PEACE! PEACE!! PEACE!!!

 

by
Babatunde Fagoyinbo

Prologue
As much as possible, this write-up shall divorce personal opinion but draw out objective assessment or explanation of passages from the Holy Bible and only quote the noble Qur’an respectively. Learned writings will be assessed in reference to the Scriptures. Comments on this write-up should avoid name-callings, insults or threats. Comments should reference appropriately the Holy Bible, the noble Qur’an, or the Opele Ifa as the case may be. Any commentary not in line with this shall not be published and may be spammed.

This site aims at peace, national development and progress. The proprietary is Christian and believes in the spread of Christianity. The proprietary believes that God, who created the Heavens and the earth is capable of creating man in such a way that he shall have no option than to be Christian but in His infinite wisdom, He has given man free will to choose to or not worship Him.

INTRODUCTION

Engineering Workshops

I was to be posted to the Maigana Agricultural Workshop and oversee the one in Dutsin Ma while Omafuvwe was to be posted to Kaduna Garden Agricultural Workshop andoversee the one in Samaru Kataf. We were to

Mahuals of Religion

undergo some training at the repair and maintenance workshop in the defunct Funtua Agricultural Development Project, FADP. It suited me very well because my ambition, then, was to establish a heavy machinery repair and maintenance workshop as a business.

 

Mr Ferguson was the officer in charge of engineering services in Kaduna and was to arrange for the training programme but he never did. I tried everything possible to ensure he arranged it but he did not. Alhaji IAD Dutsin Ma was the boss in our Department

Of all our Divisional Engineers, two were very serious with their assignments. Their monthly reports were always on schedule and detailed. They are Salisu Mani in Mani Agricultural Division and Ango Abdullahi in Maigana Agricultural Division. Ango was very particular about the posting because he wanted me around so that we would relate to each other. He encouraged me about Maigana and assured me that there would be land for farming activities.. He once invited me to see his barn in Maigana.

Over time, Ango began to feel that I was not interested in coming because my fiancée didn’t want to live in a rural community.

“Don’t worry yourself about that your fiancée,” he once said, “I’ll introduce you to my niece, a daughter of Emir of Zazzau.”

Practical Sermon

On one of those days that I went on visits to the divisions, I met the absence of Salisu when I got to Mani. This was unusual! The staff assured me that he would soon be back. He came back to the office very late. I couldn’t carry out the assignment that I went there for that day. I had to wait till the next day. He apologised on arrival and gave the cause of his late arrival.

“The grave had been dug.” Salisu began. “There was a madman sitting under a tree nearby. We all believed that he was oblivious of what was going on. We offered the necessary prayers. Just when the corpse was to be placed in the grave, the madman jumped up with a shout of ‘Wait….Wait….Wait.’

“We all got distracted and focused on him. He gently approached us and asked ‘You want to put him here!….Alone!….What of his houses?…. His wives?….His cars?…. His horses? Are they not going with him?’ We all became sober. A lesson had been taught. A sermon had been preached. It was more heart-penetrating than the Imam’s sermon. After the burial, none of us could immediately move away. We stood in groups; ruminating over the mad man’s observations”

PEACEFUL WORKING TOGETHER

We had 12 Local Governments and thus 12 No Agricultural Engineering offices across the State under my supervision (Farm machinery hiring Service), each with a Divisional Engineer. Funtua and Kankiya Local Governments were under FADP. Abdullahi Ango and Salisu Mani are of the Hausa-Fulani extraction. They were the closest to me among the Divisional Engineers, notwithstanding the fact that I am a Christian. Each time that I visited their stations, it was like a brother-come-home. I stated earlier that one of them advised that in the case of my fiancée not willing to settle with me in a rural community he would introduce me to one of his nieces who happen to be the daughter of the Emir of Zazzau. This was in 1979

