In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
Press Release: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, 06 August 2012
MPAC Stands Firm with Jama’atu Ta’awunil Muslimeen
(Lagos, 06/08/2012) The Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) utterly condemns the raid of the State Security Service (SSS) and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) on Jama’atu Ta’awunil Muslimeen, the owner of Qudus E-Radio, the first Islamic internet media streaming in Nigeria on 28th June, 2012.
With this raid on a reputable Muslim organization, Muslim Nigerians would be excused for believing that we are witnessing a witch hunting exercise.
The Jama’atu Ta’awunil Muslimeen has demonstrated many an admirable stand against violence and extremism of all sorts, and has represented Muslims well on a number of platforms before governmental and non-governmental parties, whilst its officials continue to be well-respected figures in representing Islam and Muslims in the best of manners. This raid clearly wishes to undermine the achievements the organization has attained as a result of concerted efforts on a number of fronts for decades.
The Jama’atu Ta’awunil Muslimeen is known to work according to the best practices, but its remarkable work on the inter-faith dialogue platform and research on Muslim Nigerians’ positive and constructive engagement with the Nigerian society is especially commendable. It is therefore surprising to read that officers of the SSS and NBC attacked the organisation’s facility for the Qudus Internet media streaming, harrased its staff and carted away the streaming equipment on the spurious basis that the NBC (quoting section 10 of the NBC Act which provides that: “The Commission Shall not grant a Licence to (a) a religious organisation; or (b) political party.”) disallowed broadcasting of religious programmes. Yet there are numerous Christian radio and television internet stations like: Liveway Radio Network (http://rccg.camp7.org/, mms://wm6.spacialnet.com/livewayradio-nigeria) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God; Nigerian Gospel Radio (www.nigeriangospelradio.com); Praiseworld Radio (www.praiseworldradio.com); LoveWorldChristian Network Radio (www.loveworldchristiannetwork.org/Newsroom/index.php) – Nigeria; Radio ELWA owned by ECWA (Evangelical Church of West Africa now called Evangelical Church Winning All), Nigeria – established more than 50 years ago; DCLM TV (www.tv14.net/dclm-channel/), Lagos owned by Deeper Christian Life Ministry; etc. The NBC did not close down all the mentioned Christian Internet radio and TV Internet stations in Nigeria.
We stand in support of the Jama’atu Ta’awunil Muslimeen against this unwarranted attack on their personnel and facility, which only goes to undermine the excellent works the organization and similar organizations are doing at this incredibly sensitive time in the country. The Muslim community is a partner for peace and the multimedia is an important tool in defeating the ills of religious extremism and a means of dislodging the poisonous ideology of extreme elements. Rather than encouraging the Muslim Nigerian lone voice on the internet, a voice which seeks to bring communities together and empower the Muslim youth to engage in constructive, positive and non-violent efforts, the SSS has acted, under a threat of brute force and intimidation, as an enforcer of censorship.
It is our hope that this attack will neither break nor weaken Jama’atu Ta’awunil Muslimeen in the excellent works it is doing on behalf of the Nigerian Muslim community. Rather it will make us stronger and more determined to deliver on our principles of peaceful dialogue, positive interaction and engagement with all sectors of society and prosperity for our country. It seems that some wish to see all Muslims radicalized rather than brought to the mainstream effort to unite our country and its people, all its people.
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