Nigeria: Shariah Council against Child Rights Acts

This Day
A conference of Muslim organisations in the country under the aegis of Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria (SCSN) weekend asked Muslim leaders to resist the promulgation of the Child Rights Act by the various state Houses of Assembly in the north.
Rising from a meeting in Kaduna, representatives of the group warned that the Federal Government was bent on enacting legislations giving effect to some United Nations conventions, which, according to them, undermine the Islamic faith and promote western secular ideas in the upbringing of children.
SCSN president, Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmad, who briefed newsmen at the end of the meeting, said all these laws were passed by the National Assembly in April 2003 and the Federal Government is now prevailing on the states assemblies to pass state equivalents of the Child Rights Act.

“It was observed that this law, if allowed to be passed by our state assemblies, will demolish the very basis and essence of the Shariah and our Islamic culture, and accordingly called on all Muslims and Islamic organisations to take appropriate steps in their states to prevent this from happening.

“It was agreed that any law that seeks to give equal rights to male and female children in inheritance, seeks to give an illegitimate child the same rights as legitimate one and establish a family court that ousts the jurisdiction of Shariah courts on all matters affecting children, is unacceptable to Muslims,” the group said.

It therefore called on all Muslim legislators and governors to realise that Shariah is a comprehensive divine code, supreme and immutable. It urged Muslim leaders to be circumspect in blindly borrowing laws from other societies whose values are antithetical to our Islamic identity.

The conference resolved to intensify its campaign and expose the injustice being perpetrated against Muslims especially in the most strategic areas of our public life. It was agreed that a letter should be written, reminding the Sultan of Sokoto of his promise to the ummah, to meet with the President and report the outcome to the Muslim ummah.

The group also asked the Federal Government to make public result of the investigations in the case of an American who was allegedly caught with some explosives in Jos, Plateau State recently.

From Agaju Madugba in Kaduna, Thisday Newspapers 08.21.2005