MOTTO: DIALOGUE, NOT VIOLENCE

11th June, 2024

PRESS RELEASE:

MURIC DENOUNCES ATHLETICS FEDERATION OF NIGERIA FOR FIXING OLYMPIC TRIAL ON SALAH DAYS – MURIC

 

The Athletics Federation of Nigeria has allegedly fixed the trial for the coming Olympics to start from 16th to 18th June, 2024. Meanwhile, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has rejected the chosen date for coinciding with Salah dates which is also 16th to 18th June, 2024.

 

MURIC described the development as an attempt to strangulate Muslim athletes and coaches and deny them the opportunity to compete with their Christian counterparts thereby opening the door wide open for an all-Christian Olympic team.

 

MURIC’s allegation came via a statement issued on Tuesday, 11th June 2024 by its Founder and Executive Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

 

The press release stated further:

 

“The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) has allegedly fixed the trial for the coming Olympics to start from 16th to 18th June, 2024. It is already public knowledge that the same 16th to 18th June, 2024 are the days of this year’s Salah.

 

“The Olympic trial entails test runs to pick the best athletes who will represent Nigeria at the Olympics. The 2024 Olympics will take place in Paris from Friday, 26th July to Sunday, 11th August, 2024.

 

“We reject the dates chosen by AFN for the trials because they coincide with Salah dates which are also 16th to 18th June, 2024. In actual fact, 17th and 18th are likely to be declared public holidays by the Federal Government in recognition of the Salah.

 

“This is an attempt to strangulate Muslim athletes and coaches and deny them the opportunity to compete with their Christian counterparts thereby opening the door wide open for an all-Christian Olympic team. It is christianisation of the sports sector. 

 

“Instead of giving equal opportunities to all, our Christian neighbours always find one way or the other to edge out Muslims from various sectors. They are not ready to coexist peacefully. They are not prepared to share. They are not tolerant of people of other faiths, particularly Muslims.

 

“They prefer systematic elimination through the provision of alternative priority. They will deliberately fix examinations on Salah day or fix tests and important meetings during the Friday prayer (Jumu’ah) period, thereby daring Muslims in the system to choose between going for Salah or Jumu’ah prayer and failing the examination or test or missing the important meeting.

 

“Of course the average Muslim can only have one priority, not two and we all know what that priority will be. Who will choose to fail an examination that he has been preparing for over a long period of time and probably an examination that comes once in a life time?

 

“The average Christian has been conditioned to cause discomfort for Muslims wherever and whenever they have the ability to do so. This is the plague of Islamophobia sweeping all over Nigeria at present. Only the sober, liberal and God-fearing Christian is free of this virus called Islamophobia. We salute such saints.

 

“Already, Nigerian athletes have their eyes set on the Olympics. But their families are also putting pressure on them to celebrate Salah. In effect, they will not be able to concentrate fully on the trial if AFN holds the events during Salah. That means they will not be able to put in their best whereas their Christian counterparts will not have that challenge. AFN has succeeded in making the opportunities unequal. It is not fair. It is unjust. It is parochial.

 

“In the name of justice, fairness and equity, MURIC calls on the Athletics Federation of Nigeria to postpone the trial until after the Salah.”

 

#AthleticFederationOfNigeria

#NoToTrialInSalah

#MuslimFestivalsMatter

 

Professor Ishaq Akintola,

Founder/Executive Director,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC).

 

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