- The outcry by many Nigerians over a remark by the CJN on the improvement of Sharia law has been condemned
- The outcry was condemned by major Islamic scholars Nigeria
- The scholars, like the CJN, called for an amendment of the 1999 constitution to accommodate religions
Following the outrage by some Nigerians over the call for the improvement of the status of the Sharia law in Nigeria by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, some Islamic scholars have said that such move does not boil down to the Islamisation of Nigeria.
The scholars under the aegis of Concerned Islamic scholars condemned the outcry by the Christain Association of Nigeria and a human rights organisation on moves to Islamise the country.
The CIS said Sharia law does not necessarily mean Islamisation of Nigeria, as wrongly insinuated.
aA former secretary of the Muslim Ummah of Southwest Nigeria (MUSWEN), Dawud Noibi, said Section 38 of the 1999 Constitution as amended guarantees freedom of religion both in belief and in practice
Noibi, who is a retired lecturer of Islamic Studies at the University of Ibadan, said the whole life of a Muslim is governed by the laws of his religion.
He also said it is the duty of a nation to provide a judicial system where all the relevant laws are interpreted correctly and disputes among adherents arising from such laws are resolved peacefully.
There are provisions in the constitution for the establishment of Shari’ah courts anywhere this is required in the country to cater to the needs of Muslim citizens. If HURIWA and CAN are not asking that these provisions be expunged from the constitution, why do they want to crucify the CJN for calling for the improvement of the Shari’ah as other laws in force in the country are open to improvement?" Noibi queried.
Also throwing his weight behind the CJN's suggestion, the director, MURIC, Ishaq Akintola, said the current constitution is a child of British colonial Christianisation of the country.
Akintola noted that the constitution has failed to take into consideration the multi-religious system run in Nigeria.
He said while Nigeria's democracy is deceptive in as much as Muslims who form the largest segment of the population are not integrated into the system.
"Participatory democracy is the global best practice. But not in Nigeria.
“Nigeria’s democracy excludes the Muslims. Our weekends shut Muslims out. It is the entire monopoly of Christians. Saturday and Sunday are free but Friday is not," Akintola said.
Citing various other examples, Akintola continued: "The Muslim girl-child goes to school with tears in her eyes because she must not enter the school with hijab on her head. There is no single Shariah Appeal Court in the entire south west and Muslims in that sub-region are subjected to Christian common law in all civil matters."
"Muslim marriages conducted inside mosques are not recognised but those held in churches are sacrosanct. This democracy is fraudulent," he noted.
He also said that all Christian women enjoy the monopoly of recruitment into the Nigerian Army, Navy, Police, civil defence, immigrations, customs but same cannot be said for Muslim women because those uniformed agencies will not recruit users of hijab.
"Yet Muslim policewomen and soldiers use hijab in Britain, the United States, Ireland, etc. Female Muslim graduates therefore remain jobless and impoverished while their Christian counterparts smile to the banks.
“MURIC therefore embraces the CJN’s idea of the need for constitutional amendment. It is even belated. It is part of the restructuring. We hope the restructuring camp will welcome the CJN’s idea because it is not going to be about Muslim demands alone but a comprehensive one," he said.
Akintola further called for objectivity on the issues of religion as it concerns Nigeria while stating that a constitutional amendment has all the potentials to usher the nation into peace and tranquillity if approached with sincerity.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Muhammad had called for an improvement of the Sharia Law.
Muhammad advocated an amendment of the country's constitution to accommodate sections of the Sharia law as well as concerns by Muslims.
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