December 29, 2011, 4:13 PM
December 26, 2011
United Religions Initiative (URI) Africa strongly denounces the bombing of churches in Madalla, Niger State and in parts of Plateau and Yobe States by the Boko Haram sect on Christmas Day, which claimed the precious lives of at least 39 innocent people and injured many.
URI Africa appreciates the prompt action of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar III, who joined other Muslims in Nigeria in voicing condemnation of Boko Haram (which means "Western education is forbidden").
Like what the Chairman of the Sokoto State chapter of Izalat Bida'a Waikamtul Sunnah, Sheikh Abubakar Usman Mabera, said "the killing of innocent citizens, under any guise, is a case of murder and in contrast to Islamic teachings. Whoever takes the life of a fellow human being has committed evil irrespective of his religion - whether Christian or Muslim - and will pay for his sins. So, this is an act of terrorism which is against Islamic teachings. Almighty Allah forbids the killing of a fellow human being. Whoever thinks that he is carrying out Jihad by destroying places of worship and killing innocent citizens is ignorant of Islam because the religion forbids that."
URI Africa prays and echoes the voice of the President of Nigeria in calling on all Nigerians not to be deterred by this evil act and to stay united more than ever at these critical moments, and not to allow any plot that is aimed at dividing the country along religious or ethnic lines to succeed.
URI Africa joins the Security Council of the United Nations to deplore the attacks and underline the need to bring perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of acts of terrorism to justice and in urging all Sates to actively cooperate with the Nigerian authorities to this end.
Like the Security Council of the United Nations, URI Africa also reaffirms that “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations is criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of its motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed, and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group.”
As an interfaith organization which is working to end religiously motivated violence, URI Africa calls upon on Muslims in Nigeria and other parts of the world to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Christians and other faiths in Nigeria and elsewhere to continue to work together to remove the mischief of those like Boko Haram sect and others seeking to destroy peaceful co-existence and harmony among followers of different religions.
URI Africa feels the sorrow and share the grief of all that were affected by this tragedy - this evil attack is a crime committed against mankind.
URI Africa expresses its sympathy and condolences to the people of Nigeria and to the bereaved families who have lost loved ones. We pray for those who are injured to get well soon.
May Peace and the Golden Rule Prevail in Nigeria