- The Muslim Rights Concern wants the NUC to investigate alleged maltreatment of students based on religious sentiments in tertiary institutions
- Professor Ishaq Akintola claims the students are not made aware of the rules in the institutions before they are admitted
- He warns Muslim parents to stop sending their wards to universities owned by Christians
The office of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) says it has received a lot of complaints of alleged religious persecution in Christian private universities.
The group headed by Professor Ishaq Akintola alleged that Muslim students are marked for stigmatization, contemptuous treatment and forceful conversion despite the humongous amount they pay as school fees and other miscellaneous charges in those tertiary institutions.
Though the organisation did not mention any specific university, it said it expressed condemnation of what it called neo-colonialist propensities.
He said Muslims in Christian-owned universities force the students to attend church programmes on Sundays as well as go to the chapel for various Christian-oriented programmes.
“A leading Christian private university rusticated a Muslim student who happened to be the president of the students’ union on a flimsy excuse.
“Female Muslim students who have been using hijab before they were admitted are disallowed from using it the moment they pay their school fees and conclude other registration formalities whereas such rules are not rolled out earlier.
“Tyranny is least expected in cassock. It is quite demeaning, totally unbecoming and outrightly preposterous. Conscienceless power is subjugating powerless conscience.
“This ugly development is a dangerous dimension at this stage of Nigeria’s history. By subjecting Muslim students to such mental and spiritual torture, Christian private universities in Nigeria are reminding us of the sad experience encountered by Nigerian Muslims at the advent of colonialism when Western education was used as a weapon to forcefully convert Muslims to Christianity.
“It is neo-colonialism per se. Such repression of Muslim students in Christian institutions gives anti-Western education ideologues like Boko Haram a good excuse to justify their stand,” a statement from the group and obtained by NAIJ.com stated.
Akintola accused the institutions of failure to stipulate the rules before admitting candidates adding that this amounts to deliberate entrapment of Muslim youths, “deception and gross failure to fulfill a social contract. It is morally deficient."
The group also blamed the Muslim parents who enroll their wards in tertiary institutions owned by Christians saying they should have expected such alleged treatment.
“Why didn’t they choose Islamic private universities where their freedom of religion can be guaranteed? Was there any force majeure?
“Christian institutions in Nigeria have not been known to respect the fundamental human rights of Muslims. This is a big minus on the part of Nigerian Christendom.
“God is a God of justice and fairness. Those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The use of foul means to serve God runs counter to this ideal.
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“It is ungodly to ‘trick’ fellow homo sapiens into an educational institution where they will be subjected to spiritual enslavement for at least four years or more. It is spiritual corruption to give unto God what was immorally and unjustly obtained. It is shameful,” the group said.
It pleaded with the National Universities Commission and the National Human Rights Commission to take a critical look at the allegations.
The group also pleaded with the federal government to establish more universities and increase the funding of existing ones so they could admit more students and provide qualitative education.
It also urged Muslim parents to stop seeking admission for their wards in Christian-owned private universities.
NAIJ.com earlier reported that the federal government recently received the report of the seven-man audit panel to audit the utilization of the take-off grants to 12 new universities established by the previous administration.
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