—FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE—
JAMAICA, New York (January 20, 2010) – In a press release issued today, the Islamic Circle of North America expressed grief over the riots in Jos, Nigeria that have left hundreds of Muslims and Christians dead and thousands forced from their homes.
Located in Nigeria’s “Middle Belt,” a volatile region with a history of unrest, Jos has been troubled by violence several times over the past decade. Thousands have been killed amidst escalating religious tension and deteriorating social and economic conditions.
ICNA appeals to the Nigerian government to bring calm and stability to the city of Jos and its neighboring areas. We urge you to hold accountable those responsible for these riots and killings.
ICNA also implores the Muslim and Christian leadership to come together and make an effort towards reconciliation. Both Islam and Christianity condemn violence and the taking of innocent lives; political leaders and followers of these faiths must embody these characteristics in order to achieve peace.
The inclusion of poor in our festivity must be done without which we cannot complete our service to Allah SWT. How many societies the poor is left out of the pie and the rich eats the entire pie. A few weeks ago, we celebrated Eid-ul Fitr. And on that Eid, we enjoy its virtues by giving the Zakaat-ul Fitr to the poor before we begin the Eid prayer. This Eid we have to complete its celebration by giving 1/3 of the meat to the poor and needy. As Allah SWT says: Then eat thereof and feed therewith the poor who have a very hard time. (22:28) EID MUBAARAK!