The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has described as sheer mischief a comment by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) attributing criminality to Christianity.
According to CAN, the statement is aimed at provoking Christians and advised the Muslim body to desist from associating criminality with Christ.
Ishaq Akintola, director of MURIC, had said: “kidnapping for Christ is disgusting, nauseating, wicked and reprehensible. Kidnappers have taken over the house of God. The phenomenon of kidnapping for Christ has now rented the air. We are shocked to our marrows,” while condemning the abduction of nine children in Kano state.
In his response, Joseph Hayab, chairman of CAN in the northern region, said there is nothing like kidnapping for Christ, stressing that the statement by the MURIC director as “irresponsible, derogatory and provocative.”
“Criminals abound in everywhere and in every religion, for MURIC to say a crime was perpetrated for Christ, is sheer mischief aimed at provoking Christians,” he said.
“How could rational, sane and educated person, associate the action of criminals to a religion? There are many instances where Christian girls were abducted, forcefully converted to Islam and married off by criminals in Northern Nigeria. In some of these cases, the police either refused to act, or turned blind eyes.
“Will it be right to accuse all Muslims for the action of such criminals? The answer is no.
“A particular group which belongs to a particular religious group has always been alleged to be responsible for the rampant kidnappings and banditry across the country, especially in the north, will it be right to say that they are committing the crime to promote their tribe or religion?
“We also have the case of Leah Sharibu who is still being held by Boko Haram insurgents for refusing to denounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam. No Christian has associated Muslims with such criminal acts.”
“If we have any witness against the culprits behind the abduction, we will join hands with the people of Kano to testify against him or them in court,” he said.
“There is nothing like kidnapping for Christ. This evil kidnapper or child trafficker, knowing that he did not carry away the children for religion gave them new tribal names, MURIC should note.
“CAN northern states, therefore, condemned anybody carrying people’s children away and supports security agencies to investigate the matter and prosecute the culprits. The abduction of children is a criminal offence. MURIC can call whoever is found doing that whatever name they like, but don’t associate criminality with Christ.”