Nigerians Against Religious Divide? Or Nigerians Deceiving Themselves?

“…Looking at your profile and search you around, I am left with little or no regards for you on the public domain…

This is what Mr. Olumide Adeyinka, an admin of the Facebook group; Nigerians Against Religious Divide have to say about me. While I understood why my Facebook profile will upset debased people like him, I was however swept with an urgent inclination to do a little search of my own to massage my battered ego. Let me start from the beginning.

How it started….

It all started when I was added to the Facebook group, NIGERIANS AGAINST RELIGIOUS DIVIDE. This happened sometime after the unfortunate post election crisis in some areas of the country. We greeted the initiative as laudable and welcoming. The platform presented itself as a place where issues that affected the various religious concerns, anxiety and distrust can be fearlessly discussed in a tolerant atmosphere. Nigerians needed a dais that is unedited and uncensored so we can freely and truly express our worries to one another.

How it went…..

It turn out that my assumptions about the group was wrong. Few days ago, I posted a link to the group site on “Why Muslims Don’t Greet Merry Christmas” written by a friend and brother in Islam, Nazeer Nuhu Mohammad. It was intended to provoke an intellectual discussion.

Initially readers were slow in responding, but when they did, it was mainly Muslims that politely disagree with the ‘opinion’ contained in the article. The debate was a bit heated, it was however polite and devoid of insults and name calling.

The issues….

The point which I fairly and reasonably deposited with due respect to Christians was:

  1. The origin of Christmas is idolatry and un-Christian.
  2.  The day is set aside to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ, whom Christians believe to be God.
  3. That point 1 and 2 makes Christmas celebration not permissible in Islam because it contradicts the fundamentals of Islamic faith and moreover Muslims don’t even celebrate birthdays.

I highlighted during the course of the discus that the intention is not to cast aspersions on Christians or undermine Christianity, but to promote understanding between us, which the group was supposedly meant for. I even argued that, as Muslims, we should always be kind and good to Christians irrespective of the time of the year.

The Onslaught…

While I was at no point insolent or disrespectful to Christians, two of the ‘tolerant’ admin switch to a damning mode and started spiting affronts at me and others joined in. Let me alight some of the ‘tolerant’ words visited upon me by these tolerant Nigerians:

One Steve Raymond Ohakwe referred to me as a sponsored extremist trying to infiltrate their rank. I was left to ask myself ‘which rank?’ and hoping somebody would pay me for airing my religious opinion.

Khamisa Sara Dike, who happened to be an admin, agreed that Christmas has a pagan origin, but referred to my comments as ‘rantings’ bent on causing harm, full of mischief and acrimony. At that instance, I had to go back, read all my comments looking for something I had said and done wrongly, I found none. My explanation that I was merely sharing the Islamic position and I have not in any way been disrespectful or insulting to Christians fell on deaf ears.

Unable to quote any of my comment that was so designed to cause mischief and acrimony, she responded that ‘she thinks’ my approach was bad. In her bid to be dim-witted, she then added that ‘religious tolerance does not mean accepting and ‘permitting SACRILEGIOUS and irrelevant utterance’.

At this point, I felt like a man who shuts his eyes, but opened it a second later to find himself in the middle of a market square, stake naked and not knowing how he got there. What in heaven sake was she talking about? Nigerians against religious divide indeed! Bunch of jokers obviously!

Is it that a Muslim cannot express his religious views in a platform that is supposed to encourage understanding between various religious views? I was accused of committing sacrilege because I stated my religious views which are contrary to Christianity. NOTE, not once was I insulting or disrespectful to Christians or Christianity. The only thing I did wrong was to hold a religious opinion endorsed by all Muslim Scholars I know and heard off.

And when I asked her to tell me what I have said that is sacrilegious, probably so I can apologies, she became muted and sometime later I was deleted from the group.

It became clear to me that the group is only there to massage the ego of the creator and those that administer it. The only views acceptable to them are those that conform to their myopic conception of Islam.

This is what Olumide Adeyinka, another admin of the group, had to say:

…If your problem is that Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Islam disagrees with that, then you have a big problem beyond what I initially thought. That information in itself is known and published in the sky, and so for you to come here and claim you will not wish us well because of this unintelligible and irrational averse which stems from a very vivid sense of hatred and irresponsibility on your part. I am angry that you not only refuse to listen to voice of reason but you persisted in the folly of your anger against Christian belief….”