Omafuvwe and I shared an office with our immediate boss who was, then, Agricultural Engineer I. He was fully Fulani from Zaria; no mix. We used to tease him on why he could come from a family that had not mixed with the Hausa ethnic group without any misgiving. We all cracked jokes told stories and discussed issues together without any consciousness of ethnicity or religion. We were all about the same age; may be within 3-year bracket at most. I remembered a day that we visited a Fulani friend of one of us. The wife prepared lunch for us and when she brought it, passed it to the sitting room through a door blind. I was new in Kaduna then. I refused to eat. Our host had a discussion with his friend in Fulfude. A few minutes later he called the wife to come and greet us. The wife did. After her departure, both friends started to tease me and said that they hoped I would join in the meal.

It was on our way back that my colleague told me that he didn’t have to explain before the friend realised that it was probably because the wife wasn’t seen by me that I didn’t participate in the meal. He just told him that I was new in Kaduna. That was “Understanding”.

In my graduate class, my classmate requested that I should add him up for my lunch because he would not be able to go home for lunch. I told him that I had chicken soup and that I slaughtered the chicken by myself. “You are a Christian. Islam does not require me to turn down what a Christian offers because he knows our don’ts. If he offers haram the sin is his, not ours. Maa’ida: 5: “This day are (all) things Good and pure made lawful unto you. The food of the People of the Book is lawful unto you …. (Lawful unto you in marriage… chaste women among the People of the Book…”( Salih, 1997; Quran, 5:5)

Very often his wife would send roasted grated chicken to us and we would jolly over it. He was the only Muslim within the four of us; one of us is a converted Christian. Our jokes, our fun talks, and our discussions never hurt anybody. This was up to 1981.

RELIGIOUS MISDEEDS

I read some articles on religious misdeeds that equate religious intolerance with religious fanaticism. I see religious intolerance as an extreme case of religious practice while religious fanaticism is the practice of religion that makes the practitioner unreasonable in his thoughts and deeds but not with intense hatred towards practitioners of other religions.

In reality, every religious tradition is permeated with certain fundamental values relating to peace, love, sacredness of human life and human security. For many religious scholars, the essence of religion is life and the law is love. Unfortunately, these religious values have been displaced by modernism and its emphasis on secularisation. The consequence is that the modern religious universe is being subordinated to a partial group and individual values, instead of standing above them.

Religious intolerance: In simple terms, religious intolerance is the inability of an adherent of a particular religion to acknowledge, accommodate and accept the right of others to live by another faith different from his own and seeks to force their ideology on others through intimidation and is more than happy to break the law and commit religious blasphemy, including, murder, arson, looting, etc. in the name of his deity.

Religious fanaticism is an extremist sub-set of fundamentalism which makes the practitioner see only their own point of view. Fanaticism has an uncritical zeal or with an obsessive enthusiasm related to their own devotion to their religion

Religious fundamentalism: One could be a fundamentalist in any given religion and believe in the literal truth of their holy scriptures. Most practising Christians, Muslims and animists follow this strict dogma. A religious fundamentalist acts mainly within society’s law, and while it may pain them that secular society doesn’t adhere to God’s will, they recognise and respect that they are part of a larger community.

Previous Opinions

Let me, at this point review some opinions that have been presented by other learned people. I have copied the points that I believe to be relevant at this point and presented them unedited. Capitalization and periodicity at the beginning and end of each point have been inserted due to autocorrect prompting.

I will try, as much as possible, not to introduce my own bias but make quotations from the scriptures to buttress my points.

Ekanem and Ekefre (20313).

