An Islamic organization, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reacted to a statement credited to Boko Haram’s new leader.
It condemned in strong terms Al Banarwi’s call to maim Christians.
The Director of MURIC Prof. Isiaq Akintola described the statement as totally despicable.
According to Isiaq, “Islam is love, not hatred. Islam gives life, not death.
“It builds and does not destroy.
“The Glorious Qur’an only allows Muslims to fight in self-defense (Qur’an 2:190).
“It forbids unjust and unlawful killing (Qur’an 6:151).
“It compares anyone who kills his fellow man to one who kills all homo-sapiens (Qur’an 5:32).
“Qur’an 10:99 completely sweeps the carpet off the feet of agents of belligerence.
It declares, ‘So you forcefully compel people to believe in Allah? But they would all have believed if Allah had wanted it so!’ Akintola said.
“We remind the Boko Haram coercion ideologues of the moderate posture of the Glorious Qur’an towards non-Muslims.
Isiaq further stressed a willingness to peacefully coexist with Christians.
“We reaffirm our readiness to peacefully coexist with our Christian neighbors.
“We reject hate speeches and their authors whether from Boko Haram or the Islamic State (ISIS).
“The directive to attack Western interests is antithetical to the non-racial and pax vobiscum leaning of Islam.
“We call on the Nigerians and the rest of the world to separate criminals from their religion and desist from stereotyping Muslims as terrorists or their sympathizers.
“In this regard, we welcome the recent pronouncement of Pope Francis in which he urged the world to stop equating Islam with terrorism.
“We urge Muslims in the country to demonstrate solidarity with their Christian neighbors.
“They should ensure that Boko Haram are not allowed to launch attacks on Christians in their neighborhood.
“We have a duty to defend our Christian neighbors at this critical stage.
“This is the way to keep Nigeria united,” Isiaq stated.