Following the recent news of the gruesome killing of a Christian girl in Sokoto over the crime of blasphemy, it is obvious that Nigeria is still far from tolerating each others’ religion and arriving at a compromise.
The very fact that a non-muslim can be accused of blasphemy goes a long way to prove how much we can barely stand each other.
A Muslim friend a few days ago expressed his shock at the girl who was alleged to have spoken against Prophet Muhammad. According to him, Prophet Muhammad is the most cherished personality in Islam. It was therefore so saddening to hear the young student speak so ill of him. Don’t get it all twisted, the girl in question may have spoken out of terms, and may have insulted the Islamic faith and the Prophet. But where there is tolerance, the girl would still be alive but may be sorry for what she said.
We as a people must understand people’s right to belief. I may not be a Muslim but I should understand and respect the beliefs of a Muslim. If not we can’t co-exist. We will keep killing each other and how many can we kill? Religion is an integral part of society and we can not do away with it, no matter how we try. Therefore we must learn to appreciate the diversity and co-exist.
We as a people must understand that everyone has freedom of speech and opinion. Even if that opinion hurts us. Going by the civil rights standard, the people who planned and executed that murder have all committed a serious crime and should be brought to book. Yes because, even though she may have spoken out of terms, that is her opinion on the subject matter and she had every right to air her views. It may be offensive but it’s her right. Just as it is ours too to air our views on any subject matter. However, we shouldn’t use our rights in such a manner as to step on other people’s rights.
We as a people must understand that religion is just a means to communicate with God, so we can understand our existence and the world around us. True religion is in the heart. It is in our actions too but mostly in the heart. We should believe whatever we believe and keep the other person out of it. All the religions on the face of the Earth aim at one purpose, God. So whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu, ATR (African Traditional Religion) and so on, we’re all meeting at a point. So why the killing, fighting, and abuse?
Finally, we as a people must understand that nothing thrives on hate, only evil. I’m very certain all these religions preach love, but we have chosen to accept the ones we want and discard the rest. Where is the love, if we kill a person for speaking ill of us or our religion? Where is the love we so preach, if we can not stand the sight of each other? Where is the love we preach? Or has God that we seek and fight and kill ourselves for, requested that love be replaced with bitterness and hate? If we seek God, let us seek him truly. Let us seek all of him and not some of him. Let us reconcile our differences with civility. We are Nigerians. We are not barbarians.