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For the Love of Islam

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I was born Muslim, so automatically I was expected to follow Islam. I guess this is true for most Nigerians and as with all things that come easy you take it for granted. While at university, I decided to research into my religion and draw my own personal conclusions. At the time, I was becoming increasingly frustrated with answers I got from learned folks (which were usually men), especially when it came to questions regarding women and I needed to decide if Islam was the path I wanted to follow. I remember telling my uncle that an Iranian friend quoted a few disturbing things from the Quran. He said to me “you have a degree and you acquired that degree by studying and researching”. So do that about your religion. I did just that!

I learnt that Islam is truly a religion of peace, tolerance and forgiveness. Islam symbolizes Peace. A Muslim should be first and foremost peaceful. To be a Muslim is to be faithful, generous, peaceful, kind, understanding, tolerant, patient, and grateful. Every verse in the Quran warns us of the last day and reminds us of a very merciful and forgiving God. The Quran reminds me that Jews and Christians are part of me. This fact is one that makes me proud to be Muslim today.

With events like 9/11 and the recent (and past) religious violence in Nigeria, it is hard for people to see how Islam is a religion of peace. I really do not blame them. I think is up to Muslims to change the way we are being perceived. But I believe also non Muslims should educate themselves and realize that it is the minority that causes these problems. They should understand religion is the easiest and greatest weapon. Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction, and this is true for all religions.

As a non hijab wearing Muslim, I don’t get judged instantly but once people find out I am Muslim, the non Africans try not to offend me by being “too politically correct”. But my fellow Africans are too quick to judge me and quote things they read on the internet. I remember when the Mutallab incident happened, I walked into the office and the first thing my Igbo catholic colleague asked was what kind of crap does the Quran teach? I was shocked! I could have told him that the Quran forbids killing anyone. I could have asked him to pick up the Quran and learn more about Islam. I could have pointed out that the incident happened due to brain washing and lack of knowledge. Besides, I am sure that the plane Mutallab was intending to blow up had Muslims on it, as well as Christians. I could have argued that Catholicism has had its fair share of “bad apples” where people who had murdered a whole city where given absolution by the Bishop. I didn’t say any of this because most people have made up their minds about what they believe Islam is about and will refuse to see a different side.

I really do believe, we as a nation need to come to a place where we learn to respect each other’s faiths. I remember once a Nigerian colleague said the phrase “Inshallah” which means by the grace of God. Another colleague then asked her if she was Muslim and she responded “God forbid” and I was standing right there. I asked her if I had given a similar response when asked if I was Christian, how would she feel? She didn’t respond. Since I have so many friends of different faiths, I think it’s my responsibility to learn about their faith, support them in it, or at the very least respect their rights to their own personal belief systems. I have had so many discussions with people of other faiths and tried to point out similarities that we can all celebrate but people are bent on focusing on the differences. As long as we focus on these differences we will always be at logger heads.

I think there is a great need for dialogue with Muslims who have a sound knowledge of the religion to clear misconceptions on Islam. Above all, Islam is a religion of peace and that should be what is at the heart of every Muslim.

Peace Be Unto All.

Photo Credit: http://2.bp.blogspot.com

200 Comments

  1. missHottie*

    July 28, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    well spoken

    • A very religion-tolerant girl

      July 28, 2011 at 10:02 pm

      yes well spoken, but my beloved smamman you would have channeled this enlightenment to your community. The time spent writing this article could have been spent in a mosque in Bauchi educating the community on how Islam doesn’t support terrorism and the inexsistence of zillion virgins.
      The Islamic community needs the enlightenment , not the world, because what the world doesn’t understand is the people and not the religion.
      Remain blessed.

    • moi

      July 29, 2011 at 4:56 am

      thats true. your colleague said “God forbid” because no one wants to identify themselves with a religion know for mass destruction. And no it’s not the media that brainwashed people but the experience of loved ones lost by people! That is why you educated muslims should be very pro-active in creating anti-terrorism societies in your mosques, openly admolish it so that the young ones wouldn’t go astray ! If non-muslims admolish terrorism,they would view it as critism, but coming from muslims they would listen. So get off your computers, get into the mosque and speak!

