By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (IOC), Mr. Iyad Ameen Madani, has condemned in strong terms, the activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria, describing such as a madness and not religion.
The IOC scribe said in an exclusive interview with Peoples Daily yesterday in Abuja, that: “Our position is that Boko Haram is not a movement for liberation or human rights but a movement of terrorists. Any movement that allows itself to kill innocent people, destroys places of worship and kidnap innocent schoolgirls, cannot be a liberation movement. We said this is not Islamic.
“They raised the banner of Islam. How can anybody associate Islam with such act of indiscriminate killing or kidnapping? It is a crime not only against Islam or any particular religion but against humanity.
“So we came out strongly with a statement describing them as outlaws and their action as criminal. But these are not enough. The statement needs to be followed by action, where help is necessary”.
On the forceful conversion of the over 200 kidnapped Chibok girls to Islam, Madani said the act was a complete madness, stressing that nobody in his right senses could claim that ‘Allah’ asked him to sell those girls.
He said the OIC was concerned about persecution of Islam and Muslims in other parts of the world especially in Europe, and would always commit itself to protecting their rights.
Speaking on allegations that some Islamic countries are funding Boko Haram, the IOC scribe said they have no slightest inclination that any Muslim country is supporting the violent sect.
“Why will they support Boko Haram? What will any Muslim country benefit from religious strife in Nigeria? A strong Nigeria is a contribution to the Islamic world. It is a support for OIC and a contribution to Africa.
“What strategic advantage it is that any country that is an OIC member-state would like to support? Unless the dismantling of a powerful African country is to their advantage; unless strife between Muslims and other religious groups is to their advantage; unless picturing Islam and Muslims as deviant and violent is to their advantage; all of these are not to the advantage of any Muslim OIC member-state”, Mr. Madani stressed.
While speaking on crisis in Muslim-dominated countries, he said most of the countries, including Iraq, were invaded and all structures of government destroyed, paving way for people to go back to marginal sense of identity for their personal protection.
Reiterating the OIC’s stance against all forms of violence, the scribe insisted that most Muslims are not responsible for conflicts in the world, but were forced into it by various circumstances.