Yesterday reports had it that the Director of the Muslims Right Concern (MURIC), Ishaq Akintola demanded explanation from the Presidency over the presence of the Jewish symbol on the new 100 Naira note.
In a statement signed by Akintola, MURIC wondered why the Arabic writing in Hausa language (the Ajami script) that read ‘Naira Dari’ (i.e. one hundred naira) on the N100 note had been removed and replaced with the Jewish symbol, the Star of David on the new note. The group also claimed that “Arabic inscriptions which have always been on 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.” The statement claimed that President Jonathan had been oppressing Nigerian muslims and also urged them to vote him out come 2015.
Well, the Presidency through the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati has addressed the allegations. While speaking to State House correspondents in Abuja on Monday, Abati made it clear that President Jonathan was not pursuing an anti-muslim agenda.
“Our attention has been drawn to a press statement issued by the Muslims Right Concern and signed by its Director, Ishaq Akintola which made a number of allegations against President Jonathan.
“I find Akintola’s allegations rather curious and they can be dealt with as follows: first, he needs to be told that President Jonathan is not anti-Muslim as he alleges’’.
“Jonathan is the President of all Nigerians, whatever may be their beliefs’’.
“It is not true that the president is using the highest office in the country to promote Zion nation.’’
“I think that is a most unfortunate statement coming from Akintola of MURIC and for which they owe President Jonathan an apology.
He also explained that what Akintola claims to be the Star of David Jewish symbol was actually just a spark security feature and not the Star of David hexagram.
“The symbol his statement is referring to is the Star of David. There is nowhere on that note as indicated in the specimen that has been widely publicised where there is any Jewish or Zionist symbol or the Star of David.
“The Star of David is a hexagram which is two triangles of equal lines superimposed on each other. The hexagram is a very popular symbol but it is not on that naira note.
“The symbol that he is referring to is not a Jewish symbol. It is what they call spark security feature.’’
“it is an optical magnetic feature which enables the public to authenticate a currency note whether it is genuine or counterfeit. That is the function of that particular design.’’
“That design is not a hexagram and it is not in any way associated with Israel or Jewish or Zionism.
“It is two squares merged into one with a Manila briquette, which is a symbol of the cowry money used during the colonial era.
“It is an attempt on the part of MURIC to cause disaffection, because on the design of that note, the value of that note is written out in the three major languages in Nigeria, recognised in the constitution: Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa.’’
Reacting to the group’s claim that muslims were marginalized in the last national conference, Abati had this to say:
“It was a purposeful conference, a conference in which a lot of maturity was displayed. Religion did not become a big issue in that conference.
“Rather, the conference became a platform for addressing many issues of general concern to various groups, ethnic or religious.
“MURIC cannot claim not to know that was a very successful conference.’”
The claim by MURIC’ that the security system in the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock was made up of Israeli security operatives was also addressed by Reuben Abati who invited the director of the group, Akintola to come and see things for himself. The Presidential media aide called for an immediate apology to the Presidency for misleading the public.
“I believe that MURIC will see the need to quickly apologise for misleading the public and for issuing that kind of statement that can cause disaffection against the president,’’ Abati stated.
IF YOU MISSED THE STATEMENT BY ‘MURIC’ WHICH WAS SIGNED BY ISHAQ AKINTOLA, FIND IT BELOW:
JEWISH SYMBOL ON NEW N100 NOTE: MURIC DEMANDS EXPLANATION
23rd November, 2014
JEWISH SYMBOL ON NEW N100 NOTE:
MURIC DEMANDS EXPLANATION
The Federal Government (FG) on November 12, 2014 unveiled the new design for the N100 commemorative centenary banknote which will be officially issued on December 19.
However, the office of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has been inundated with calls for action on the Jewish symbol on the new one hundred naira note slated for flag-off in December. Nigerian Muslims are complaining that the Arabic writing in Hausa language (the Ajami script) that read ‘Naira Dari’ (i.e. one hundred naira) on the N100 note has been removed and replaced with the Jewish symbol, the Star of David.
As a faith-based human rights organization which believes in the dialogue option, MURIC is duty bound to articulate the demands of Nigerian Muslims particularly on matters which have to do with imbalance in governments’ (Federal or state) treatment of the adherents of the different religions.
MURIC recalls that Arabic inscriptions which have always been on 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.
Nigerian Muslims regard the latest action, namely, the supplanting of Arabic with Jewish symbol from the new N100 as a continuation of the campaign of elimination by substitution against Arabic language and, by implication, against 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.
Furthermore, putting the Jewish symbol on the new N100 falls short of international standard as currencies worldwide are designed to suit each nation’s culture and history. Where does the Jewish symbol fit in? Which Nigerian community speaks the Jewish language?The insertion of the Jewish symbol is therefore clannish and parochial. It is 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.
Firstly, in spite of the preponderance of Muslims in the South West, he appointed no single Muslim as minister in the whole region for almost four years.
Secondly, he marginalized Muslims in the deliberations which took place in the National Conference by appointing a meager 189 Muslims as against 303 Christians. What kind of leader pursues such gross imbalance in his policies by giving a higher number of delegates to a minority group? How can deliberations of such a conference receive popular acceptance?
Thirdly, Mr. President saturated the security system in Aso Rock with Israeli security operatives, a nation well known for its animosity towards Muslims. The supplanting of Arabic language with Jewish symbol is the fourth among Jonathan’s anti-Muslim policies.
The above are daring, divisive, reckless and highly provocative steps. They get Nigerians wondering where President Jonathan is taking this country. But if once is happenstance, if twice is a coincidence and if the third time is enemy action, what do we call the fourth time?We are sick and tired of our president’s hatred for us. He openly confronts Muslims and goads us to challenge him.
But we will not be provoked. Neither shall we be intimidated by executive maladministration. As apostles of dialogue and advocates of peaceful coexistence, as tax-payers, voters and citizens of this country, we hereby ask President Jonathan to explain 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 appeals to Muslims nationwide to await President Jonathan’s response to the above questions and to remain calm and law abiding. Islam teaches tolerance (Qur’an 3:134) and obedience to constituted authority (Qur’an 4:59).
We must also eschew violence as stipulated in Qur’an 2:190. Instead of using illegal and unconstitutional means, we charge Muslims to explore every opportunity offered by the Nigerian constitution and the Nigerian democratic process to protest against Jonathan’s oppression of Nigerian Muslims. Tyrants can be taught lessons of their lives in times of elections.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)