16th December, 2021
PRESS RELEASE :
SUPPORT OF TERROR: NOT OUR JNI – MURIC
An Islamic human rights organization, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has dissociated the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) from the list of groups supporting terrorist activities in Nigeria. The NSA spoke on Tuesday, 14th December, 2021, at the 14th Workshop of the League of Ulamas, Preachers and Imams of Sahel countries held in Abuja.
MURIC’s clarification came on the heels of a statement widely credited to the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, in which he named three groups backing terrorist organizations.
According to the director of MURIC, Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a statement issued on Thursday, 16th December, 2021, “It is definitely not the well known Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) which is headed by the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.
“JNI is known for promoting peace and mutual understanding among the different faiths and people in the country. It is known for collaborating with both the federal and state governments as well as national and international agencies to organise seminars, workshops and conferences aimed at enlightening Muslims nationwide on programmes like polio vaccination, good governance and responsible citizenry. It will be a huge disservice to mistake such an organisation for a group which is supporting terrorist activities.
“Such a mistake may arise from glaring similarities in nomenclatures as depicted in the allegation made by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno. The NSA named three groups backing terrorist organizations. To quote him verbatim, ‘…It is bolstered (i.e. terrorism) by activities of groups such as Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin (JNIM), the Islamic and Muslim Support Group (GSIM) and ISGS, which have continued to pose an imminent threat to the stability of the region.’
“The NSA’s list may cause confusion as a lot of people, including the press, are likely to assume that the organisation mentioned by him is the same as the JNI. We hereby assert clearly, unequivocally and categorically that JNI is not on that terror-promoting list.
“The name of our JNI is shorter and it stops at ‘al-Islam’ whereas the name on the terror-promoting list is longer and it ends with ‘Muslimin’. Our JNI is Jama’at Nasr al-Islam (JNI) while the name of the group which has been accused of supporting terrorist activities is Jama’at Nasr al-Islam Wal Muslimin (JNIM). The acronyms are also different. The letter ‘M’ makes the difference between the peaceful and law abiding JNI and JNIM which has been acused of promoting terror.
“We suspect mischief on the part of the JNIM for choosing a nomenclature that can be easily confused with JNI’s name. The choice of that name by the alleged promoters of terrorism was deliberate. It was designed to deceive the gullible public, to unwittingly attract their support, to escape early detection by security agencies and to cheat on the original and popular JNI.
“However, further investigation and research has revealed that the original name of the JNIM, according to Wikipedia, was Nusrat al-Islam, officially known as Jama’a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin’ (Arabic: جماعة نصرة الإسلام والمسلمين, JNIM; French: Groupe de soutien à l’islam et aux musulmans, GSIM. English Support Group for Islam and Muslims).
“JNIM is a militant organisation in the Maghreb and West Africa formed by the merger of Ansarudin, the Macina Liberation Front, Al-Mourabitoun and the Saharan branch of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. It is the official branch of Al-Qaeda in Mali, after its leaders swore allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri. Therefore, JNIM may not be a Nigerian organization afterall and it should not be confused with the Nigerian JNI.
“We advise the NSA to always make a clear distinction whenever names of organisations and individuals are likely to cause confusion in the minds of the public. The NSA’s list has undoubtedly created unintended tension among the populace while some members of the media have sought clarification from Muslim leaders.
“It was this situation that actually informed our clarification. JNI is a peace-loving and law abiding organisation. It collaborates with federal and state governments as well as national and international agencies for national development. It does not support or promote terrorist activities. Never, not our JNI.”
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)