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New Zealand attack: Group calls for religious tolerance in Nigeria

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Sheikh Abdur Rahman Ahmad
Luqmon Balogun, Lagos
A faith-based group, the Conference of Islamic Organisation, CIO has condemned the recent attack and killings of Muslims in New Zealand and other European countries.
The Conference of Islamic Organisations is an umbrella body for various Islamic organisations in Nigeria.
At a Press conference at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa Ikeja, Lagos the Chairman, Ulamau Forum of CIO, Sheikh Abdur Rahman Ahmad on behalf of the group, said that Nigerians must shun all acts and speech that can divide the country along tribal and religious lines.
Sheik Ahmad who admonished people to continuously promote unity, tolerance and religious harmony, said that the terror attacks which hit Mosques at New Zealand’s Christchurch killing no fewer than 50 Muslims must be of global concern.
 
Islam means Peace
 
He lauded the effort of the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, while reiterating that Islam remained a peaceful religion.
 “We state categorically that this is an extreme terrorist attack taken too far. Islam is a religion of peace. We frown seriously on why the lives of the peaceful Muslims are rendered so cheaply. It is not as if they have committed any offence except that they believe in Allah and practise their religion.
We condemn this inhuman and animalistic action and an extreme hatred to Muslims and Islam,” he said.
He mentioned that the Holy Qur’an specified that if anyone slew a person, it would be as if he slew the whole people in the world and if anyone saves a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people in the world.
According to him,  If the Muslims are being attacked mainly because they are worshipping their creator and by defending their right and are being wrongly tagged as terrorists, in the spirit of fair play and equal justice, anyone that perpetrated a dastardly act against humanity must also be referred to as one; most especially when they are non-Muslims.
More protection
He therefore called on the UN to protect the lives of Muslims in the world, particularly Muslims in Europe, and areas affected by this, like New Zealand, Australia and other parts of Europe because of Islamophobia.
He urged the New Zealand Government to provide more security in places of worship for Muslims and non-Muslims, stressing that the perpetrator of the attack be brought to book.

 

“The New Zealand government, Prime Minister Ardern sensitivity and firm stand against the incident is highly appreciated. This is an example of ultimate tolerance and cohabiting instance that should be shown by all World leaders. We equally salute the courage of President Muhammadu Buhari for being among the early world leaders to condemn the obnoxious act.

 

Nigeria should emulate the provision of security at places of worship as currently seen in New Zealand Mosque attack. We urge the Nigerian Army to intensify efforts in combating terrorism in the country. The action of the Boko Haram sect is totally against Islam.” he said.

 

New mandate
CIO congratulates President Muhammadu Buhari and his Deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on their re-election; and Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu and Dr. Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat.
He urged them to see the mandate given to them as another opportunity to consolidate their efforts in the fight against corruption and entrenched good governance.
Building collapse
The group also sympathised with the families affected in the collapsed building, stressing on safety measures by the stakeholders.
“We call on the government at all levels to be strict with the compliance of builders with necessary laws. We are deeply pained and pray that such would not occur again. As patriotic citizens, we must work together for our safety.
“The gross disobedience to government laws and order ends up affecting us, “he said
However, the government must take full responsibilities for her failures by providing essential infrastructures to enhance the decongestion of over-populated areas.
The group condemned hate speech and asked relevant authority to arrest anyone with plans to heat up the polity.
Lateefah Ibrahim
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