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Muslim Group Demands Explanations Over Jewish Symbols On New Currencies

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

By Tajudeen Balogun, Head, Nigeria Bureau

A vocal religious organization – the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has expressed concern and demanded for explanations over the removal of the Arabic inscription in Hausa language and now being replaced with the Jewish symbol – the Star of David in the newly introduced commemorative note designed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The former Arabic text reads ‘Naira Dari’ (One Hundred Naira) on the old N100.

MURIC in a press statement issued Sunday by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, established that as a faith-based human rights organization that believes in dialogue option, it was duty bound to articulate the demands of Nigerian Muslims, particularly on matters which have to do with imbalance in governments’ (Federal or state) on treatment of the adherents of the different religions.

It recalled that Arabic inscriptions which were written on the Nigerian currency since independence were “unceremoniously removed in 2005 from N5, N10, N20 and N50 denominations. They remained on N100, N200, N500 and N1,000 denominations”.

Professor Akintola contended that the latest action, was a continuation of the campaign of elimination by substitution against Arabic language and by implication, against the Nigerian Muslims.

“It is well known that a large section of the Nigerian population use the Arabic Ajami and removing it from the new note will deprive millions of users of the Arabic Ajami of the ability to recognize, identify and use the new currency” MURIC observed.

The statement argued that putting the Jewish symbol on the new N100 fell short of international standard as currencies worldwide were designed to suit each nation’s culture and history, asking the relevance of Jewish symbol in Nigerian context?

MURIC asserted that the new insertion was “clannish and parochial” as well as “tainted with undisguised religious fanaticism”.

“There is nothing wrong for our President to like Israel as a nation but it is another thing entirely to openly and brazenly promote Zionism at the highest office in this country when we are still struggling with the last vestiges of colonialism. Nigerian Muslims are becoming increasingly suspicious and very uncomfortable with the actions and inactions of President Jonathan” the group alerted

The group which heavily criticised President Jonathan of marginalizing Muslims in his appointment, exposed that his security was saturated with the Israeli security operatives, a development it observed was alarming, of a “nation well known for its animosity towards Muslims” alleging the supplanting of Arabic language with Jewish symbol was the “fourth among Jonathan’s anti-Muslim policies”.

MURIC berated the replacement, describing it as “daring, divisive, reckless and highly provocative steps”.

However, the association stated that it would not be provoked, or intimidated by executive maladministration, maintaining that as apostles of dialogue and advocates of peaceful coexistence, as tax-payers, voters and citizens of the country, demanded President Jonathan to explain the rationales behind the Jewish symbol on Nigeria’s money.

“We also demand to know why the presidency could not employ security experts from neutral countries like Britain or France instead of Israel which is a sworn enemy of Muslims. Mr. President may also deem it fit to tell us if there is no correlation between the Israeli security experts in Aso Rock, the Israeli caught with Nigeria’s N9.3m arms money in South Africa and the Jewish symbol on the new N100 note.

“Mr. President sir, are you not gradually selling Nigeria to Israel? And are you sure this will not attract the wrath of Israel’s enemies to our dear country? Can this also be partly responsible for the viciousness of the Boko Haram phenomenon? MURIC queried.

In the meantime, the non governmental organization has appealed to Nigerian Muslims to await Mr. President’s response to its questions, as well as remain calm and law abiding, noting the harmonious teaching of the Islamic creed.

It added Instead of resorting to self help, Muslims should explore every opportunity offered by the Nigerian constitution and the Nigerian democratic process, to protest against the present administration’s oppression of Nigerian Muslims, saying; “Tyrants can be taught lessons of their lives in times of elections.

It would be recalled the Federal Government (FG) unveiled the commemorative centenary banknote on Wednesday, November 12, 2014, which is slated to be officially issued on December 19 this year.

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