…urge Muslims not to be provoked by the message
The Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar III, led-Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) yesterday in Kaduna stated that the Christmas message of the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah, was a poisoned arrow fired at the heart of Islam.
JNI, in a strongly worded statement signed by Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, Secretary-General, of JNI, also said the message was “irresponsible andseditious”. According to JNI: “The Bishop statement was a prepared address.
Considering, the occasion and the audience, one cannot but agree that it was a calculated attempt to insult Islam, which is typical of him. His veiled insinuation that Muslims have a pool of violence to draw from, is disgusting, disheartening, as well as condemnable.
“Muslims in Nigeria cannot be charged and be held responsible or accountable for the actions or inactions of government just because it is headed by a Muslim. The Bishop cannot pretend to be attacking President Buhari and end up punching Islam and the Muslims.
We will never accept to be used as punching bag of the vindictive Bishop. “It is mind boggling to imagine why Bishop Kukah is always keen in pushing at the National fault lines; religion, tribe and north-south divide? His fiery and equally violence inciting speech at the burial of the late Governor Yakowa of Kaduna State is still fresh in our memories. That speech which was aimed at electrifying the atmosphere drew the eerie of many reasonable Nigerians across religious and regional divides.
” JNI however called on Muslims not to be provoked, but saying,” to this end, we call on all Muslims to continue to remain calm in the face of these provocations in order to deny conflict entrepreneurs disguised as clergies the avenue to market their stock. “Muslims are enjoined to continuously uphold the teachings of Islam, especially in regards to accommodativeness, conviviality and hospitality.
Let’s continue to relate well with our peace loving Christian neighbors and colleagues regardless of the vituperations of some misguided elements among them.” Part of the Statement said: “The attention of the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) has been drawn to an irresponsible and seditious Christmas message issued by the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah. “Though the message is disguised as a political hogwash to deceive the innocent, there is no doubt that it was a poisoned arrow fired at the heart of Islam and Muslims in Nigeria; hence the need for this intervention.
“Responsibly, Christmas homilies should come with messages of hope, unity, mercy, forgiveness of the Supreme Being and resilience through prayers, especially in this trying time. “The Bishop’s message was however a clear deviation from well-established norm across the globe. Kukah is the Bishop of the Sokoto diocese located at the seat of the Caliphate and the heart of Islam and Islamic scholarship, culture and practices in sub-Saharan Africa.
Despite the status of Sokoto to the Muslims and Islamic history, Bishop Kukah was warmly welcomed, accepted, accommodated and accorded respect deserving of his position as a religious leader. “Across the length and breadth of the Northern Nigeria, Kukah has friends and associates among the Muslim society. Without fear of any contradiction, he is most accepted and accommodated Christian clergy to the leaders of the Muslims in the north.
They accorded him all the support he needed, despite some reservations from some quarters about his tendencies to bite the fingers that feed him. “In spite of the liberality, congeniality and the camaraderie extended to Bishop Kukah in Sokoto and all over the Muslim north, he throws all sense of decorum and common sense to the wind and fired invective salvos on the Muslims and Islam without any justification.
By this and his several similar inane attacks against Islam and the Muslims, the Bishop has lost the friendship and the hospitality of the entire Muslim populace. “How can the Muslims ever trust a man who smiles at their faces in the day and hold dagger against them in the night? How can the Muslims continue to be hospitable to the one who proves to be ingrate many times over? How can the Muslims be comfortable in associating with a bitterly vindictive person disguised in the garb of religious clergy?” The statement further warned that, “Bishop Kukah should not take Muslims’ kindness for timidity or foolishness.
In being accommodative and kind, the Muslims are adhering to the teaching of the Glorious Quran that even in times of war, the Muslims should offer assistance to those who seek their protection.
“Kukah and his likes who enjoy the pleasure of denigrating Islam and Muslims at any slightest opportunity should have lowered their gourd, so as to have some peace of mind because the spark which Islam kindles can never be extinguished. Authorities more ferocious, more organized and more persistent than Kukah, have all tried to denigrate Islam but alas Islam and Muslims has remained consistently triumphant.”