This Day (Lagos)

14 November 2012

Nigeria: 'Boko Haram Members Are Non-Muslims'

Photo: Vanguard
Notorious gang arrested in Nigeria

An Islamic scholar in Osun State, Sheik Salahudeen Olayiwola, has described members of the Boko Haram sect as non-Muslims, saying Islam means peace among the human race.

The cleric also stated that anything contrary to peace was not Islam, adding that Islam does not preach violence in any form but mutual relationship among fellow human beings, irrespective of their religion.

Olayiowla, who is President of the state Muslim community, disclosed this yesterday, at a conference to herald this year's Hijrah celebration, which is the new year on the Islamic calendar (first Muharram 1434 AH), urged the sect to stop tarnishing the good name of Islam for genuine Muslims.

Also speaking at the conference, the Aragibji of Iragibji, Oba Abdulrasheed Odundun, noted that the sect has destroyed the name of the country outside the world, explaining that Islam does not encourage the killing of fellow human being for any reason.

According to him, "The literary meaning of Hijrah is the movement of Muslims from bad behaviour to good behaviour. I want to tell you that the word Islam means nothing but promotion of peace in the society (within the Muslims and non-Muslims) and anything contrary to peace is unIslamic."

The monarch, who doubles as General Secretary of the organisation, appealed to journalists in the country to see crime as criminal and stop giving prominence to the bad work of the sect.

He said: "The Boko Haram sect has dented the good image of the country among the comity of nations and we should try to call a spade a spade when it comes to the issue of criminality.

"I don't think the authority of Saudi Arabia will allow the Federal Government and the appointed negotiators for Boko Baram to use their country as venue for its purported negotiation because the kingdom is not lawless country."

The Muslim community, however, appreciated the state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, for his moral and material support on this year edition of the Hijrah (1434 AH) celebration, praying for his successful tenure of office.

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