By Muhammad Ibrahim
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), an Islamic human rights organisation has told WAEC to consider the Muslim worship period on Fridays when it finally prepares its WASSCE timetable. This was contained in a press statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020.
“We appreciate what the regional examination body is going through in terms of constant logistic realignment occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic. We wish to remind WAEC authorities of the need to take cognizance of the Friday Jumu’ah period for its Muslim candidates when preparing its timetable for WASSCE 2020 examination, MURIC said.
“The ugly incidents of the past when Muslim candidates had to write papers instead of observing the Jumu’ah prayer will no longer be accepted. It will be resisted with every legitimate means available. But to be forewarned is to be fore-armed. This is why we have decided to remind WAEC of the need to avoid encroaching on Allah-given fundamental human rights of Muslim candidates in future examinations.”
Prof. Ishaq stated that “Peace is always possible once the principle of equal rights, justice and fairplay are maintained. Unfortunately, however, everybody is talking about peace but nobody is talking about justice.
“WAEC has no right under the sun to schedule any examination during the Muslim Jumu’ah prayer in the same way as it will not contemplate scheduling any examination on a Sunday particularly during the Christian worship. Therefore, what is good for the goose is also good for the gander.”
The statement added that If there is equal right and justice, terrorism and all other forms of religious violence will disappear from Nigeria because the constant maltreatment of Muslims amounting to provocation has been behind most religious crisis which Nigeria has experienced.
He added that “compelling Muslim candidates to write examinations during the Jumu’ah period while Christians are not subjected to the same treatment on Sunday constitutes extreme provocation. It is religious persecution per se.
“MURIC’s vision of Nigeria is that of a nation where people of all faiths are treated the same way; where Christians, Muslims and traditionalists live together in peace and harmony; a nation in which no one is oppressed; where every citizen enjoys Allah-given fundamental human rights regardless of class, creed, or ethnicity.”
MURIC further appealed to WAEC and other examination bodies and agencies to make equal rights and justice a cardinal principle.
MURIC said since WAEC has just confirmed that its timetable is not ready yet. Then there is still good time to plan its Friday subjects in a manner that it gives enough room for Muslims to go to the mosque and return without being put under undue pressure.