The Christian Rights Agenda (CRA) yesterday challenged the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) and the Jamaatu Nasril Islam (JNI) to emulate Christian organizations that have donated cash and materials towards the fight against the spread of COVID-19. But MURIC has reacted by accusing CRA of seeking relevance and meddling in the affairs of Muslims.
MURIC’s reaction was contained in a press statement signed by Professor Ishaq Akintola, director of the Islamic human rights organization, on Saturday, 4th April 2020.
“The Christian Rights Agenda (CRA) has overstepped its bounds. It has no business prying into what Islamic organizations are doing about COVID-19. Cook your own soup. Let us cook whatever we have a capacity for. Why peep into your neighbor’s kitchen or asking what he is cooking? Peeping Toms hardly have good intentions. CRA’s reference to what Islamic organizations are doing on COVID-19 smirks of self-righteousness.
“It is clear from all indications that CRA is seeking relevance. Ordinarily, we would not have dignified it with a response because Proverbs 26:4 says, ‘Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him’. But again Proverbs 26:5 avers, ‘Answer a fool according to his folly, or he will be wise in his own eyes.’
“How dare CRA ask Islamic organizations to emulate Christian groups? There is nothing for us to emulate in Christian organizations. Don’t insult us. Our ways are different. Islamic organizations do not make noise with their gestures of kindness. Neither are we in the tithe league, the prosperity gospel camp or the fake miracles confederation.
“Every Islamic group has been on its toes helping the government as well as individuals since the outbreak of the pandemic. The Jamaatu Nasril Islam (JNI) has mobilized wealthy Muslims in the country and many of them have responded to the government’s request for support from the private sector. They have also donated various sums of money to Islamic groups to share among the underprivileged. We are aware of similar activities being embarked upon by other Islamic groups like the Companion, the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), etc.
“On our part and unknown to many, MURIC has mobilized its members and encouraged them to donate generously in order to assist vulnerable members of the society in particular and those affected by the lockdown in general. We tagged the operation MURIC COVID-19 Relief Fund. There has been a good response and the proceeds have been shared to various states in the country through the chairmen of MURIC branches in those states (Kaduna, Kano, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Oyo, Osun, Ogun, etc).
“Amounts donated are being announced on a daily basis and those chairmen have also been reporting back to the groups for transparency and accountability. The exercise is a continuous one and the campaign is being pursued on MURIC’s social media platforms (23 WhatsApp groups, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). The press has not been brought in because it is not necessary to make noise about our humanitarian pursuits. It is meant for the needy in society in general. It is not a jamboree. The world is facing a huge humanitarian calamity and we are expressing solidarity by giving out to victims. How does that call for a circus show?
“CRA’s unsolicited inquiry is therefore audacious, loquacious and repugnant. Paddle your own canoe, let us paddle our own boat. This interference is aimed at scoring a cheap evangelical point but it has failed. These are people who look down on Muslims. There is no cause for a comparison between you and us. We do not preach prosperity. We fly no jets. MURIC is not a business concern. We are a human rights ‘concern’ group. Leave us out of your comparison parameter.
“CRA’s statement asking what Islamic organizations are contributing to the fight against the spread of coronavirus came at the wrong time. We call the attention of Nigerians to our neighbor’s attitude. We want Nigerians to compare the statement of CRA to the one issued by MURIC last week, dated 27th March 2020 and entitled ‘Corona Virus: Time To Come Together’ (https://www.herald.ng/coronavirus-time-to-come-together-muric/ https://emporiumreporters.com.ng/covid-19-time-to-come-together-muric/ http://muslimrightsmuric.blogspot.com/2020/03/corona-virus-time-to-come-together.html; https://www.muricnigeria.com/corona-virus-time-come-together/ ).
“In that statement, we called for unity among the various religious leaders in the country. We said it was time for all of us to come together. We spoke about the need for us to think first of humanity and not about Islam or Christianity. We laid emphasis on the fact that the coronavirus does not discriminate between a Muslim and a Christian, a black man or a white.
“Anybody can see now who is being combatant. Let the records speak for themselves. CRA’s statement is tainted with pride and arrogance. It must be made clear that no Islamic organization is responsible for CRA or any Christian group for that matter. So why are you issuing us a quarry? Who made you Corona Virus police? You cannot teach us what to do. Mind your own business.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)