Group calls for regulation of religious preaching

Acheme Jack, Kano

A splinter group of the Shitte movement in Nigeria, Rasulul-A’Azam Foundation-RAAF has called for laws to be proposed and passed to regulate religious preaching in Nigeria

Speaking at a one day interactive session on security organized by the RAAF in Kano State, northern Nigeria, the secretary of the group, Sheik Saleh said such law will stop people from springing up anyhow to begin preaching.

He said such law which should be promulgated in consultation with councils of Ulamas and Christian bodies who have fundamental knowledge of the religion.

He stressed that “the move will prevent religious extremism which has caused many havoc to the nation Nigeria.”

A Maiduguri based Islamic Scholar, Ali Bulama, in his contribution, said even the boko haram insurgency was aggravated by the issue of extremism.

He, therefore, called on religious organisations to de-emphasize the culture of extremism, so as to ensure peace and co-existence, stressing that   preaching the gospel of peace has been and still the cardinal thrust of the Islamic religion.

Law abiding
The secretary of the group, Saleh explained that the RAAF Shi’a group is law abiding as against the held impression that they disobey constituted authority in the country.

The group disassociated itself from the Ibrahim El Zaky Zaky Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, in Zaria saying the group acted unconstitutionally by blocking the  road and attacking the convoy of the chief of army staff in December last year.

Condemn violence
He said the group totally condemn the violence as it is not Islamic because Islam is a religion of peace.

The group is against the blocking of roads, creation of thoroughfare and other ill behaviours without legal permission from security agencies,”  Saleh said.

The remark comes in view of the controversy behind the recent conflict between soldiers and El-Zakzaky Shi’tte members in Zaria, Kaduna State,

“If the military in their official capacity are stopped from doing their legal duty by civilians then boko haram is being encouraged to continue to resist the army from performing their legal duty in Sambisa,” Saleh emphasized.

According to him, the RAAF in Nigeria has no intention to over throw the government of Nigeria and install Shia Islamic system, since the group does not support imposition of its philosophy on any constituted authority like Nigeria.

He stated that even the late Ayatullah Khomeni had enjoined his followers to respect  constituted authorities at the height of the Iranian revolution of the 1980s, stressing that  the Islamic Movement of Nigeria-IMN, led by El-Zazzaky had lost focus by grossly underestimating the repercussions of the Shiites/Army face-off in Zaria

He said “the RAAF, will continue to support the Nigeria government because, no government can succeed unless it is respected by its people.”

He, however, said the group is completely against the alleged mass killing that took place in Zaria between the El Zaky Zaky group and the Military.

He suggested that everything should be done to prevent such future occurrence.

He urged Nigerians and the world not to judge Shia by what has been happening around the IMN in Zaria

He equally stated that the RAAF group should not be viewed as being sponsored by the government in respect of what happened in Zaria as the group was registered with the Corporate Affairs commission before IMN/Military clash.