The Director of Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, has described the proposed Christian court as an attempt to copy Shari’ah. He declared that the existing courts in Nigeria were already Christian courts. He said, “It is an attempt to copy Shari’ah. Why must the Christian Association of Nigeria be a copycat? Why must it always seek to do whatever Muslims do?”
Akintola was speaking in an interview with the Punch where he claimed that Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, had always wanted to copy whatever the Muslim did. He added, “Take the pilgrimage issue for example: Muslims are deeply committed to it. They have been going on pilgrimage from Nigeria by trekking to Saudi Arabia even before the advent of aeroplanes. “Suddenly, CAN found it fashionable to demand its own pilgrimage commission, even though pilgrimage is not mandatory for Christians.
“CAN appears stuck to one dogma, namely, to oppose anything Muslims want to do even if it will benefit Muslims or Nigerians in general. But if Muslims succeed in bringing such an idea to fruition, CAN will demand parity.
“Can you remember the Islamic bank imbroglio? On that issue the Christian group made a mountain out of a molehill.
“It claimed Nigeria was about to be Islamised. It threatened hell and brimstone. One popular bishop from the South-East even led his congregation in a public demonstration against the proposal.”
According to the MURIC director, the Christians should be always bold enough to tell the government what they wanted instead of blocking Muslims’ proposals. “I have always maintained that Christians should tell the government what they want instead of blocking proposals made by Muslims.
“The sky is wide enough for all birds to fly without their wings touching one another unless we have hidden agenda. What is next after Christian courts? (I think) CAN should demand Christian banks.” Akintola pointed out that MURIC shared the opinion of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs that the proposed ecclesiastical courts bill was an invitation to chaos, adding that existing courts in the country were all Christians
“What is the nature of the existing law courts: the magistrate, high court, appeal court and perhaps the Supreme Court? Who laid the foundation of those courts? Was it not the British colonialists? “Were the British Muslims? Nigerian law courts have always been Christian courts and setting up Christian courts is sheer duplication and a waste of energy. That is the chaos NSCIA is referring to.
“They should go ahead and get Christian courts. But we should be given our Shariah courts in all states and cities – including Otuoke (former President Goodluck Jonathan’s home town). “Muslims will not be a dog in the manger. Have you also thought of the implication of canon law on the current law courts and lawyers? Somebody out there must be looking for another job soonest.”