The President-General of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and Sultan of Sokoto, Dr Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, on Friday cautioned religious and political leaders against public comments that are inflammatory.
He canvassed an in-house discussion on disputed issues.
He made this remark at the opening of the 34th National Qu’ran Recitation Competition held at Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.
The competition was declared opened by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Sultan Abubakar spoke in the light of alleged media bias against Islam and various discrimination against Muslims especially the denial of women to wear hijab by some schools and government agencies.
He condemned the stereotyping of Muslims by the media.
According to him, the negative reports of issues related to Islam were unhealthy for the nation.
He said: “And I want to assure you that no Muslim would be provoked into taking up arms against anybody based on what people have been saying in the media particularly of recent.
“These are issues we need to tackle; these are issues various governments at all levels must continue to tackle by sitting down and talking to one another, because making public comments do not help. They aggravate situations.
“And I want to assure all everything is right with us. The Muslims in Nigeria are very good people. We will continue to do the best.
“But among all good people, there are also bad people, and we know there are bad people among all societies.
“What we need to do is to sit together, bring out those bad people and deal with them. That is where governments at all levels should come in to work with us.”
The Sultan assured leaders in the country of sound advise by the Muslim community.
“I want to assure all our leaders, especially the political leadership in this country, that we would continue to give you sound advice; we would continue to work with you and work for you so that Nigeria would be a much better place than it is now,” he said.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu assured that his administration will continue to protect the rights of the citizens to practice any religion of their choice without fear of harassment or discrimination.
The governor noted that the Quran Competition will further enlighten all and sundry as well as expose Muslim youths to the bright side of life as preached by Islam through the holy Qur’an.
“Sanwo-Olu reminded all that now is the time Nigeria requires more programmes such as the Quranic recitation to re-channel the minds of the youths toward positive ventures.
He said: “As a nation engaged in the battle against extremism, this programme will, among other initiatives, promote the true understanding of the religion of Islam and help make our young people less vulnerable to beliefs that are not consistent with the teachings of the religion.
“As you all know, Lagos State is a cosmopolitan state in which people of diverse religious, ethnic and cultural orientations have lived together in peace, tolerance, mutual respect and understanding for centuries.
“As a government, we will continue to protect the right of every citizen to practise every religion of their choice without fear of harassment or discrimination in this state.”