Shari’ah: Muslim lawyers condemn attacks on CJN

•Say Islamic law meant only for Muslims

THE Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN) has expressed concern over the attacks by some religious and social organisations on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, on his recent statement on Shari’ah.

Justice Muhammad had, at a public function, advocated more provisions in the constitution to accommodate some of the concerns of Muslims and the Shari’ah law.

But MULAN, in a statement signed by its national president, Professor Funminiyi Adeleke and secretary general, Ismail Alasa, described the attacks as a display of intolerance to the “legitimately expressed views of a person whose face and achievements they have never hidden their aversion for.”

It noted that one of the groups, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), in its press release, did express reservation as to the authenticity of the statement attributed to the CJN by stating that he might have been quoted out of context and wondered why the organisation still went ahead to lampoon the CJN.

MULAN’s statement reads in part: “The antecedent of CAN, especially since the past two decades, has shown it to be dominated by those who have scant regard for the rights, feelings and thoughts of Nigerian Muslims.

“Without prejudice to the foregoing, MULAN finds nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with the statement ascribed to the CJN. The statement was made in good faith and called for the doing of justice to the Nigerian Muslim who till today gets the short end of the stick in the country.

“The fundamental rule of Shari’ah is that it does not apply to non-Muslims. In the various states where limited aspects of it are practised, the Christians and other non-Muslims are not subjected to its application.

“The Muslims are not members of CAN and they are agitating for Shari’ah to govern their affairs. They have a right under Section 38 of the Nigerian Constitution to manifest the practice and observance of Islamic religion and its teaching unencumbered. What is CAN’s business in how they elect to run their affairs?”

“Ordinarily, CAN is expected to be above the pedestrian display it has put up in this case. It is an association that ought to make the pursuit of justice its focus. Justice in its true sense is for all without any discrimination.

“We wish to appeal to CAN to rise beyond pettiness and leave politicians to play their game of intrigues. The leadership of CAN should be more concerned with uniting the different segments of our country and deploy its huge resources in the pursuit of justice for all Nigerians. In this regard, there will be no need to denigrate any other Nigerian or public officer as was done to the person of the CJN.”

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