Muslims urged to remain calm despite provocation

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The Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN) has appealed to Muslims not to be incited by a recent report credited to Bishop Magnus Atilade, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), which allegedly urged Christians to fight against islamisation in Nigeria.

It specifically appeals to all Muslims in the South-west to remain calm despite what it described as the deliberate and unrepentant provocation which the reported statement, with the threats contained in it, clearly portrays.

“We cannot afford to allow that provocation to make us abandon our traditional patience and perseverance which we have displayed despite hostilities against us and our religion; the patience and perseverance which made the apparent inter-religious cordiality in the region possible and sustainable,” MUSWEN said in a statement signed by its Executive Secretary, Prof. S. O. Noibi.

It assured the Muslims of the South-west, which it said were “clearly are the target of the threats coming from the CAN leader,” that it would provide appropriate response to the inciteful statements which will expose the “terrible falsehood on which the Bishop’s statements were based as well as the hidden agenda behind it.”

The statement said that MUSWEN hopes that the Christian relations in Yorubaland will be cautious enough not to allow the incitements contained in the Bishop’s statements and similar ones to turn them against their Muslim kinsmen only to regret their actions thereafter.

“Allah warns us in the Qur’an (49:6) to be wary when someone comes up with information that might be inciteful against others as you might end up blaming yourself at the end of the day when you discover that the source of the said information is unreliable and self-seeking.

“Nigerians, particularly those of us in the South-west, cannot afford to be sentimental and allow ourselves to be misled into taking unwarranted-destructive actions. We wish to assure Muslims of the fact that the totally wrong assumptions and false claims contained in the statement as reported in the newspaper will soon become known to all,” it said.

MUSWEN said that it finds the claim and threat, coming from the CAN leader, that the South-west is the next battle ground in what he claims to be an attack on Christians to be a rude shock, especially coming from a Yoruba man and someone occupying such a high religious position.
It therefore, said that it expect the security agencies to step into the matter, even as it stated that “the Muslims of the South-west are convinced that the kind of disturbing picture of an imminent confrontation between the two religious groups has no basis whatsoever, and that there is a hidden agenda behind the claim.
“It is up to the security agencies to prove us wrong if they think otherwise. Meanwhile, we call on them to openly and roundly condemn these dangerous rumours and speculations of the Bishop.”
It advised political leaders in the South-west not to allow any baseless speculations or threats to make them lose focus, stating that it has no slightest doubt about the irony in the wild claims made against Islam and the Muslims of the South-west in the Bishop’s statements with regard to political and other appointments. “The false and misleading nature of the claims will soon become known to all and sundry,” it stated.

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