By Ajape Sefiu A.

Following its complaint on the conflict between Salah dates and the Olympic trials, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) claims it has accepted the explanation provided by the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN).

3SixtyIslam earlier reported that MURIC rejected the date AFN fixed for the coming Olympics’ trial, which is from June 16th to June 18th, 2024, for coinciding with Salah dates, which are also from June 16th to June 18th, 2024.

Meanwhile, AFN, reacting to MURIC’s complaint, said the clash was not deliberate. It also added that arrangements had been made to enable the Muslim athletes on the Nigerian Olympic team to enjoy Salah.

In a swift reaction to AFN’s explanation on Thursday, June 13, 2024, MURIC said, “We accept the explanation given by the Athletic Federation of Nigeria (AFN) concerning the clash of the Salah date with that of the Olympic trials. AFN has shown beyond reasonable doubt that it is a responsible and sensitive body. By responding to our allegation in this manner, the athletic body has proved that it has no hidden agenda.

“All is well that ends well. The worst families are those who keep malice. They do not express their feelings. They keep everything bottled up until there is an implosion. That is when they burst out in anger. It is always good to dialogue. It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. We made our complaint public. AFN gave its own explanations and made it clear that the clash was not intentional. That is how dialogue works.

“MURIC will never encourage anarchy. Our motto is ‘Dialogue, Not Violence’. It is those who want to smear our image who accuse us falsely of being controversial or violent. They attack us because we defend the Muslims whom they want to oppress. We stand between them, their intended victims and their diabolical intentions.

“That is why they accuse us of being controversial. MURIC is not controversial at all. We have been consistent. We have been standing up for justice for Muslims and for truth right from the day MURIC was established. That was way back in 1994. Our detractors are just trying to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Look at the way this issue with AFN ended. All misunderstandings are cleared. That is how we operate, particularly whenever there is no foul play and there is mutual respect.

“AFN has shown that it understands the situation. It has made provision for Muslim athletes and their Christian mates to enjoy the Salah. Rams have even been provided to be slaughtered on that day. What else could we ask for? AFN has shown concern for our fears. MURIC is not deaf. We heard AFN loud and clear. Nigeria will be a better place if all agencies are like AFN.

“We appeal to Muslim athletes to show understanding and to cooperate with the AFN officials. We also urge their families, whom they would leave behind, to mark the Salah alone to bear with them. It is a national call. Nigeria needs them at these hours. The discomfort should be borne with pride as service to Nigeria.”