Shi’ite group not insurgent group – MURIC tells el-Rufai

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*No, they are insurgent group – CSO

*el-Rufai’s decision sign of serious govt in town – Source

By Kemi Kasumu

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The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), on Tuesday, reacted to the declaration by Kaduna State Government of the embattled Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) as an insurgent group.

MURIC, in a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, ventilated its rejection of the decision.

It said, “The new declaration is nothing short of calling a dog a bad name in other to hang it. Kaduna State government is being economical with the truth, killing a fly with a sledge hammer and engaging in executive tyranny.

“This is a very dangerous dimension. Coming shortly after a competent court of law ordered the release of the IMN leader, Shaykh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky from detention, this stigmatisation is just another attempt by the state government to jump the gun.

“The declaration is short in equity, long in injustice. But we must remember Martin Luther’s warning that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

“Kaduna government is pregnant with ingredients of all the five evils which Chamberlain spoke about, viz, brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution. Why is it that the only thing men learn from history is that they learn nothing from history? Kaduna has not learnt anything from the Boko Haram phenomenon. Kaduna has chosen to prove both Hegel and Karl Marx right in their postulate that history always repeats itself.”

MURIC however took a swipe on the Shi’ite organisation saying if so many neighbours had testified against it the way they had done, it meant that something was wrong with the Ibrahim El-Zakzaky-led group.  He added quoting Shaikh Usman Dan Fodio, “In an unjust society, silence is a crime…” Let us speak up now before it is too late.

Where Shi’ite group go wrong

“But members of the IMN also need to do some self-assessment. Something must be wrong with a system against which so many neighbours testify.  Several people (including Muslims) confirm that they had had bitter encounters with members of the IMN.

“They complain about the group’s open display of arrogance. All those people could not have been lying. Something must be wrong with a doctrine which embarrasses the rest of The Muslim Ummah and from which they dissociate themselves,” MURIC said.

It commended the leadership of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic

Affairs (NSCIA) for its efforts in resolving the IMN debacle and the

maturity it had manifested in handling the matter.

“Due to the sensitive nature of the issue, NSCIA has engaged in quiet diplomatic shuttling between governments and the IMN from the beginning. We urge the NSCIA to continue the dialogue.

In conclusion, we appeal to the Kaduna State government to de-label IMN

and begin a process of reconciliation and reorientation for its members. That is the path of visionary leadership and responsible governance. It is the path of peace. On its own part, IMN must improve its relationship with other Islamic organizations.”

In the meantime, some civil society organisations had on Monday besieged the premises of an Abuja High Court protesting against its judgment which granted the Shi’ite group’s leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky unconditional bail with additional fine of N50 million to be paid to him by the government.

The group said the court must reverse its decision over matter as, according to them, releasing El-Zakzaky in view of what they called his organisation’s threat to the security and peace of the nation was tantamount to calculated attempt by the court to be part of the threat to the nation in the name of taking vengeance against the DSS.

The groups had however been advised to put their grievances in writing and present it through a lawyer for the court to decide on it.

The DEFENDER’s investigation revealed that both MURIC and the judiciary system in the country should look beyond the issue of rights at this time as, according to a source, “No law guarantees anybody or group to constitute himself or itself as threat to the security and peace of any society. The high time we look at issues beyond sentiments and place our national interest above all interest so that we can move forward.

“As far I am concerned, this is the first time in a very long time that we are having a serious government in this country which deals with issues on merit without consideration of religious, political or tribal influence.  MURIC should know that Boko Haram went viral not because they were dealt with by the government but because some elements within the Nigerian Police killed their leader in custody after the unjust killing of over 800 members of the group during a peaceful protest.

“So, how can you now compare that with a case of a group which has not only been subject of concern and several complaints by its neighbours but also went to the extent of constituting itself as threat to the security of the nation by blocking the road against the icon of national security, the Chief of Army Staff and all others that they have committed?

“So, this is what we should look at.  And so, I am a Muslim and I know that what the Shi’ite group did was not only wrong by sane Muslims’ assessment but also had been proved by constitutionally empowered authorities to have been dangerous to the peace of the land.  Then what is the question about when the government has only taken a stand to do its job as a government?

“This is however also a warning to even the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that nobody or organisation can any longer be accepted to hide under religion or whatever guise to cause breach of the peace or encourage things capable of inciting violence in this country but that such body will be dealt with either as an individual or as a group, without recourse to whether it is Muslim, Christian or highly placed in the society.  That is the way to go from now on,” the source, who spoke under strictly requested condition of anonymity, told The DEFENDER.

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