By Abdurrahman Muhammad
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused a section of the media and its allies of continuously neglecting the increasing death toll of Nigerian Muslims but are quick to report the fabricated number of dead Christians at the instance of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
It has come to our notice that the majority of security-related challenges being faced in Nigeria, most of which result in the death of Muslims, especially when in large quantity are mostly unreported or, at best, under-reported; we at the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) have seen this as a ploy to portray Muslims as the perpetrators of these various crimes in Nigeria, ranging from terrorism, kidnapping, cattle rustlings, banditry, etc.
The Muslims have always been complacent, consoling themselves without making noise on various social media platforms whenever the unpleasant news of the death of their brothers and sisters in Islam filters in. This is because Allah has emphasised to us through the Holy Quran that “All Souls Shall Taste Death” (Qur’an 3:185), whereas CAN is always quick at playing the victim card, and its voice can be heard at the seventh heaven.
Social media and traditional news media also become awash with unprintable comments to escalate the incident beyond the real magnitude. The Muslims are, therefore, always at the receiving end. In contrast, Muslims lose the highest number of victims of the security challenges Nigeria is currently facing.
It is a known fact that the majority of the act of terrorism by the dreaded terrorist organisation in Nigeria (Boko Haram) has led to the death of more Muslims than Christians; the terrorist group detonated bombs in metropolitan areas in the northern part of Nigeria where the Muslims have the highest population. It is, therefore, only logical to say that the terrorist group targets Muslims more than Christians; thus, any Christian who becomes a victim is more collateral damage because the real targets are the Muslims.
In an effort to set the records straight, MURIC has carried out a statistical analysis of violent attacks and has gathered data on Muslims who were casualties of various attacks carried out by armed groups such as Boko Haram, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), armed bandits, herdsmen and the so-called unknown gunmen.
It was discovered that between 2021 and 2022, the total number of Muslims who have become casualties is as high as two thousand two hundred and sixty-four (2,264). This figure is for reported cases. Only Allah knows the exact number of thousands of unreported cases of Muslim deaths.
Of this figure, 1,829 were killed by Boko Haram, 288 Muslims fell victim to banditry, 98 were killed by unknown gunmen, 36 by herdsmen and 13 by IPOB.
We appeal to the Muslim populace not to seek vengeance as Allah is sufficient for us, and only Allah knows the punishment most suitable for perpetrators of the killings. We also remind co-country men to tread softly and not to insult the sensitivity and cool-headedness of Nigerian Muslims; our religion teaches “Peace”, and on that mantra, all our engagements are based.
Lastly, while we acknowledge that efforts made by the security agents are already yielding results, we implore them to increase their vigilance to ensure a prosperous and peaceful nation.