An Islamic rights advocacy group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has told Nigerian Muslims to boycott all the private universities owned and controlled by Christians for not allowing the use of hijab and for some other reasons the group tagged as anti-Islamic.
Prof. Ishaq Akintola, Director of MURIC, who made this call in a statement made available to SaharaReporters on Thursday, stated that they had received multiple allegations from Muslim students studying at various Christian colleges about how they were pushed to attend churches and engage in specific religious actions prohibited in Islam.
He also accused Christian university proprietors of religious intolerance and identity theft.
The statement reads: “We have a litany of reports coming from Muslim students in private universities owned by Christians concerning anti-Muslim practices and religious apartheid. Muslim students are not allowed to practice their faith in those private universities. They cannot form Muslim students associations.
“Worse still, they are not given any space where they can pray. Hijab is an anathema in such institutions. Muslim students are forced to attend Christian service in the chapel where attendance registers are marked and absentees are sanctioned. These institutions have the poorest human rights records today. To Muslim parents and students, these institutions are comparable to torture chambers at least for the duration of their studentship.
“These actions amount to gymnastic religiosity, religious intolerance and identity theft on the part of Christian owners of private universities. It is religious intolerance when Christian school authorities fail to provide a place for Muslim students to pray. It is acrobatic spirituality when Muslim students are forced to attend church. It is identity theft when Christian school owners disallow female Muslim students from wearing hijab thereby making them look like Christians.
“This treatment is obnoxious, unlawful, illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional. It is an existential threat to the religion of Islam. It also constitutes indubitable proof of complete desertification of religious tolerance in the vocabulary of owners of Christian private universities.
“One way out of this quagmire is for Muslim students and their parents to make proper investigations before applying for admission into any private university. Those found to be owned by Christians should be avoided at all costs because they are nothing but spiritual traps set for Muslims to lose their identities.
“Christian proprietors do not possess that magnanimity, liberality and broadmindedness to share what they have without attaching strings. They continue to assure us with their body language that Christian evangelism in Nigeria knows no decency, to them all is fair, particularly that which is foul.
“To them, Muslim students are not among those who should enjoy or exercise their Allah-given fundamental human rights. Human rights should be enjoyed by Christian students alone.
“We urge Muslim students and their parents to avoid Christian private universities pending the time that the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) will sanitise them or pending the time Christian owners of private universities would have eschewed religious bigotry or learned to live and let live.”