The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has demanded that all the grievances of Muslims in the country be addressed by the Federal Government.
According to MUSIC, addressing those grievances would bring to an end religious violence, which it said was caused by the denial of their Islamic fundamental human rights in the country.
The group also reiterated the six reliefs being sought by Nigerian Muslims, in a New Year message signed by its director, Ishaq Akintola.
MURIC wants the Federal government to “recognise the Hijrah holiday; recognise Islamic marriages; Friday holiday question; acceptance of caps, turban, hijab and beards for identity cards, driving licences and international travelling passports; acceptance of beards and hijab in uniformed organisations like the army, police, NYSC, etc and, finally, establishment of Shariah courts in all states where there is significant number of Muslims” in the country.
MURIC said that Nigerian Muslims want the government to address those six grievances, which, according to Akintola, they had listed during the year 2020 but the government failed to attend to any of the requests.
The Prof Akintola-led group said it believed that the war against Boko Haram had not been won because the President Muhammadu Buhari led had not adopted the carrot and stick technique.
MURIC said that government’s dependency on the use of force was not yielding the desired results, adding that as soldiers battle insurgents on the field, there must also be a genuine dialogue with Muslim leaders and groups in the country.
“Deradicalisation will remain a farce until all Allah-given fundamental human rights are willingly rendered to Nigerian Muslims,” he said.
MURIC said that there was the possibility that those who engage in terrorism and other forms of criminalities may repent if they see government introducing reforms which conform with the yearnings of Muslims in the country.
“But a situation whereby Muslims continue to suffer excruciating pain everyday without any hope in sight is the major cause of the protracted insurgency in the North East.
The perception of insurgents seeking the forceful establishment of an Islamic caliphate is that Nigeria is being run along Christian line and all Islamic landmarks have been eliminated. FG owes it a duty to correct this erroneous and dangerous perception,” the group said.
The Islamic organization wondered why the Federal Government should declare national holiday on the 1st of January, but has ignored the demand of Nigerian Muslims for the recognition of the first day of the Hijrah calendar.
“FG is thereby giving us the impression that Nigeria only recognises Christianity at the national level but Islam is non grata. This is gross injustice and it is a major grievance nursed by conscious Muslims against the Nigerian state,” MURIC said, calling on the Buhari government to withdraw recognition for January 1 and allow States to make the decision.
MURIC said that this is what should obtain in a true federation, calling on the government to consider restructuring the country.
It is our contention that no true deradicalisation of extremist religious groups can take place without addressing the grievances of Nigerian Muslims,” he said.