Punch: CAN Is Paranoid About Islam – Islamic Council

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has said the Christian Association of Nigeria is being paranoid and intolerant of Islam. It said Muslims in the country had always tolerated Christians but that CAN was showing itself to be “Islamophobic.”

CAN had alleged that the issuance of Sukuk bond by the Debt Management Office was an attempt to make Nigeria an Islamic nation, and that promoting a sectional religious financial policy was a violation of the constitution.

But in its response on Friday, NSCIA, in a statement by its Deputy Secretary General, Salisu Shehu, said CAN could not claim ignorance of the fact that even the World Bank had been involved in issuing Sukuk bond.

It added that several non-Muslim countries across Africa, Europe and Asia had also instituted Islamic Financial System generally and Sukuk in particular. It cited Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Russia, China and Singapore as examples.

The statement read, “It would certainly be embarrassing for CAN to be told that the first and foremost state in Nigeria to submit application for loan to the Islamic Development Bank is a Christian-dominated state in the South-East.

“This has been the factor that made Muslims to tolerate several practices or things that are essentially Christian in nature and outlook, in substance and form and indeed in principle and practice, but imposed on us.

“We have not been talking of Christianisation because Sunday has been forced on us as a work-free day, or the Cross as our hospital sign and symbol, our membership of the International Red Cross, and many other things including almost all the titles of the heads of academic institutions (chancellor, provost, dean, rector, etc.).

“Despite this remarkable tolerance from Muslims over the years, CAN appears to be increasingly becoming Islamophobic and paranoid about its hate and intolerance of Islam, casting aspersions, unnecessarily overheating the polity and unjustifiably creating fear and distrust in the minds of peace-loving citizens of our great country.”

It further advised CAN to, in the spirit of Biblical injunctions, uphold the truth and refrain from statements capable of causing disaffection and promoting disharmony that might lead to conflict in the country.

However, the General Secretary, CAN, Musa Ashake, declined to comment on the report, “I have not read it and I don’t like to comment on any report that I have not read.”

Punch