      A couple of paragraphs wouldn’t change how the world views Islam, as the most violent religion on earth, for crying out loud there are other religions !

      If everyone acted this extreme and religion-intolerant, the world would’ve been quarter empty by now!
      Islam wasn’t perceived this way a decade ago, it gets worst as the years roll by with the increase in terrorism, so be pro-active before Islam turn out to be the most hated religion in decades to come.

    • kiki

      July 29, 2011 at 11:33 am

      As she said its not just Muslims that have to be educated, non Muslims also should know that its not every Muslim that believe in violence. people like her colleague who said ‘God forbid’ when asked if she was a Muslim should also be educated.

    • Miss Face

      July 29, 2011 at 8:05 pm

      Oh! Wow! Very religion-tolerant-girl, I dont know what to say…… I wish i could shake your hand. Hug? Infact, Wow! Definition of hitting the nail on the head! Couldnt have said it any better! This indeed is the wrong forum. Period!

    • mii

      August 2, 2011 at 10:38 am

      Miss Very religion-tolerant girl, et al:
      “it is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought, even if it doesn’t accept it”.
      If you, and all like you thought along these lines as Aristotle did, the world would be a better place. If u had read and understood this post appropriately, you would have spared us this unsavoury comment. The education is necessary for all; so that the faithful practice their faith more correctly, and evidently for others to respect what is sacred to people of other faiths than theirs. Your comment is a pen-equivalent of the physical intolerance showed by the less educated people you so scathingly described. We would all do well do learn and think before we speak or act. Kudos to you smamman.

    • REALITY CHECK

      August 4, 2011 at 1:14 am

      Very religion tolerant girl..yes you do have a point, the Islamic community needs enlightenment..but SO DO YOU. SO do ALL Nigerians and ALL fingerpointers. Contrary to your comment. People ARE speaking against BAD ambassadors of Islam..the point is have YOU and many others taken time to find out or are you relying solely on what the MEDIA tells you?

      Whilst you and all of us are at it..why dont we start from THE MAN IN THE MIRROR…ROTTEN AND CORRUPT NIGERIA…what actions have YOU taken to EDUCATE our leaders about the horrible effect that their ways are having on us and abroad..why havent YOU taken to the streets??? Afterall, South Africa did it, Egypt did it..why are u here at this forum POINTING FINGERS?? what have YOU done to change our situation??

      Truth is religion is a big issue in Nigeria because there is a LOT of SUFFERING AND POVERTY…thanks to the CORRUPTION…You wd be surprised how things wd change if the economy were better…How about religious leaders owning private jets when there are peasants in the congregation??? PLEASE, LETS ALL TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR WAYS AND STOP POINTING FINGERS!

    • very religion tolerant girl

      August 12, 2011 at 4:43 am

      @ mii and reality check:
      As usual your anger thinks for you, I can feel you both pulling out your e-daggers &
      e-knives in rage, very typical.
      @mii: I read the post alright but like I said the muslim community needs more of that enlightenment. The world is more enlighten which explain why the rest of the world is more accomodating and tolerant than the muslim countries. go figure.
      @reality check: blaming terrorism/ the intolerance of some muslim Nigerians on poverty is LAME ! There are other belief/religions in Nigeria under poverty but they don’t go slaying those who has a different belief from theirs. Politics and Region are two different bases ! If some radical Christains starts slaughtering human lives for religion, YES, I would be proactive in creating anti groups in churches against it because I value humanity !

    • Matter of fact

      August 18, 2011 at 6:57 am

      very religion tolerant girl you just don’t get it..now i undertsand why the world is such a complex place…u have shown a complete lack of ability to synthesize and interprete information…let me break it down for you…you cannot point fingers at one bad issue and ignore the numerous other terrible issues at your doorstep…no one is defending terrorism but i say whist u throw that much venom at terrorists, how about all the other maggots at our doorstep.., do u know how many die daily in tribal conflicts, badly run hospitals etc due to the badly run and corrupt economy???.. ..at least start from there and be an EXAMPLE by solving an issue that DIRECTLY involves YOU instead of pointing fingers….mathew 7:5 says it all first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye….the world is a mess because many are aggrieved! armed robbery, drugs etc…where lies their root..there is NO excuse for any evil act but we shd stop pretending like they came out of nowhere or that we all aren’t silent and docile about OUR own issues!
      @ Mii great comment!

