The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has endorsed the proscription of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) otherwise known as Shiites by the Federal Government.
In a statement issued on Monday in Ibadan by its Director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, MURIC said the government action was imperative and decisive owing to Shiites’ violent disposition and disrespect to constitutional authority.
“MURIC recognises the right of Shiites to practice their faith but strictly within recognised rules of engagement. Shiites must respect Allah-given fundamental rights of their neighbours.
“They must genuinely renounce violence and pledge to stop the harassment of other citizens, review their revolutionary tenets particularly that which refuses to recognise federal and state governments.
“It is treasonable to vehemently persist that they will only recognise an Islamic government based on Shiite ideology alone,’’ MURIC said.
The group said that Boko Haram would not have festered so badly had former President Goodluck Jonathan promptly taken decisive action against their excesses.
MURIC which had earlier suggested dialogue for amicable settlement of the Shiites issue said it reviewed its position following certain developments.
“It will be recalled that we suggested that FG should initiate dialogue with the leadership of the Nigerian Muslim community and leaders of IMN in order to find an amicable settlement for the Shiite imbroglio.
“But more revelations have since come to our attention in the last 48 hours.
“For example, at least two Muslim neighbours of the Shiites came out openly and in writing to reveal stunning incidents of the use of violence by the group and their experiences date back to the 90s.
“A major Islamic organisation which is based in the North, the Jamaatu Ikhmad al-Bid’ah wa Ihyais-Sunnah (JIBWIS) also issued a strong statement calling on FG not to handle the Shiites with soft gloves.
“Most importantly, the testimonies have revealed a dangerous Shiite principle of non-recognition of either a federal or state government.
“Based on these new developments, we have no other choice than to call on Nigerians to allow FG to handle the situation, particularly in the face of large scale insecurity in the country,’’ MURIC said.
MURIC noted that the government had been accused of failure to take decisive action to stem the tide of insecurity.
The Islamic group, therefore, enjoined members of the civil society and individuals defending the Shiites to look at the larger picture of events.
It called on civil society to ponder over Shiite ideology which rejects the federal constitution, all constituted authority within the country including traditional rulers.
The group also called on the Iranian government to desist from interfering in the internal affairs of Nigeria, contending that they do not have moral right to dictate to the country on how to handle Shiite excesses.
“We exist simply to project, promote and protect the rights of all adherents of Islam and reject those who smear the image of Islam, kill, maim followers of other religions and their fellow Muslims.
`We recognise the authority of the federal government as well as those of state governments and we will not associate with those who seek to render asunder the sovereignty of our great country, Nigeria,’’ MURIC said.
The Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered the proscription of the Shi’ites’ movement as protests by the Islamic organisation rock Abuja.
Justice Nkeonye Maha issued the order in a ruling in which she also designated the activities of the Shiite organisation in any part of Nigeria “as acts of terrorism and illegality.”