  1. Historically, religious intolerance dates back to the 1980s when the Maitasine sect emerged. This was Muslims against Muslims
  2. The north, which is predominantly Moslem see everything with the spectacle of religion. People see things from the perspective of the religion they practice. This may not be an issue as it cannot be stopped.
  • A deep reflection on religious intolerance in Nigeria will reveal that the problem is deeply rooted in the north. And this is the part of the country where the illiteracy rate is the highest. This is important but not absolute. I bought the plot of land on which I am resident from an MSc holder in Estate Management. He studied in the USA. When I needed a plot of land for a shop I discovered that he had changed his office. I called him on phone only to start asking me what I thought about Shari’ah. I told him that’s not my problem only for him to reply “What do you mean? Shari’ah is a must. Anybody who doesn’t support it must be cut down…”I didn’t see any need for further discussion

. Nuzhat (2014)

  1. Jihad results in the speedily spreading of Islam especially in Northern part of Nigeria…Then gradually it also spread in Southern part of the country mostly in Eastern region of the country. Islam spread is in the Western Region
  2. Islam is a religion which provide complete code of conduct for every human being and in Islam perspective all the Muslims are part of Islamic Ummah. The Qur’am provides Code of Conduct CoC for its adherents; the Torah provides CoC for Christians and Judaists; Orunmila provides CoC for Ifa worshippers; etc. More discussion on this will be made below.
  • People from both religions are not in state of accepting each other. This is only in the Core North. My uncle attends Church with us each time we had family functions. We usually joined him in our primary school days in fasting. Then, I was in my hometown. When he went for Hadj, the family renovated his house before he came hack- Unknown to him
  1. Muslim fanatics consider that Nigeria must be an Islamic State. Only in the Core north and among the Fulani-Hausa extraction only.
  2. The other part consider that it must be Christian State. Christians have never sneaked Canonical laws into the constitution, have never made attempts to lobby for the formation of ‘Christian States’ and no State Governor had ever banned the teaching of Islamic studies in schools nor enforce the teaching of Christion religious study in Islamic and Qur’anic schools
  3. Colonial masters play a vital role in the growth of ethnoreligious conflicts… Other ethnic groups teamed up to bring the Igbos back into Nigeria. Ethnic clashes had been there before the colonial masters but started thinning out in their time. Ethno-religious crises resurfaced 20 years after the colonial masters have left. For example, Mjr Gen Nwachukwu’s mother was from the royal family in Katsina, his father was a Roman Catholic Christian.

Mou and Mou (2017).

  1. It is not clear whether these are more prevalent among the illiterates and the less educated or even among the educated Nigerians as well. Only statistics can show this
  2. Among these categories of the most educated Nigerians are the University academic and administrative staff as well as University students. ABU Zaria and KadPoly are typical examples of hot spots of religious crises

Bolatito (2013)

  1. Government to address the conflicting duties of allowing people to exercise their religious freedom and maintaining national security. Govt is biased towards a particular religion
  2. There is need to reconcile religious freedom and national security. The need is for Nigeria to be a secular state

Njoku and Njoku (2013)

  1. Religions connotes socio-political, cultural and spiritual phenomenon with overriding influence in individual and community life of most members of the Nigeria population, and has been often suspected and accused of anti-social activities. The truth needs be told. There is only one religion that sparks up violence in Nigeria
  2. Solutions proffered after each crisis had no lasting grip on the Nigerian society to assure the uninterrupted development of the country. This is because the implementation is skewed.
  • Tolerance, dialogue, and government provision of employment opportunities would generate mutual understanding, forgiveness, spirit of live and let live in the arbitration of religious crises in Nigeria. The government can only facilitate the provision of employment opportunities. What Government should do is to ban the Almajiri culture except for Imams channel their children into the Almanjir system. They send their children into western education and encourage the masses to mass procreate for Almanjir system: a case of self-interest.

nairaproject.com ().

  1. No religious conflict in the nation is purely religious without ethnicity playing its way in it. Politics is the trigger.

Anele, D (2012).

  1. The clergy…ignore or downplay the damaging effects of certain explicit injunctions contained in “holy books” on the behaviour of believers.
  2. Many verses in The Holy Bible and The Holy Quran stipulate, endorse and promote discrimination, intolerance and violence against unbelievers
    1. Slay them wherever you find them…Idolatry is worse than carnage…Fight them until idolatry is no more and God’s religion [Islam] reigns supreme…(2: 190-193).
    2. Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it…(2: 216).
  • He that denies God’s revelations should know that swift is God’s reckoning (3:19). Knowing God’s capability to deal with issues concerning Him does not confer judgment of offenders against Him on man. Items (i) and(ii) need full discussion

Gott (2015).