    • passer by

      August 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      @ Very religion tolerant girl, your response to mii and reality check with regards to “daggers” and saying its “very typical” just shows that you have the wrong name..you are “a very religion-intolerant girl” and you have exposed yourself…how shameful.

  2. Deola Adelekun

    July 28, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    i see you saratu!

    • Saratu

      July 28, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      lmao…

    • Liz

      July 29, 2011 at 1:53 am

      Very well written. I actually watched the movie- My name is Khan today and it made me tear up. Truly ignorance leads to war. We all should respect each others beliefs.

    • jennietobbie

      August 12, 2011 at 9:12 pm

      @liz…I loved that movie

  3. curiousitycat

    July 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    ma salam….fantastic write up

  4. Lohi

    July 28, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    This is a very well written article! Kudos to you!

  5. fokasibe

    July 28, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Well said…..People need to be educated…..I have nothing against Islam but the way the religion has been potrayed by the media is something else! We are really misinformed…. people need to research and be more tolerant of others’ perspectives….

  6. iyanda

    July 28, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I think some re1igious peop1e in nigeria forget the fact that we a11 serve GOD no matter your re1igion.some peop1e just say nonsense about other re1igions don’t judge Others 1ets 1ive in peace and forget our re1igious be1eifs.GOD B1ESS NIGERIA GOD B1ESS YOU SMAMMAN

  7. toke

    July 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    quite thoughtful and impressive

  8. Omuwa

    July 28, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Christians like to castigate other religions assuming that christianity is the only way to heaven. How many christians have picked up the koran to read or learn about any other religion apart from theirs. Christians should learn about other religions, moreso muslims should learn to accomodate christians too. i really dont like talking about religion.

    • Atukpa

      July 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm

      …. But You still yarned… mtchew.

    • kemchi

      July 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm

      And yet here you are castigating Christians for “assuming that Christianity is d only way to heaven”. Why attack Christianity? The article is promoting peace and tolerance.
      You don’t have to agree with what d Bible says, but pls don’t knock it. Thank you very much!

    • Yellow Jacket

      July 28, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      And as I agree with the other replies to you, I should also add that true Christians believe that the Christian faith is the only true way to heaven. It’s not an assumption, it’s a belief. It’s your own if you don’t believe that, no problem, but clearly you’re displaying the same ignorance you complain of.

  9. LL

    July 28, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    This is a very good article “smamman” and it is important that we all accept each other’s faith as everyone has a right to his or her belief. However, it is usually very disheartening to read such an article, hear our friends keep reassuring us that Islam is peaceful and then get news of a relative’s death by people who claim to be killing in the name of Islam. Truth is, no matter how liberal one is, it becomes difficult to still retain that idea that this is a religion of peace. In the name of Islam, many wicked people have destroyed several lives in the world, destroyed states in Nigeria, killing innocent children and women. As much as we need education on what the Quran really says, I think it’s important that these violent people should be educated first. If they are educated, then there will be less violence and destruction from them(which is all the world sees right now). There are many muslims I know who are very good and peaceful people. Their goodness has been overshadowed by the evil of these ones. I really cannot blame someone who has lost all family members and is quite hostile. It might take time and some form of visible change.

    • NJ

      July 29, 2011 at 5:44 am

      I think the notion that terrorim only affects christians is false during 9/11 . 28 muslims were killed and this is a country that has only 0.8% of muslim population, the Islamophobia, lack of religion freedom, suspicions stereotype that the everday muslim faces as a result, should make you understand that we as muslims are also negatively impacted. Do you think anytime a suicider bomber wants to blow a building or place he announces 1st that all Muslims should leave, DO u think in the north when they start killing ,and the see a southener they ask your religion 1st . I think the aim of this article is not to justify terrorism but to make you see that there are innocent muslims affected by this as well and the added discrimination we face in our everyday life. I understand you frustration but 2 wrongs dont make a right .

