged quoted Prelate Uche to have said in the daily that, “Let me reveal to you this evening and at this important service at this juncture that some of our soldiers, because you know we Bishops have impact in the society; we relate with soldiers and all manner of people. And some of the people in war front have confided in us that, apart from some mercenaries from Chad, Libya as well as Somalia, 95 percent of those fighting our country are of Fulani and Kanuri origin. The second is that they want to Islamatise Nigeria and build a parallel Caliphate different from the one we know in Sokoto.”

The Council therefore asked to know the soldiers that confided in the Bishops; to know the composition of the other Bishops and where the location of the “war front” that he alleged the Bishops visited.

“Does Bishop Samuel really understand the meanings of “Islamise Nigeria” and “Parallel caliphate” and it is part of your religious preaching to use provocative words such as “enemies of Nigeria,” “shameless individuals,” and “disgruntled elements?” The Council asked.

The statement also registered apprehension that the Bishop was bold enough to make such claims before President Jonathan. “What influence has the Bishop to have made such statement in the presence of President Jonathan, David Mark and military top-brass?” It asked.

Maidoki said that the Council was aware of statements by government officials and community and opinion leaders against the Muslims and Hausa Fulani but were only being tolerant.

“We wish to categorically state that it is not out of cowardice or helplessness that northerners are accommodating all sorts of rubbish said against us. It is rather out of our religious tolerance and belief for peaceful coexistence and unity of this country,” the Council stated.

Maidoki referred Bishop Uche to verse 12 of chapter 49 of the Qur’an which states: “O you who believe, avoid much suspicions, indeed some suspicions are sins and spy not, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the one who accepts repentance, most merciful.”