Nigeria:No Al-Qaeda in Country – Islamic Scholars
29 Dec. 2009
Some Islamic scholars in Nigeria yesterday dismissed allegations that Al Qaeda exists in Nigeria following the alleged attempt by 23 year-old Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, to bomb a United States passenger plane on Christmas day.
The scholars, who spoke to Daily Trust in separate interviews, said Nigerians are not terrorists, even as they urged the relevant security agencies to investigate the matter dispassionately.
Malam Abdulfattah Adeyemi, an Abuja-based Islamic Scholar, said, “I want to say confidently that there is no connection between the accused and any religious group in Nigeria. We are a nation that is focused. We are at the phase of rebranding and trying to move the nation forward.”
On Farouk Umaru Mutallab’s involvement, Adeyemi said: “We cannot say for sure what is responsible for the problem, but I will suggest that the matter should be thoroughly investigated and people should avoid passing comments that will bring disgrace to the nation and should equally refrained from wrongfully pointing accusing fingers to anyone when investigations have not been carried out or concluded.”
Dr Taofik Abdulazeez, the Imam of University of Abuja said Nigerians should take the news with extreme caution and asked the authorities not to rush into actions without sufficient information.
He said, “There may be a connection between extreme economic prosperity of some people and extreme poverty of some and certain tendency such as violence and other tendencies such as this may not be located among the poor. The care for our children and concern for them should be viewed with extreme caution and extreme care and monitoring so as to be able to stem certain tendencies that may have dear consequences to the lives and well- being of our families and the security of the nation.”
Other Islamic groups including Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, (NSCIA), Association of Muslims in Nigeria (AMIN), and Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) among others have equally condemned the act and called for full investigation.