I decided to include this because its definition agrees with my idea of intolerance while most of the other authors classify intolerance with fanaticism and fundamentalism. I agree with his recommendation in item (iii) below

  1. Fundamentalists act within society’s law, and while it may pain them that secular society doesn’t adhere to God’s will, they recognize and respect that they are part of a larger collective.
  2. Fanatics, on the other hand, are an extremist sub-set of fundamentalists who see only their own point of view. They seek to force their ideology on others through intimidation and are more than happy to break the law and commit religious blasphemy, including, murder in the name of their God.
  • What we must do in order to move forward and flourish as a species is to get out of our own way, and stop damaging ourselves!

DISCUSSION

Anele (2012).

Anele described himself as a humanist. This implies that he does not understand what spirituality is. On what ground, then, does feel he can discuss spiritual issues? A humanist worships his brain, the education he has attained, the authors of the books he’s read as well as my own person if he reads this write-up.

Going straight to the issue at hand:

The clergy…ignore or downplay the damaging effects of certain explicit injunctions contained in “holy books” on the behaviour of believers.

This does not apply to Christians because the Holy Bible enjoins Christians to “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39, KJV). He further advised His disciples in the Great Commission “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth… Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: …” (Matt 28:18-20, KJV).

Apostle Paul advised Timothy “These things command and teach. …, give attendance to reading, …to doctrine” (1 Tim 4:11-13, KJV). The Christian is responsible for his actions because he has access to the scriptures.

Many verses in The Holy Bible and The Holy Quran stipulate, endorse and promote discrimination, intolerance and violence against unbelievers.

In the noble Qur’an

Ironically, there are only two passages in the passage quoted that stipulate killing by Muslims. Notwithstanding (Al-Baqarah, 2:216) cautions that God knows best.

  1. “Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you …But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors” (Al-Baqarah [2:190-193]).
  2. Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you and, perhaps, you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not (Al-Baqarah [2:216]).

In the Holy Bible

Humanist that he is, I was expecting Anele to debunk the victories that the Jews assigned to God, rather than believing it, he reported that the Old Testament “contains stories upon stories of destruction of lives and property carried out by Yahweh or executed at his behest by Israelites as punishment for idolatry.” Aneke’s case is like that of the pilot in the crashed Russian plane which black box reported that the last recorded statement of the pilot was “O God!”

I will ask Anele a few questions:

  1. If you nurture a billy goat to maturity and I come to your house and carry it away for myself, what have I done? Yahweh has all the right to punish man when he worships other gods beside Him since He is the One that created him.
  2. Assume that we live in the same neighbourhood. I am to attend a crucial meeting but my wife had taken the only car out and got delayed where she went to. I walk over to you for a drop where I can easily get a taxi but you turn me out, yet not doing anything but blame me for not envisaging her possibly not returning as scheduled. Then, barely two months later, your wife gets into labour, your car decided not to function, there is nobody among your neighbors around to assist and there is a curfew imposed at that time. Am I free to believe that it is the law of retribution that caught up with you or not?
  • What is a humanist problem when the children of Israel believed that it was Yahweh that fought their wars for them when they won and it is the same Yahweh that made them to lose their wars when they served other gods?
  1. What should be a humanist’s problem with the fact that Christians believed that it is their prayers that pushed Babangida aside from power and got Abacha out of the way of the permanent presidency of Nigeria? Or his problem with the Muslims’ belief that Makarfi was able to go through the governorship of Kaduna State live because of the prayers of Christians he cared about to the extent of nicknaming him, Michael?

