The mother of Palestinian Rasheed Abu Arra, who was killed, mourns her son alongside other women, in the town of Aqaba near Tubas, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]Faith based organisation of Muslim men in business and the profession, The Companion, has chided the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on its recent statement accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of taking sides with the Palestinians in the renewed onslaught by Israel which has claimed hundreds of lives, describing the comment as unfortunate and condemnable.
The Amir of the group in Lagos, Abdul-Ghani Adegbenga Abdul-Majeed in a statement said CAN’s hatred for Islam is used to justify and promote violence and crime against humanity, wondering why CAN preferred to be endorsing the killing of defenseless Palestinians, some of whom are Arab Christians.
According to the statement, The Companion said: “CAN alleged that Nigeria has yielded to the request of the President of Turkey – Mr. Recep Erdogan – who during a telephone conversation with President Buhari sought Nigeria’s support for Palestine.
“Though we are not spokesmen of President Muhammadu Buhari or the federal government, but, as a concerned organisation and stakeholder in Nigeria, we wish to call on CAN leadership to exercise restraints and issue statements based on facts instead of speculation and figments of their imagination.
“First, there is nothing official or un-official to suggest that Nigeria is openly or covertly supporting Palestine. Second, CAN leadership is portraying Christianity as a religion of oppression and hypocrisy where might is right.
“The CAN leadership failed to realize that the “conflict” in the Palestinian territory (Gaza) is not about religion. It is not a fight between Islam and Christianity. It is about genocide, oppression, apartheid, violation of human rights, injustice and economic domination being perpetuated by Israel against the Palestinians.
“The whole world has cried out against Israel and people of all races including Jews in diaspora, have held demonstrations in major cities of Europe, America, Asia etc. condemning the Israeli aggression and destruction of Palestinian territory and wanton bombing of children, women and the aged, as well as buildings housing media organisations such as Associated Press and Al-Jazeera.
“The leadership of CAN should not allow their hatred for Islam or any other religion or group to justify and promote violence and crime against humanity. They should not be seen to be endorsing the killing of defenseless Palestinians, some of whom are Arab Christians.
“They should not be seen to be happy with violence as long as they are perpetrated by Jews whom CAN leadership is equating with Christians to deceive their followers in Nigeria. If CAN leadership does not know, it should be educated that the percentage of Palestinian Christians is more than the percentage of Israeli Christians.
“We strongly advise CAN to stand up on the side of Justice and Humanity, because, God Almighty is Just. We hasten to remind them of the words of Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa that: “If you are neutral in a situation of injustice then you have chosen the side of oppression.”
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