I wasn’t going to touch this as I am not a Muslim and I hate to speak on things I know nothing about – especially religious issues. It would seem that the Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, have rejected the new date for the NYSC orientation camp out of hand as they believe that it is unfair and unethical to call upon corpers during the Ramadan fasting period.
It didn’t sit right with me when I heard it as I feel that if a country is secular, then it should remain secular. Your religious beliefs and practices must remain personal without interfering with your civic duty otherwise where would we be? We can’t do NYSC during Ramadan, then that means you can’t have it during Lent, Christmas, Eid-ul-Fitr, or the annual Sango or Amadioha festivals? How many days will be left in the year??
And still I did not say a word because…well, I like my head firmly on my neck, thank you very much.
So, you can imagine the warm, fuzzy feelings I had when I found out that not all Nigerian Muslims were behind MURIC and their outburst as they also believed that law-abiding citizens must do whatever civic duties are required of them. What was even better was learning that the Qur’an made provisions and allowances for faithful Muslims undergoing extenuating circumstances!
Apparently, you are exempt from fasting if you are travelling, infirm, pregnant or aged. Exempt meaning should you be unable to fast, your prayers could still be said with a contrite heart and a pure spirit, but is also by no means a law that you must not fast.
Well, if you are to serve your country, chances are you will travel – half of the point of the NYSC program is that you serve in a place separate from your comfort zone. Meaning should you find the rigours of NYSC too stressful to combine with fasting, you would still be within the remit of your faith to suspend the fast till a later date.
But I guess that would be too simple and harmonious a message for the folk over at MURIC to pass out to their members and the Muslim population at large. Why have unity where you can sow discord? Why have peace when you can instigate murmurs of discontent and dissatisfaction?
There was a case here in the UK a while back where some woman wanted to sue her workplace for insisting she take off her crucifix necklace while at work. She claimed that their instructions went against her Christian faith, but what she neglected to mention was that the company had a ZERO JEWELLERY policy while on the shop floor. You could have been a satanist and it would have remained the same. She lost the case, and quite rightly too. And I do hope the NYSC orientation camp proceeds despite MURIC’s disgruntlement.
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