21st January, 2019
PLANNED CRUSADE TO BOMB CHRISTIANS IS FAKE NEWS
A message trending on social media alerting Christians not to attend a crusade tagged ‘We Are One’ because Muslims planned the crusade with the intention of bombing the venue in order to kill all Christians in Nigeria has been debunked by an Islamic human rights organization.
In a press statement issued on Monday 21st January, 2019, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) described the message as fake news and advised Nigerian Christians to ignore it. The statement was signed by the director and founder of the organization, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
“We are aware of a message now trending among Christians on social media. The message which was meant for Nigerian Christians only was leaked to MURIC through a patriotic and true Christian, reads:
To all Christians: please tell all the Christians brethren (sic) around
You not to attend the crusade with the title we are one. It’s said that
the crusade is planned by Muslim leaders and it will be holding in all
the states in Nigeria at the same day and time. They will use a popular
and well respected pastor in a state as a guest speaker in the crusade in
other (sic) to gather people. Their intention is to bomb all Christians at
ones (sic) in other for them to archive (sic) their Islamisation agenda.
One of the elder (name withheld for security) who is not in support of
the plan has just made this known to the head of … (name of Christian
mission deleted by us). Please pass this info to at least 20 people in your
contact as the crusade is just few weeks away. The Lord will hold you
responsible for any life lost through this evil attack if you refuse to share
“This is a blatant, wicked and diabolical lie. We assure Christians in Nigeria that there is no such plan. It exists only in the figment of imagination of the devilish authors. It is the handiwork of enemies of Nigeria. We cannot rule out disgruntled politicians, particularly looters who are afraid of being exposed. They are looking for all means of causing pandemonium so that the authorities will be too preoccupied with searching for peace to have time for bringing them to book.
“In the same vein, we urge Nigerians to ignore another rumour concerning the hijab. Fake news mongers claim that Muslims in the South West are advocating for the use of hijab by their women and female school children because Muslims plan to launch terrorist attacks. They said the hijab would serve as special identity for Muslims so that the attackers would not attack them.
“This is atrocious. It is far from the truth. It is also illogical, false, baseless and unfounded. Nigerians should not allow themselves to be hoodwinked by rumour mongers. How is this possible? If the hijab is to serve the purpose of identifying Muslim women in the event of a terrorist attack, what of the Muslim men? If the attack is to happen in schools, what of the male Muslim students? How will the terrorists identify Muslim male students so as not to attack them? It is sheer bunkum, balderdash and poppycock twaddle.
“We urge both Christians and Muslims in the country to go about their businesses without any fear. This is the time to come together putting our heads under the same thinking cap for the sake of our country. Election period is a sensitive time and we should do everything we can to avoid anything capable of undermining the security of the nation.
“Nigerians should ignore baseless information particularly those that have security implication around this time. Any information which cannot be verified should be ignored. Adherents of the two major religions should follow the teachings of their faith regarding fake news. The Qur’an commands Muslims to investigate information before taking any action so that innocent people will not be hurt (Qur’an 49:6). The Bible also urges Christians to ‘Investigate all matters and hold on to the truth’ (II Corinthians 5:19 -20).
“We share the same destiny in this country and we should stick together in the interest of peace and progress. Where are the peddlers of hate and animosity today? Where are those who said we should not vote for Muslims? Where are those who said we should not vote for Fulanis? They should hide their faces in shame. The last time we checked, the candidates of the two major parties (APC and PDP) are still Muslims. Fulani blood also flows in their veins.
“Those agent provocateur ended up in a cul de sac because both President Muhammadu Buhari and former vice president Atiku Abubakar are Muslims and full-blooded Fulanis. It goes to prove further the folly in acrobatic religiousity and articulated ethnicity. We should allow merit to decide who will rule us. The criteria should not be religion. Neither should it be tribe. We should seek noble criteria like integrity, credibility, antecedence, etc.
On a last note, we charge Nigerian Christians to ignore rumours of Muslims planning a grand crusade with the intention of killing all Christians in Nigeria. The rumour of Muslim women using hijab for protection in case of a terrorist attack is also fake news. Nigerian Muslims love their neighbours and they wish to coexist peacefully with all regardless of creed or tribe.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)