Premium Times (Abuja)

16 January 2014

Nigeria: Anti-Gay Law - Islamic Group Warns U.S., E.U Others to Leave Nigeria Alone

An influential Islamic organisation in Nigeria, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has called on President Goodluck Jonathan to call the bluff of the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and other Western countries that have condemned Nigeria's new anti-gay law.

In a statement Thursday, the group said Mr. Jonathan "transmitted on the same wavelength with the rest of Nigerians by signing the anti-gay bill into law" and warned Western countries to leave Nigeria alone to deal with "pervasive sexual life" within its boundaries its own way.

"We commend the Nigerian president for resisting pressure from Western powers and for boldly identifying with the cultural and religious yearning and aspiration of Nigerians," the statement by the organisation's director, Ishaq Akintola, said. "In the same vein, we condemn this meddling in the affairs of other nations.

"We also denounce attempts by Western powers to impose their Bohemian practices on poor countries. Most reprehensible is the attempt by foreign powers to intimidate and coerce Nigeria into absorbing their despicable culture by threatening to withhold foreign aids if the anti-gay bill was signed into law."

The group added, "MURIC warns Western countries to respect the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to desist from interfering in its internal affairs. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senate Committee on Foreign Matters are advised to activate the checks and balances mechanisms on the activities and pronouncements of the leaders of Western countries. Nigeria should not be turned into a mere satellite of neo-imperialists."

Read full statement below.

PRESS RELEASE:

SIGNING OF ANTI-GAY BILL: MURIC COMMENDS JONATHAN

President Goodluck Jonathan this week signed the anti-gay bill into law. The law seeks to jail offenders for 14 years. Nigeria's anti-gay law has so far drawn the ire of the United States and the European Union. The United Kingdom in particular expressed disappointment in President Jonathan while Banki Moon, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, posited that Nigeria's anti-gay law would fuel violence.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) affirms that President Jonathan transmitted on the same wave-length with the rest of Nigerians by signing the anti-gay bill into law. Pervasive sexual life is absolutely unIslamic and unAfrican and this explains why other African countries have stood their ground on the matter. It is also on record that both Christian and Muslim clerics and their leaders have vehemently expressed opposition to gay marriage.

We commend the Nigerian president for resisting pressure from Western powers and for boldly identifying with the cultural and religious yearning and aspiration of Nigerians. In the same vein, we condemn this meddling in the affairs of other nations. We also denounce attempts by Western powers to impose their Bohemian practices on poor countries. Most reprehensible is the attempt by foreign powers to intimidate and coerce Nigeria into absorbing their despicable culture by threatening to withhold foreign aids if the anti-gay bill was signed into law.

UN Secretary General's fear that Nigeria's anti-gay law would generate violence is misplaced. Banki Moon should not incite an infinitesimally small proportion of misguided Nigerians against the large majority of law-abiding citizens. We assert that it is the other way round as the practice of homosexualism and lesbianism is most capable of instigating widespread hatred and turning society upside down. By openly condemning Nigeria's anti-gay law, Banki Moon has confirmed fears expressed in several quarters that the UN is no more than a tool in the hands of a few powerful capitalist nations.

Finally, MURIC warns Western countries to respect the territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and to desist from interfering in its internal affairs. The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Senate Committee on Foreign Matters are advised to activate the checks and balances mechanisms on the activities and pronouncements of the leaders of Western countries. Nigeria should not be turned into a mere satellite of neo-imperialists.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,

Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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