    • kiki

      July 29, 2011 at 11:36 am

      True

    • jst passing by...

      August 26, 2011 at 5:40 pm

      I didnt want to comment on this issue but yes indeed, some of these killers in the north ask about your religion before they kill. My friend escaped been hacked all because of his religion! Yes they asked him. He even had to show them the mark on his forehead to further convince them. I have a lot of muslim friends/colleagues. They are a wonerful people but that doesnt stop me from always keeping myself in check with the words I say for fear of inciting a riot. Some of these my friends discuss Islam with me and it is portrayed as propagating peace. But guys, show me someone whose mother, father, child, and/or friend has been killed by muslims and say Islam is peaceful. Its easy for u to say anything when ur not affected. That said, good write up tho…

  10. C.Y

    July 28, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    well said!

  11. adaeze

    July 28, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    i couldnt agree more…..i wish all these other uneducated pervs dat kill pple in d name of islam cld read this as well

  12. zeenie

    July 28, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    nice piece. i love it. it is very informative.

  13. ROMERNIAH

    July 28, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    beautiful peace, well said…jazakallahu khairan. may peace and tranquility dwell in naija n d world at large, amen!!

  14. ICEprincess

    July 28, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Peace be unto u 2!…well written!…I REALLY LIKE THIS INSIGHT…Thanks Bella!

  15. Aziz

    July 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Religion in Nigeria is a kind of thing that people criticize too much.. ‘UNDERSTANDING’ i think thats what we need.I’m a muslim and i do read the bible as well, listen to preachings from different pastors on tvs. The problem we’re facing now is mostly caused by the Pastors/Imams bcos of the way they portray other religions in their various places of worships.If the Pastors/Imams can just work things together and make the congregations know the true translations from these holy books, there would be a great change.but, i think that’s a hard thing to do bcos most of these people (Pastors/Imams) are Fake.. they mis-interpret the HOLY books just to make names and their pocket sake. Beware of the Judgement Day….PEACE

  16. Baby Dee

    July 28, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Well written. It however doesn’t change the fact the MUSLIM suicide terrorists are blowing up people on a daily basis in the name of their religion Islam. You need to educate your selves (i mean those who say they re doing horrible things because their Quran promises them virgin brides) properly on what your religion truly is about. Maybe then people will not be quick to judge or dismiss your religion. I am a christian and Christians have their fair share of issues. There’s hardly a time you don’t read in the papers about some catholic priest molesting a child; however, what you don’t hear the priest say is “i did it in the name of God or my bible or rosary promises me a mansion in heaven”. Mba, we don’t do that.
    I do agree with you that people should be a little more respectful but please, a spade is a spade!

    • dammybaby

      July 29, 2011 at 12:49 am

      U took the words right out of my mouth baby dee…….I think its hard to ask other religions to educate themselves abt islam wen even most muslims get it wrong and seem confused abt wat their religion is about.

    • NJ

      July 29, 2011 at 5:22 am

      .Hmmm , things christians have done in the name of God…. The crusades, Slavery , colonialism, Violence against native americans and of course the latest . Anders Breivik: a direct quote from anders breivik ( norway bomber manifesto ) ,” I am the saviour of Christianity” another quote “Pope Benedict has abandoned Christianity and all Christian Europeans and is to be considered a cowardly, incompetent, corrupt and illegitimate Pope.” It will thus be necessary, writes Breivik, to overthrow the Protestant and Catholic hierarchies, after which a “Great Christian Congress” would set up a new European Church.
      So these are examples for you , do I judge christianity and think this represents all christians : NO .

    • jennietobbie

      August 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm

      @baby Dee…but have u heard Nigerians say they rob/scam and kidnap pole because of their terrible economy and bad government?

      let’s call a spade a spade.