Anele should please study the following table

APPENDIX: BATTLES

The Holy Bible and the noble Qur’an were in existence in 1939, or earlier, when Pa Nwachukwu (Igbo Catholic) married a Katsina lady (She is said to be of the royal family in Katsina) and produced one baby that grew up to be a General in the Nigerian Amy called Ike Omar Sanda Nwachukwu. This mother of all got her cousin to marry

Israel’s Battles _(Cont’d)

another Igbo Roman Catholic and Katsina did not burn. How can you start postulating that it is the doctrines of these religions that created religious intolerance? The closest ministers to Sir Ahmadu Bello were Christians.

Amb. Tanko Yusuf reported the case of a Christian Minister who didn’t go to Church because his wife had gone earlier with his Holy Bible. Sir Ahmadu Bello told him in which Igbo shop he would get a Holy Bible to buy that Sunday morning. The story claimed that Sir Ahmadu Bello paid for that Holy Bible. Though there are claims that  Sir Ahmadu Bello engaged in the propagation of his religion he did not result to killings

Nuzhat (2014)

Islam is a religion which provide complete code of conduct for every human being.”

This statement is not correct (Al-Baqarah [2:190-193]) quoted above allows the killing of human beings while the Holy Bible says “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex 20:13, KJV). (Al-Baqarah [2:216]) can be interpreted to allow looting of properties in times of religious crises. Very often crises spread because of the opportunities to loot innocent people’s properties whereas the Holy Bible says “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s” (Ex 20:17, KJV).

Qur’an 2:244. And fight in the Way of Allah and know that Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower support fighting.

The Holy Bible says “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” (Ex 14:14, KJV).

The Qur’an allows divorce 2:2:224 And do not make [your oath by] Allah an excuse against being righteous and fearing Allah and making peace among people. … 2:225 Allah does not impose blame upon you for what is unintentional in your oaths, but He imposes blame upon you for what your hearts have earned. … 2:227 And if they decide on divorce – then indeed, Allah is Hearing and Knowing. 2:228 Divorced women remain in waiting for three periods, …. 2:229 Divorce is twice. … 2:230 And if he has divorced her [for the third time], … Indeed Allah, of whatever you do, is Seeing.

The Holy Bible says “It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery” (Matt 5:31-32, KJV). Mark detailed Christ’s statement on the issue of divorce “… But from the beginning of the creation …. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:4-9, KJV).

On oath, the noble Qur’an says that it is only what proceeds out of the heart that is binding 2:224-225. When you are making an oath to me, how do I know that it proceeds from the heart?

The Holy Bible explicitly says “…I say unto you, Swear not at all; …let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil” (Matt 5:33-37, KJV).

On Marriage Fagoyinbo (2018) stated the stands of both the Holy Bible and the noble Qur’an. While Qur’an accepts marriage with Christians and Jews the Bible describes such as unequal yoking.

On Paradise, the noble Qur’an states in Surah 56. AI-Waqi’ah Part 27 as follows:

  1. So those on the Right Hand …. And (there will be) Hur (fair females) with wide, lovely eyes (as wives for the pious), 23. Like unto preserved pearls. 24. A reward for what they used to do.

The Holy Bible says “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven” (Matt 22:30, KJV).

Nuzhat stated that “Muslims are related to each other as being Ummah, either they are in any part of the word. But like every religion extremists in Islam are destroying the beauty of Islamic religion.”

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together …you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. …” (Qur’an 3:103).

This is the basic tying together of Islam but knowing what humanity is, will you blindly submit yourself or child to an unknown and unproven individual?

