An Islamic faith-based organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has alleged that the United States (US) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) are conniving to accuse the Nigerian government of restraining religious freedom.
It further accused CAN of becoming an endangered species in their fatherland by also claiming lop-sidedness in appointments under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
In a press statement issued by MURIC and signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the group debunked the allegations by CAN and the US government, as it faulted US democratic status and described its role in global matters as the height of double standard. The group also accused CAN of shedding crocodile tears.
“We see the mention of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) by the US as a smokescreen. IMN is not being denied freedom of worship. It is the excesses of the group that is being curtailed. Nobody stops them from worshipping but the government has a duty to protect the rest of Nigerians from actions of the group, which undermine Allah-given fundamental rights of other citizens.
“We are not bothered by the US latest ranking of Nigeria as religiously biased. Has the US ever seen anything good about our country? Some foreign powers are always eager to discredit developing nations.
“It is a game mastered by imperialists. We can see the signs. Instead of breaking up in 2015 as predicted, Nigeria is waxing strong. The war against corruption is on course. Infrastructure is growing at a fast rate. Therefore, a spanner must be thrown at the works to justify forceful intervention and a grip on Nigerian oil.
“America should do some introspection. Those who claim to be the champion of democracy in the world cannot, in good conscience, beat their chests and say, ‘We have been fair to all’. America complains to Nigeria that Christians are being killed even when it is well known that Muslims are the greatest victims of the killings.
“America invited former CAN president to address Congress a few years ago. But no Muslim leader has ever been invited to the same platform. Yet America has been using the lies told before Congress to judge our country. Is this fair?
“Muslims of Southern Nigeria have been complaining of persecution for decades but America turned its deaf ears. America pretends nothing is happening to Nigerian Muslims even when the Muslim girl child is locked out of school over an ordinary headscarf, which is even allowed in US schools.
“US human rights record outside Nigeria is even nothing to write home about particularly regarding its attitude to issues affecting Muslim nations and Muslims in general. Sanctions are used selectively against Muslim nations in order to weaken them militarily and economically. Israel is free to kill and maim Palestinian children while America uses vetoes to frustrate resolutions of the United Nations against Israel.
“In fact, democracy is a sham if assessed against the backdrop of happenings in the UN where America alone can stop any decision made by the rest of the world. The US invaded Iraq without approval from the UN. So what moral right has America to judge other nations?
“If America is truly the world’s champion of democracy and the chief promoter of human rights, why is that country always silent each time Muslims are at the receiving end? More than 8,000 Muslims were massacred in the Bosnia genocide, particularly in Srebrenica and Zepa in 1995. What did America say?
What did America do when Muslims were being killed in their hundreds in Myammar? Even right now hundreds of thousands of Uyghur Muslims are being detained in Western Xinjiang, China, but America cannot be bothered. Since last week, Muslim demonstrators are being killed over anti-Muslim Indian citizenry laws but the White House is only interested in bullying Nigeria.
“Our message to CAN is this, allow America to set fire to your country and we can assure you that it is not the Muslims alone who will face turmoil. Our people say that when a hen perches on a rope, neither the hen nor the rope will enjoy stability.
Whether to avoid foreign interference in your country and live in peace with your Muslim neighbours while you watch your children and grandchildren play peacefully in the garden or to open the doors wide for an army of occupation which will bring general pandemonium, the choice is yours.”