The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has hailed the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) for banning Falz’s ‘This is Nigeria’ song.
“Let him go and show how brilliant he is in court. He and his fans laughed at us when we complained about his provocative and vulgar video. But there is no doubt that he who laughs last laughs best”, Ishaq Akintola, the group leader said in a statement on Monday.
The Islamic group stressed that NBC should ensure that the video remained banned until the artist removes all the offensive parts.
MURIC explained that the banning of Falz’ video may not be unconnected with a petition it sent to the National Film And Video Censors Board (NFVCB).
It said: “The petition which was sent by courier to both the Abuja and Lagos offices of the agency was dated 11th June, 2018.
“The video portrayed Fulanis and Muslims as killers. It also showed women in hijab engaging in the notorious ‘Shaku Shaku’ dance. Although reactions to similar provocative works of art had been violent in the past, MURIC as an elite Islamic group decided to adopt dialogue.
“We asked Falz to withdraw the video or we would sue him. Instead of showing remorse he dared us. We knew he could delay the court case for years because he is a lawyer and he would use every trick in the books to frustrate us. That was why he was boasting.
“Therefore, instead of going to court, we decided to ambush him by sending a petition to the video board. This week, the NBC banned the video and others like it. He should be the one to go to court now if he likes.
“It is hoped that Nigerian artists will borrow a leaf from this episode. We Muslims have been the laughing stock of Nigerian artists for some time now. They associate every dirty job with a Muslim name. It is no longer going to be business as usual.
“We also love works of art and we respect artists who come out with brilliant ideas. We recognize the right of every artist to produce. But the right of an artist to produce whatever he likes stops where the rights of other citizens begin.
“Like all other citizens, we Muslims have the right to the dignity of our persons. Nobody can take that right from us. Our right is our right. The law is very clear about that.
“Fela Anikulapo Kuti used his songs to fight military dictatorship and other ills in the Nigerian society. But he never attacked Muslims or Christians. Neither did he incite Nigerians against any ethnic group. He criticized religious groups but never in a vulgar manner and he never exposed Muslims or Christians to ridicule.
“We want Nigerians to know that MURIC is inculcating a new culture of dialogue and informed response as the only civilised alternatives to spontaneous violence. We engaged Falz in dialogue instead of inciting young Muslims to start violent demonstrations.
“Muslims would have been called all sorts of names if we had started demonstrating or if we had been violent on the issue of Falz’ vulgar video. The image of Islam would also have been tarnished. But MURIC decided to be faithful to its avowed motto which is ‘Dialogue, not Violence’.”