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Address Boko Haram as terrorist, not Islamic sect, OIC tasks media, civil societies

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Address Boko Haram as terrorist, not Islamic sect, OIC tasks media, civil societies

The Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) has tasked the media in Nigeria and abroad to desist from addressing Boko Haram insurgents as Islamic sect.

The OIC, which said this in a document, insisted that the members of the sect should rather be addressed as criminals because they “are anti- Islam.”

Quoting the Secretary General of the group, Eyad Madani, the document read: “What they (Boko Haram) do is criminal act; it has absolutely nothing to do with Islam.”

The IOC scribe said: “The OIC has issued statements that … these people are outlaws. “What they do is criminal act, it has absolutely nothing to do with Islam, Islamic teachings, the religion of Islam, the history, the culture, the civilization of Islam and we should identify them for what they are: as a terrorist group.” Mr. Madani had earlier said in Abuja that the OIC is solidly behind Nigeria in its fight against insurgents.

“We are also here to express our solidarity with Nigeria in facing up to this terrorist organisation and to condemn all terrorist acts they have been committing, and to show our condolences to the Nigerian people, to the families of those who were affected,” he said.

When asked what concrete support Nigeria should expect from OIC, the Secretary General said since the crisis is multi-dimensional, OIC could be involved in many ways. He said one of the ways OIC could be involved, is to “first to declare its position morally, to declare its position from the religious point of view.”

He said the conference is not a religious organisation, but a political organisation that has 57 member states, and each state is represented in the conference as a government.

“Nigeria is a member of OIC at the government level, so is Indonesia, so is Senegal, Saudi Arabia amongst others. “But it has to express its concerns about the misuse of Islam morally and ethically.

We are willing to do that if Nigerian government would allow us to. “We will convene an interfaith dialogue, because we feel that there is a lot to be said about the veracity of these (Boko Haram) claims, and to show the many aspects of similarities and living together between not only Christians and Muslims, but between all faiths and convictions,” he said.

He said Africa is a model of such tolerance, and its history is a history of tolerance, and that of living together. He added that the OIC, through its different organs, is available to the request of the federal government and would do all it could to help in alleviating the social and economic conditions in any area affected by the activities of insurgents.

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