Mr. Olumide can freely propagate his believe that Jesus is God and that ‘fact’ is publish in the skies, but I cannot say Christmas is against my belief as a Muslim. I wasn’t given the opportunity to respond to the mad man. I actually made a comment, but myself and my comment were deleted by an admin. My respond to this pathetic imbecile is this:

  1.  Every Muslim has a problem believing Jesus is God, not only me, why would you have thought otherwise Mr Admin? Moreover, whether Jesus was the son of God or not did not came up in our earlier discussion.
  2. The position you refer to as IRRATIONAL and UNINTELLIGIBLE is the ISLAMIC position and thank you for insulting my believe Mr. Tolerant Admin.
  3. Is the voice of reasoning you referred to, your voice of reasoning? Mr. Admin, I thought we were supposed to accommodate diverse opinions? I guess I was wrong Mr. Tolerant Christian.
  4. I never said Muslims should not greet Christians well, I said greeting Merry Christmas goes against Islamic teachings. And I am on record urging Muslims to be tolerant, charitable and kind to Christians year round and not only in December.

I was deleted because they could not bully or talk me into being liberal or into Christianity. I am a Muslim and I would not apologise for upholding the fundamentals of my religion. Those who claim to be tolerant only understand the word to the limit in which it benefits them. The whole essence of the group is to gather Muslims who are liberal, remove the Islam in them with sweet words and anybody that opposes them is thrown out. As Olumide Adeyinka said to another Muslim brother “You are still a member of the group until you proved we do not need you”.

Conclusion…

I have no problem with Christians or followers of any other religion for that matter. As I said there and now, I was a Christian most part of my life, I have more Christians in my family than Muslims. I grew up playing football with friends and neighbours who were all Christians, lived and schooled with Christians and now work with Christians. I have no reason to be intolerant and aggressive toward Christians because I am not Evangelist Isang Udo-Akagha who has taken up a profession of insulting Islam and Muslims on Facebook.

Religious tolerance is about allowing others to hold believes that goes contrary to yours. This does not mean that you should change or amend your belief to align with an opposing one, it just require that competing beliefs be allowed to exist. The charlatans removed me from the group not because I was insulting, aggressive or intolerant, but because they don’t like what I believed in.

So by definition, at least two of the Admin of the group that claims to be bridging gap between Muslims and Christians are in fact intolerant. And a conscious Muslim have no business being in a group that is administered by persons who display outright disregard and disrespect to Islam and Muslims.

According to the last available statistics I saw, the total number of Facebook users in Nigeria is about 4.4 million, which is about 2.87% of the total population of the country. This figure is expected to rise further as the 9.94% of internet users is expected to increase. And remember, Nigeria is the only country in the world to have a President that takes advice from his Facebook page. Facebook is being exploited by anti Islam elements to rape Islam. If you doubt this, visit Vanguard News Facebook page and view comments on news title that relates to Northern Nigeria or Islam. Or better still just visit Evangelist Isang Udo-Akagha Facebook page. A visit will convince you.

If there must be genuine reconciliation in Nigeria, a country that has suffered from several religious crises, any effort made should be sincere and not run by charlatans who are themselves swimming in an ocean of ignorance and intolerance.  

IGHO HAKEEM OHWOJEHERI

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20 thoughts on “Nigerians Against Religious Divide? Or Nigerians Deceiving Themselves?

  1. The most intolerant people in the world are those who will always want to define other people’s religion with their standard. The admins of the site have proven themselves to be irresponsible and thus cannot be trusted.

  2. A visit to the group showed that 3 out of the 4 admin of the group are Christians. One of them a pastor. With that, the interest of Christians are protected. The only Muslim admin is a Lady and everybody knows that Muslim Ladies are very calm and respectful and can thus cannot be expected to solely and doggedly protect Muslim interest.

  3. “If there must be genuine reconciliation in Nigeria, a country that has suffered from several religious crises, any effort made should be sincere and not run by charlatans who are themselves swimming in an ocean of ignorance and intolerance.”

  4. The admin of the group are rather bunch of ignorants disrespectful to any other non-christian. They are there to only portray their biased belief and ego which they surface painted with the so-called ‘religious tolerance’. I therefore call on all muslims registered on the group to withdraw their membership as there is no room for fair reading.

  5. What else do expect from an empty religion such as christianity? Christians are only taught how to hate ISLAM an Muslims…dats all they preach in their churches.,however, wether any xtian likes it or not the light of Islam has shined and it shall continue to shine.,.so0dnt mynd dem dey r jst wasting dia tym nd resources in vain..

