Supreme Council decries tragedies in Sri Lanka, Gombe

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Sri Lankan security personnel walk past debris next to a dead body slumped over a bench following an explosion in St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, north of the capital Colombo, on April 21, 2019. – A series of eight devastating bomb blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing nearly 160 people, including dozens of foreigners. (Photo by STR / AFP) / GRAPHIC CONTENT

The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) has decried the horrific and dastardly attacks on Christian worshippers on Easter Sunday, in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

President General, NSCIA and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, also said the Council is shocked by the dispiriting news of the tragedy of the loss of lives on Easter Monday in which 10 people died and 30 others were injured during a night procession in Gombe Metropolis, Nigeria.

Sultan, in a statement signed by Deputy Secretary General, NSCIA, Prof. Salisu Shehu, described the attacks as “most reprehensible, barbaric, callous and inhuman”.

He said the attack whereby about about 300 people were gruesomely killed with more than 500 others sustaining various degrees of injury, is an affront against civilisation and a crime against humanity.

“There is no moral, religious or political justification for such an outrage on the global psyche. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to ensure that the perpetrators, whoever they are, are severely punished by the Sri Lankan authorities.

“It is a sad commentary on the state of the world that at a time everyone is recovering from the severe shock precipitated by the attacks on Muslims in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15, 2019, these gruesome attacks borne out of extreme hatred and religious bigotry happened in Sri Lanka, a country that has witnessed some stability after the end of its Civil War some years ago.

“The NSCIA condemns and denounces the attacks in the strongest terms. The Council also commiserates with the families of the victims in Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, India, Denmark, Spain, Australia, United States, Switzerland, China, The Netherlands, Japan, Portugal and other countries whose nationals were involved in the ghastly bombings,” he stated.

Sultan further said: “Though all religions ordinarily abhor violence and promote goodness, Islam especially considers killing as a major sin. It considers the sanctity of human life inviolable”, quoting from Quran 5, verse 32, it is stated, “whoever kills an innocent person, it is as if he has killed the whole of humanity.” For anyone who claims to be a Muslim to be involved in murder and terrorism itself is an index of the person’s renunciation of Islam.

On the Nigerian scene where an official of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) was reported to have rammed his car into a procession of the Boys’ Brigade of St Peter’s Anglican Church and two parishes of ECWA Church killing eight and injuring others before the boys mobilised and killed him and his friend, he said the losses are regrettable.

He stated: “The rising waves of attacks in Nigeria against fellow Nigerians on ethnic and religious grounds call for the collective reflection and of all citizens. Nigerians at this time, more than any time before, need to shun the vestiges of ethnicity and religious intolerance thatunderline much of our sociopolitical dynamics.

As a religious nation, with the majority of us being Muslim or Christian, the two faiths of whom are rooted in Ibrahim/Abraham, there are sufficient grounds for mutual cooperation and confidence, rather than a mindset of confrontation and competition.”

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