Two mosques were set ablaze by the Igbo in Enugu on Saturday, 31st October, 2020. The Islamic School, Afikpo, Ebonyi State has also received threats of impending invasion. It will be recalled that 11 (eleven) Muslims were killed during the #EndSARS protests in Port Harcourt and Orlu while the Orlu Central Mosque was completely destroyed barely two weeks ago. Markets belonging to Muslims in the region were also attacked and properties worth millions of naira were destroyed, including whole trailers with the goods.
The Nigerian Islamic human rights group, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has condemned the attacks on Muslims in Igboland. MURIC called for a halt to the burning of mosques in the South East and South South. The organization also appealed to the Inspector General of Police to protect Muslims as well as their corporate and individual properties in the region.
MURIC’s appeal came via a press statement issued on Monday, 2nd November, 2020 by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
“Christians in Igboland are not yet satisfied with the cold-blooded killing of 11 (eleven) Muslims during #EndSARS protests. They are thirsty for more blood. They attacked two mosques in Nsukka on Saturday, 31st October, 2020. These were the mosque at Old Barracks junction and the Central Mosque on Eden Road, Nsukka.
“The fracas reportedly started after a Muslim lady got into an argument with a keke Napep driver over transport fare. It is becoming glaring that there is a conspiracy to wipe out Muslims in Igboland and any little excuse is seized upon to descend on Muslims living in their midst.
“Even as we go to press, the only Islamic school in the whole Eastern Nigeria which is in Afikpo, Ebonyi State, is under palpable and severe threat. The school management has received about three threat messages in the past one week alone. Attack on the school is imminent and the state government has not uttered a word. This school is a boarding institution with about 250 students in its hostels. Those students came from all over Nigeria. What does the governor of Ebonyi think will happen if 250 Muslim students are slaughtered under his watch?
“MURIC appeals to the Inspector General of Police to protect Muslims and their corporate and individual properties in Igboland. In the same manner, we remind the governors of Eastern and South-South states that the buck stops on their tables. As the chief security officers in their respective states, they have the responsibility to protect all citizens under them. We are compiling reports of attacks on Muslims and their properties in the region.
“We demand adequate compensation for victims of Igbo religious fanaticism. Families of deceased Muslims must receive commensurate compensation. The governor of Enugu State owes it a duty to rebuild the two mosques which were burnt in Nsukka on Saturday. Only thus can he assure Nigerians that he did not give tacit approval to attacks on his Muslim subjects.
“MURIC calls the attention of Nigerians and the international community to the current trend of constant and unprovoked attacks on Muslims, the killing of innocent Muslims, the burning of their mosques and the destruction of their individual properties in Igboland and South-South Nigeria. It should be noted now that Christians are the first to unleash violence on Nigerian Muslims and the latter are not even retaliating.
“We note with disgust the hypocritical silence of the unholy alliance of the Middle Belt, the Northern Christian Elders Forum, Afenifere, Ohaneze and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN). All hell would have been let loose had it been Christians who were being killed. But none of them feels concerned now because Muslims are at the receiving end. None of them issued any statement condemning the unprovoked killing of Muslims and none of them called the killers to order. Rather, they are encouraging their youths to shed more Muslim blood.
“They are used to hearing the White House asking Nigerian authorities, ‘Why are you killing Christians in Nigeria?’ Ironically, nobody has asked the White House, ‘Why are you killing American blacks?’ We denounce Western asymmetric scale of justice that looks the other way when Nigerian Christians are killing Muslims.
“We charge the West, particularly the United States, to re-examine the situation in Nigeria within the real context of true events. Stories of Christians being killed are, more often than not, marketing gimmicks intended only to attract millions of dollars in charity donations to Christian missionaries after the ‘playing the victim’ soap opera. Nobody expected America to swallow it hook, line and sinker but that is exactly what America has done.
“MURIC salutes Nigerian Muslims for their resilience. We advise against reprisal killings or the burning of churches anywhere in the country. Muslims are better when they practice the true teachings of Islam. The Glorious Qur’an says, “Goodness and evil are not equal. Therefore pay evil with goodness and see how enemies become close friends (Qur’an 41:34).”