Muslim women have cried out to Nigeria’s Federal Government to put security measures in place to protect the lives of Muslims, their properties and mosques.
A Muslim women’s group cried on Thursday, following a threat by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, to launch violent attacks against them from next month.
The Criterion, an association of Muslim women in business and different professions, said in a statement that the government must do all it can to protect Muslims, Muslim clerics and various Islamic institutions in Nigeria.
In an e-mail dated 14 April, 2013, the militant group threatened to commence the bombings of Mosques, hajj camps, Islamic institutions and Islamic clerics and large congregation of Islamic events "in defence of Christianity".
"The Criterion wonders whether MEND is acting alone in its proposed terror campaign or it is acting the script of other groups and individuals who had expressed similar anti-Islam views in the past," said Dr. Shareefah Labo-Popoola, the Criterion National President.
The group argued that most of the attacks by the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic sect were targeted at Muslims and Muslim institutions, and claimed the lives of many Muslims.
The Criterion condemned Boko Haram killings, saying that they are ‘un-Islamic.
"The violent group has distorted core Islamic concepts and are only disguising as Muslims to drum up support for their misguided conducts," the statement read.
"Islam forbids a Muslim to take another person’s life irrespective of creed or race.
Islam is a religion of peace and preaches sanctity of all human lives irrespective of their religious affiliations.
It is also written in the last message delivered by Prophet Muhammed (SAW) that the life of a Muslim is sacred to another Muslim, however, Boko Haram has repeatedly ignored these teachings by killing innocent citizens mostly Muslims in the northern part of the country," The Criterion said.
The group said it rejects any form of violence from either Boko Haram or MEND.
"Muslims just like Christians have equal rights to practice their religion as entrenched in the constitution.
No group should be allowed under any disguise to perpetrate evil.
We call on the Federal Government to employ all lawful means to stop the evil of the two groups in view of the fact that in any war or violent situation, women and children suffer most," the group urged.