The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has questioned the rationale behind the insertion of the Jewish symbol, the Star of David, on the new N100 commemorative centenary banknote which will be officially issued on December 19.
MURIC noted that Nigerian Muslims are complaining that the Arabic writing in Hausa language (the Ajami script) that read ‘Naira Dari’ (i.e. one hundred naira) on the N100 note has been removed and replaced with the Jewish symbol, the Star of David.
As a faith-based human rights organization which believes in the dialogue option, MURIC said that it is duty bound to articulate the demands of Nigerian Muslims particularly on matters which have to do with imbalance in governments’ (Federal or state) treatment of the adherents of the different religions.
MURIC recalls that Arabic inscriptions which have always been on Nigerian currency since independence were unceremoniously removed in 2005 from N5, N10, N20 and N50 denominations. They remained on N100, N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations.
MURIC, in a statement signed by its director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said that Nigerian Muslims regard the latest action as a continuation of the campaign of elimination by substitution against Arabic language and, by implication, against Nigerian Muslims.
“It is well known that a large section of the Nigerian population use the Arabic Ajami and removing it from the new note will deprive millions of users of the Arabic Ajami of the ability to recognize, identify and use the new currency.
“Furthermore, putting the Jewish symbol on the new N100 falls short of international standard as currencies worldwide are designed to suit each nation’s culture and history.
“Where does the Jewish symbol fit in? Which Nigerian community speaks the Jewish language? The insertion of the Jewish symbol is therefore clannish and parochial. It is tainted with undisguised religious fanaticism.
The group said that there is nothing wrong for the president to like Israel as a nation but it is another thing entirely to openly and brazenly promote Zionism at the highest office in the country which is still struggling with the last vestiges of colonialism. “Nigerian Muslims are becoming increasingly suspicious and very uncomfortable with the actions and inactions of President Jonathan,” it said.
“Firstly, in spite of the preponderance of Muslims in the South West, he appointed no single Muslim as minister in the whole region for almost four years.
“Secondly, he marginalized Muslims in the deliberations which took place in the National Conference by appointing a meager 189 Muslims as against 303 Christians.
“What kind of leader pursues such gross imbalance in his policies by giving a higher number of delegates to a minority group? How can deliberations of such a conference receive popular acceptance?
“Thirdly, Mr. President saturated the security system in Aso Rock with Israeli security operatives, a nation well known for its animosity towards Muslims. The supplanting of Arabic language with Jewish symbol is the fourth among Jonathan’s anti-Muslim policies.
“The above are daring, divisive, reckless and highly provocative steps. They get Nigerians wondering where President Jonathan is taking this country. But if once is happenstance, if twice is a coincidence and if the third time is enemy action, what do we call the fourth time? We are sick and tired of our president’s hatred for us. He openly confronts Muslims and goads us to challenge him.
But the group said that Muslims will not be provoked. “Neither shall we be intimidated by executive maladministration. As apostles of dialogue and advocates of peaceful coexistence, as tax-payers, voters and citizens of this country, we hereby ask President Jonathan to explain the Jewish symbol on Nigeria’s money.
“We also demand to know why the presidency could not employ security experts from neutral countries like Britain or France instead of Israel which is a sworn enemy of Muslims.
“Mr. President may also deem it fit to tell us if there is no correlation between the Israeli security experts in Aso Rock, the Israeli caught with Nigeria’s N9.3m arms money in South Africa and the Jewish symbol on the new N100 note.
“Mr. President sir, are you not gradually selling Nigeria to Israel? And are you sure this will not attract the wrath of Israel’s enemies to our dear country? Can this also be partly responsible for the viciousness of the Boko Haram phenomenon?
MURIC appeals to Muslims nationwide to await President Jonathan’s response to the above questions and to remain calm and law abiding.
“We must also eschew violence as stipulated in Qur’an 2:190. Instead of using illegal and unconstitutional means, we charge Muslims to explore every opportunity offered by the Nigerian constitution and the Nigerian democratic process to protest against Jonathan’s oppression of Nigerian Muslims. Tyrants can be taught lessons of their lives in times of elections.