  1. My friend was dating a Muslim girl but her father refused marriage between them. He decided to marry her off to an Imam in Osogbo some 30 years ago. About two years ago the father was sick and the lady came to see him. She also visited my friend and saw his children; all were either at the university or had graduated. She really wept that day and getting home she confronted the father. “Baba, thank you very much for ruining my life for me. I have only one child because I don’t see my husband when I should. We are only marking turns objects of sexual satisfaction, not love. My child cannot have a good education. You are sick, I come to see you but I can’t raise money for drugs for you. I’d to borrow money to come here and I’m waiting patiently because I don’t have transport money back. I’m waiting till somebody will come to visit you and give you some money so that I can take out of it for my transport. Had I known I would’ve defied you!”
  2. This is more pathetic. The father gave her in marriage to a Chadian who came and was lodging in the mosque. The father’s reason was that he must have been staying in the mosque because he was faithful; he didn’t reason it out that the man was rationalising his resources by staying in the mosque. The Chadian packed her and their offspring to Chad after some time and began to misuse the woman and her children in favour of his Chadian wives and children; his Nigerian wife and her offspring were subordinate to his Chadian family! This woman suffered in silence for many years until she could no longer bear it and had to look for another Nigerian living there to assist her in escaping with her children at great risk to their lives.

There are similar problems in Christianity but God gives us the power of discernment. A friend and colleague told me he was to accommodate a new convert. On asking him of where they met, he said that the man was implicated in a robbery. I just simply told my friend that I would inform the Director so that in the case of any robbery he (my friend) brought in a robber to co-habit with us. He refrained from the plan.

Within six months he came to inform me that the said convert packed all valuables in the Pastor’s lodge and carted them away using the Church’s brand new 505 station wagon.

The Holy Bible says “For the word of God is … is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb 4:12, KJV). A discerning mind demonstrates wisdom and insight that go beyond what is seen and heard. For example, God’s Word is “spiritually discerned.”  “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God…” (1 Cor 2:14, KJV).

I searched the Qur’an but this is the closest passage that I got to discernment “O men! worship your … then be on guard against the fire of which men and stones are the fuel; it is prepared for the unbelievers. …” (Suratul Baqarah: 21-25).

Next: THE FUNDAMENTALS OF THE MAJOR RELIGIONS

REFERENCES

Anele, D (2012). The Fundamental Source of Religious Intolerance (1). Sunday Perspectives On August 26, 2012 https://www.vanguardngr.com/2012/08/the-fundamental-source-of-religious-intolerance-1/

Bolatito, LA (2013). Modernism and Secularization: Towards a Reconciliation of Religious Freedom and National Security in the Realization of Peace in Nigeria. Canadian Social Science. Vol. 9, No. 1, 2013, pp. 135-146.

Ekanem, BSA and EN Ekefre (20313). Education and Religious Intolerance in Nigeria: The Need for Essencism as a Philosophy. Journal of Educational and Social Research Vol. 3 (2) May 2013

Fagoyinbo, B (2018). Religion, Faith, Emotion and Inter-faith marriage. Accessed 01 Nov 2018.  http://motresource.com/2018/10/14/religion-faith-emotion-and-interfaith-marriage/

Gott, G (2015). Religious Fanaticism is Dangerous. https://futurism.media/religious-fanaticism-is-dangerous

Mou, D and SP Mou (2017). Religious Intolerance on Nigerian University Campuses. International Journal of Politics and Good Governance. Vol. VIII, No. 8.4 Quarter IV 2017

nairaproject.com (). General Introduction. Ch 1 in Religious Conflicts in Nigeria: Issues and Solutions. https://nairaproject.com/buy-project/

Njoku, DI and NC Njoku (2013).Appraisal Of Religious Intolerance In Nigeria. International Journal of Theology & Reformed Tradition Vol 5, 2013 Page 121

Nuzhat, F (2014). Religious Conflicts in Nigeria and Their Impacts on Social Life. Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Vol.2, No.4, pp.15-19, June 2014 Published by European Centre for Research Training and Development UK (www.ea-journals.org)

Salih, M (1997). Permissibility of eating meat slaughtered by Christians and Jews. Accessed 27 Oct 2018. https://islamqa.info/en/answers/103/permissibility-of-eating-meat-slaughtered-by-christians-and-jews

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