The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has condemned last Friday’s attack by an Australian citizen, Brenton Tarrant, on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, as Muslims converged for the Juma’at prayer.
The terrorist had live-streamed the video of his horrific act which resulted in the death of at least 50 Muslim worshippers across various nationalities, while more than 40 others sustained various degrees of injury.
The NSCIA, which is led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, also deplored what it called the enabling environment created by racists, supremacists and left-wing extremists that allows Islamophobia to fester all over the world.
In a statement by its Deputy Secretary-General, Professor Salisu Shehu, the organisation noted that while many right-thinking people and governments across the world had expressed outrage at the mass murder, there were those “whose hearts are blotted by hatred and bigotry to the extent that every crime against Muslims is welcome.”
“Corrosive anti-Muslim rhetoric and bigoted media reportage have led to a spike in hate-motivated and terror-induced attacks on Muslims across the world in recent years.
The Council said: “From the Imam and his associate killed in the US in August 2016, the murder of six Muslims at a Quebec City Mosque, Canada, in January 2017, the killing of a 58-year-old Muslim after a night prayer in London in June 2017 to the recent one, among many others, many Muslims have died and are still dying because of the monstrosity of Islamophobia.
“In all those attacks and others, the religious identities of the perpetrators have always been downplayed because they were Christians. But if a criminal who happens to bear a Muslim name is involved in a crime, his religion would be dragged into it. It is such double standards and other injustices that serve as enablers of the current state of the world where victims are conveniently branded aggressors and mass murderers are labeled gunmen.”
While appealing to Muslims in Nigeria and the world to remain patient and prayerful in the face of all attacks and provocations, the NSCIA commended the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden, for calling the attack what it was, “a terrorist attack” and for the efforts being made by her and her government to engage the Muslim community “in this sorrowful period.”
The Council described the gesture of Prime Minister Arden as an example of leadership that is lacking in many world leaders.
The Council, which also acknowledged the solidarity of the Christchurch community and the citizens of New Zealand, prayed Allah admit the martyred Muslims to Paradise, give their families the fortitude to bear the losses, grant the injured quick recovery and “protect His own people all over the world from the devilish plots of their enemies.”
Similarly, the National Council of Muslims Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) described the mass murder as barbaric and reprehensible.
In a statement signed by the National President and National Secretary General, Mallam Suleiman Sani Maigoro and Alhaji Mas’ud Akintola, respectively, NACOMYO called for the trial and punishment of the masterminds of the attacks to serve as a deterrent to others with evil plots against Muslims.
The organisation also called for the arrest of one Chidi who, in a tweet, last Saturday, advocated the domestication of such attacks in Nigeria.
“We appeal to all Muslims all over the world to be more security conscious but not to engage in reprisals as vengeance belongs to Allah,” NACOMYO said.