SAN FRANCISCO, July 15, (THEWILL) – The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Abubakar, who heads the Nigerian Muslim community, has expressed surprise over criticisms that have trailed the changed status of the Christian Religious Knowledge, CRK, and the Islamic Religious Knowledge, IRK, in secondary schools curriculum.
He gave details of how Christian and Islamic leaders mounted pressure on the Goodluck Jonathan administration to make CRK and IRK compulsory subjects in schools.
THEWILL recalls that the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria on Thursday sponsored an advertorial which rejected the subsuming of CRK into an omnibus subject, same day that the National Christian Elders Forum raised an alarm over what it termed the “brazen” attempt by some Islamists and Jihadists to Islamise Nigeria.
The two subjects, previously optional, have now been collapsed into an omnibus subject, Religion and National Values, RNV, which is now basic for students of respective faiths. The federal government had explained that CRK and IRK are now compulsory for Christian and Muslim students respectively.
Speaking on Friday at a National Symposium and Lauching of 2025 Vision by Da’awah Coordination Council of Nigeria, Abubakar urged the council to propagate Islam to non-Muslims in a non-combative manner.
According to him, “Tell people what Islam is; tell them why they should be Muslims and what difference it could make to their lives”.
While rejecting claims that there were plans to Islamise Nigeria, he said, “When Umar Yar’adua was President, Christians and Muslims leaders wrote, asking him to make Islamic and Christian Religious Knowledge core and compulsory subjects in schools.
“When Goodluck Jonathan took over, we presented a paper making the same demand which was approved, but the then Minister of Education refused to implement it for reasons best known to him.
“So, I wonder why a controversy sudden surfaced over alleged attempts by Muslims to force Islam on Christians by compelling students to learn Islamic religion in schools,” he added.