World Bulletin/News Desk
The Sultan of Sokoto, the leader of Nigerian Muslims, on Sunday condemned terrorism as a violation of the tenets of Islam and urged Nigerians the faithful to rally together to defeat the militant Boko Haram group.
"We have repeatedly made the point that terrorism had no place in Islam," Sultan Mohammed Sa'ad Abubakar III told thousands of Muslims who gathered at the National Mosque in the capital Abuja to prayer for the troubled country.
"Islam calls for peaceful coexistence and nondiscrimination based on religion or ethnicity," he added.
The audience included Nigerian Vice President Namadi Sambo, a number of cabinet ministers, top Muslim public figures and key Muslim leaders from the north and south of Nigeria.
The Sultan of Sokoto is by tradition the president general of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and leader of the Jama'atu Nasril Islam (JNI), the most influential Muslim umbrella bodies in the country.
He called on Muslims to unite.
"We must rise up, as always, with one voice to condemn all acts of terrorism," he said.
"We must condemn those terrorists wherever they are and try our best as Muslims to ensure peace reigns in our community," added the sultan.
"It is a very serious situation and we have to close ranks as Muslims," said Abubakar III.
"We have to close ranks as Nigerians, irrespective of our ethnic, religious or political divide and not play politics with insecurity," he added.
But the top Muslim leader also urged the government to consider treating them with "equality, justice and fairness" which he said would "turn things around."
Nigerian Muslim community organized early this year a similar prayer in the southwestern Lagos state where top Muslim clerics took turns to dismiss Boko Haram activities as totally anti-Islam.
Last Mod: 25 Mayıs 2014, 16:45