The Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has canvassed fair treatment for Muslims across the nation.
According to him, Muslims want nothing but a very peaceful and stable Nigeria.
The Sultan made this position known in Benin City, Edo State at the General Assembly and Executive National Council Meeting of the NSCIA at the weekend.
According to Abubakar III, Muslims were not asking for preferential or special treatment but their dues as enshrined in the constitution.
He frowned against stereotyping criminals and terrorists as Muslims, saying the bad eggs in the faith would be given fresh orientation to have a change of heart.
He also hailed the Pope for making a very strong statement in defence of Islam as a religion of peace.
On the raging debate about use of hijab on school uniforms by Muslim female students, the Sultan said: “Hijab is our right not a privilege. It is not a favour to us. It is our right.
“And we hold on to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that guarantees freedom of worship.
“That is why we don’t disturb anybody who wants to go and worship the way he wants”.
He added: “Nigeria is a multi-religious state, not a singular state. And being a multi-religious state, we must allow the various religions to go on but we must not trample on each other’s right, which means I must be allowed to practice my religion the way I believe as ordered me by the Holy Quran and nothing else.
“So when we get this done, the issue of hijab and so many other things affecting Islam I believe is our right, not a privilege unless the Constitution is changed.”
On bad elements in Islam, he said: “Those bad people among us, like in other religions, we should pick them out and teach them the tenets of Islam.
“If they refuse to change, that is their own problem. We will meet with the creator on the judgment day.
“In any society, there are many terribly bad people. So many, who are not Muslims but carry out criminal activities with some Muslim organisations in America, France and even in Nigeria.
“Those people doing negative things should be called criminals or terrorists but not Muslims.
“I’ve never heard of Christian terrorists but we have heard of so many Christians or followers of other religions who committed heinous crimes against humanity.
“But they didn’t claim to do it for their religions and we did not hold them against their religions”.
Earlier, Governor Adams Oshiomhole called for the re-introduction of teaching of religion in schools.
This, he stated, would help to achieve peace and create a foundation for a fair and just society.