30th June, 2012
Lt. Col Ishaq Rano, Assistant Director, Islamic Affairs of the Nigerian Army, has said that killing and bombing of Churches by the Boko Haram sect is forbidden in Islam.
Rano, who spoke during the special Juma’at prayer to commemorate the 2012 Nigerian army day celebration in Jos, said Boko Haram members were not “good Muslims” and termed their actions as “haram”.
“We are praying to God to touch Boko Haram to stop killing innocent people, to stop killing Christians and to stop killing security personnel. In Islam, killing is not allowed, it is forbidden in Islam to kill anybody.”
Rano emphasised that nobody has the right to kill anybody, adding that only a court of law could condemn a person.
“Even if a person commits a crime in your presence, you can’t kill him or her, but you can take him or her to the law court.
“If Boko Haram members claim to be Muslims, then they are not good Muslims. They are only bearing the Muslim names and they don’t know Islam.”
Rano, who is also the Chief Imam of 3 Division of the Nigerian army, lamented the current security challenge facing the country.
“The Armed Forces and the country are no longer in peace. So this special Juma’at prayer is to pray for peace, stability and religious tolerance in the armed forces and in our dear country. We are praying for the Almighty God to continue to keep Nigeria as one country. We are also praying to God to destroy anybody or group within or outside the country causing trouble.”
The General Officer Commanding, 3 Division, Maj. Gen. Jack Nwaogbo, who was represented at the celebrations, said that the day was set aside to commemorate the beginning of the Nigerian civil war.
“The army has committed so much to the unity of this country. So this day is set aside to mark that very special day that the Nigerian army fought the civil war to keep us united.”
Represented by Brig.- Gen. Ademoh Salihu, Commander Signals, 53 Division, Nwaogbo said that the special Juma’at prayer was in line with the military belief in the efficacy of prayer.
“The military believes very much in the efficacy of prayers over whatever we do. We believe that prayers can solve a lot of problems especially these days that we are faced with lots of security challenges in our country.We believe that there is no prayer that is too little or too much for peace and security and that is why the military recognises the importance of both Islam and Christianity.”
Many Muslim officers from within and outside the barracks attended the special Juma’at prayer for peace and security in the country.