By: AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
Muslims working in an Ikoyi-based company are allegedly being disallowed from observing Juma’at prayer on Fridays.
This was stated in a press release signed by the director of the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola on Thursday 2nd August, 2018.
According to the Islamic group, Mr. Elie Hajal, a Lebanese official of Central Realities Limited situated at Plot 2, Ocean Parade Towers, Banana Island, Lagos, is in the habit of disallowing Muslims from going out on Friday for Jum’ah prayer.
The group also alleged that Elie Hajal also harasses Muslim staff who attempt to observe zuhr prayers during break.
“This man is a Muslim-hater. He encroaches on Allah-given fundamental rights of Muslims with impunity. Just last week, he allegedly gave instruction that mats being used by Muslims for their salat should be thrown away. He does not respect the rights of workers to worship. This is in violation of Section 38 (i) & (ii) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“What does it cost employers of labour to allow their Muslim staff to observe salat during the break period? Zuhr prayer can be over in five or ten minutes at most. It adds luster to the worker’s spiritual well-being thereby making him more productive. It is only slave-drivers who disallow workers from enjoying brief breaks and that is counter-productive.
“We demand full protection for Muslims in Central Realities. We call the attention of the authorities of the company to this gross abuse. Helie Hajal must be called to order. His actions constitute serious threat to industrial harmony and peaceful coexistence among adherents of different religions in Nigeria. He should not be allowed to bring religious extremism for which Lebanese are notorious to our country.
“Finally, we appeal the Ministry of Labour and the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to step into this matter. The Muslims who are facing religious persecution in the hands of this Lebanese have reached the end of their tethers. The situation in Central Realities Limited may snowball into religious crisis if urgent steps are not taken”.