The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), says the timetable recently released by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) for the conduct of the 2020 West African Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE), is an invitation to anarchy because it will clash with Jumu’ah prayers.
The examination is scheduled to begin on Tuesday the 11th of August, 2020.
MURIC, in the statement signed by its Director, Ishaq Akintola, and titled ‘MURIC rejects WAEC’s anti-Muslim timetable’, reads: “WAEC has again fixed some of its subjects for the period of the Muslim Friday Jumu‘ah prayer in its examination which begins next week Tuesday 11th August, 2020. These are papers that Muslim candidates are also expected to take. The implications are very serious.
The group argued that WAEC is deliberately creating a wedge between young Muslims and the mosque by scheduling some papers for Fridays.
“A quick glance at the timetable recently released by WAEC shows that there are at least three clashes between examination periods and Muslim prayers on Fridays: Management-in-Living (2 pm, Friday 14th August, 2020); Literature-in-English (2 pm, Friday 21st August); Health Science (1.30 pm, Friday, 4th September).
“This timetable is exclusive, sectional, parochial, insensitive and provocative. It is an invitation to anarchy. It is designed to cause pain to Muslim candidates. It is therefore the handiwork of sadists and anarchists. It smirks of an anti-Muslim machinery oiled by the passion for hate and injustice.
“What right does WAEC have to force Muslim candidates to write examination during Friday prayer time when the examination body does not fix its examinations on Sunday to disturb Christian worship? Is WAEC deliberately destabilizing Muslim candidates? How can a Muslim candidate be in the right frame of mind to sit for an examination slated for 2 pm on a Friday when he must be in the mosque from 1 pm to 2.30 pm?
“There is also enough evidence that this is not the first time WAEC will fix examinations during the Muslim prayer period on Friday. MURIC’s struggle with WAEC over the Friday question is of great antiquity. Unfortunately WAEC does not appear ready to learn from history.
“We wonder why it should be so difficult for WAEC to leave out three hours only (from 12 noon to 3 pm) on Fridays in its examination timetable to allow Muslims to worship. Muslim candidates need three hours because the prayer usually starts around 1 pm. They need at least one hour to get to the mosque, one hour for the service inside the mosque and another one hour to return to the examination hall.
“WAEC is therefore invited to take notice of impending action by Muslim candidates unless it adjusts its timetable to accommodate Muslim Jumu‘ah service during the coming examinations. Muslim candidates must be given three hours every Friday. This is non-negotiable. Nigerian Muslims will liberate themselves from slavery, serfdom and religious apartheid if government is lackadaisical. The only thing MURIC opposes is violence.