  6. I want 2 use dis opportunity 2 advise all my Muslim brothers to calm & continue with our normal way of life cos as we all know they dey fill since they are ruling d nation they have upper hands of out smarting us out of our religious belief, they always hav dis majority carries d vote thoughts on their heads,we should also remember that only few people are ready 2 accept truth in dis life , but most Christians accept the lies they are being told because of it benefits but remember dat in mecca islam started with just one individual & passed through many problem, grew continuously & now Islam is embraced everywhere in d world

  7. The prophet of God once said,most people would not enter hell fire because of the sins they committed,but because of what they say. This is why we must always be cautious about what we say.

    This writer is a one side of the story, before you make your conclusion,the group is there for you to consult.

    I was part of that discussion in that group, but I am sorry to say that this writer has not been entirely sincere with this write up. Even though i had a misunderstanding with the admin based on the same article, but this writer actually made many provocative and intolerant comments. He his not the only Muslim in that group, we have Islamic lecturer of highly respect university, and many more,even me disagree with the said article he posted,but he his insisting that only his version of the issue is right and others wrong. in his effort to prove his points,he was making very provocative comments which not just the Christians are not pleased with, but the muslims too. the said steve who abused him was removed from the group along with him,he was not removed alone, the group remove anyone who use abusive language on the other person without apologizing. May Allah guide us.

  8. @ Anonymous Abdul… Or whatever you call yourself. Take lessons, the internet is a beautiful place and whatever you put on it never leaves it, even when you think you have deleted it.

    I still have a copy of the web page of the discussion somewhere on my system and the tread still exist and was not even deleted by the admin. Truth is defence of falsehood. The following is the defence of your attempt to slander me:

    You claim I made provocative and intolerant comments. No problem, kindly quote them. If you cannot, of course you cannot, shame on you and those that slanders the believers.

    I repeat I never insulted Christianity or Christians, I merely insisted that the Celebration is un-Christian and even if it is Christian, Muslims still will not celebrate Christmas because we do not celebrate birthdays. Quote dear liar when I insulted.

    Abdul… When people debate on issues they hold on to their points. I merely held on to my points and I did not do it aggressively nor with insult. So by saying I insisted that only my version of the issue was right and others are wrong betrays your attempt to cover your bad faith and glibness.

    I ask you again, prove to me you’re not an hypocrite and quote any of my provocative comment.

    The Steve that you talked about only made a comment and he was complimented for it with ‘Likes’. And you lied once again to say he was removed at the same time with me because he wasn’t even part of the discussion.

    Once again and lastly, anonymous Abdul, if you want to be taken seriously please make your allegations with evidence by quoting and use your real names so we can be sure you’re not one of those anti Islam elements on the site.

  9. I visited the group and I found it very disturbing because many Muslim especially the sisters are misled. But Abdulhakeem what do u think we can do about this issue??

    • We can simply continue to be Muslims. Their aim is to undermine Islam and Muslims that upholds it tenets and they only accommodate liberals that will for example say pornography is not wrong in Islam. There are four admin, only one is a ‘Muslim’. She (the allege Muslim) argues that pornography and prostitution are personal issues and the Qur’an says nothing about it. It is this type of grossly ignorant Muslims they like. They have removed all other Muslims that challenges their brand of Islam.

      We should also realise that they are not doing anything new. The enemies of Islam have employed all sought of method in their declared war on Islam and Muslims. Let us just be steadfast and keep our duties to our Creator and call to the path of Islam. Allah will surely disgrace them.

  10. You are tolerant and civilised only when you take your Islam liberally. If a misguided fool who claims to be a Christian insults the Prophet and you keep mum, you’re civilised and liberal. If you let them call you and don’t insist that you be called AbdulHakeem, you are okay.

  11. May Almighty Allah continue enrich you in knowledge and wisdom. Please what can we do to save guide those unislamically sound sisters?

    • The Truth is that we cannot save everybody. Even with the Prophet were hypocrites, so what do you expect? Let us just do our path by admonishing and praying for them, perhaps Allah will guide them.

  12. the problem in the said post that igho is commenting about is that you made assunptions that are insulting, to me even if u call jesus a slave it will never bother me cos he will fight for himself.

    can you imagine when someone brings a similar article about muhamed which is aboundant on the net, on how he was a human and had failures of every human being and dulged himself as such. those here even nijainfoman will issue a fatua on the person.

    when a caricature of muhamed was pulished,does that no fall under the free expression of a person, yet even nigerian muslims as shameful as it is,went rascal burning houses and killing people.

    igho judge yourself. its your business, being a chistain you know nobody fights for his God,he will fight for himself. comming from your background i expect you to teach your followers how to be peaceful moslems, but u do d contrary , just like some one said mayb u turned to islam for selfish reasons.

  13. Pingback: A Nation Of Vile Blackmailers: Understanding the Lunacy of FEMI FANI-KAYODE and His Co-Travellers | naija infoman's notes

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