  17. Aziz

    July 28, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    And for the person that wrote this article , i give her a 10 over 10.. may God continue to strengthen your faith. I see you as a true believer, and i believe your article will help change some people’s thought about the whole Religion mis-interpretation ..THANK YOU

  18. Gbenga Awomodu

    July 28, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Thanks for this beautiful piece, smamman. I have always looked forward to articles like this, written by young muslims who are enlightened and are willing to share about their Faith. Kudos! Hoping to read more insightful stuff from you.

  19. khadijah

    July 28, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    interesting. may Allah guides us to the right path…

  20. waheed

    July 28, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    as a muslim am touched by these article and i hope u,ve been able to communicate to the unenlightened. masalam

  21. toyhin

    July 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    i don’t think its only religion that Nigerians need to be educated about…. we also need to educate peeps about tribalism. it quite depressing that some people still do the whole tribalism thing.

    But i feel the most important thing should be to educate ourselves about God and God alone.Every religion has it flaws and even at that there is discrimination amongst peeps of the same religion but different place of worship. like 1 Muslim would say its a sin to shave her eye brow, anoda Muslim would be against it. 1 Christian believes u should enter the church without shoes and anoda christian would against that. so our main focus should be God and not allow religion confuse us.

  22. nwoke

    July 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    we are the religion the next person reads. what do we preach with our deeds? there is no mistake in God, Who created us all.

  23. chi

    July 28, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    people keep insisting that islam is a religion of peace but the actions of said muslims are in noway supporting your statements. i have lots of muslim friends and they are peaceful but many people have also lost their lives to a lot of islamic violence. the bombs in nigeria, the suicide bombers, there used to be a joke about how a nigerian can never be a bomber..i guess that has been scratched now. all these talks from people who claim to be recognising islam killing people saying that they are against western education and keeping the illiteracy levels in the north rising rapidly.
    yes, you can write on bella naija about how muslim is a peaceful religion but i still haven’t seen any of you peaceful muslims condemning the boko haram killings or the uprisings in the north when allah is depicted in cartoons. all i keep hearing is how islam is a peaceful religion but that is at this point becoming all talk and no action. i still haven’t seen the peaceful side of it.it’s hard to look people who have lost relatives in these killings and tell them that islam is a peaceful religion, don’t you think?
    this was a nicely written article but i do think actions > words.

  24. Phatill

    July 28, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    May almigthy Allah bless u dier sister

  25. jc

    July 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    Talk is cheap they say, but show me action! As far as I know the Christians have put in place some very concrete plans to handle cases of extremism within their religion. We’ve heard of priests who have been excommunicated. We have heard of Catholics testifying against priests who were finally sent to jail for crimes they committed. You say the killings are carried out by a minority, but what about the impact? Just about three suicide bombers destroyed the lives of over three thousand people in the 9/11 attacks and damaged properties worth billions of dollars. How small is that? I have a family friend who’s poor parents sold their properties to send her abroad for a first degree, she was only 22. After graduating the parents convinced her against her wish to come home for youth service. She was sent to Borno and she loved it. Today she’s no more. Her body was brought home brutalized beyond recognition, by muslims. You can preach with the sweetest words, but I and billions of people around the world are awaiting actions. Please join the Christians and let your charity begin from home. Show us practical steps that you’ve put in place to bring an end to the killings from your so called ‘minority’. Please your article is not complete. Show us actions and maybe people will believe that Islam is truly a religion of peace!

  26. eloho

    July 28, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    OH! WOW! As i read the article, i was touched. i have been praying that someone would write this for a while. I have Muslim friends and they are fabulous; very loving and understanding. As a christian i am always eager to find out more about other people’s religion and i believe we all should be like that and respect each other’s religion.

  27. Samirah

    July 28, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    Well written my dear. We do need to do more to educate ourselves and those around us on the actual teachings of Islam. Ignorance and illiteracy are the major reasons people can be so easily brain washed by so called religious leaders that have succeeded in potraying Islam as a violent and vengeful religion. God bless you for this article!

  28. Ed143

    July 28, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    i have to say this is very educative…….

    • On point!

      July 29, 2011 at 12:43 am

      Is it? Really?

  29. Feran

    July 28, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I am a firm believer in respecting people’s religion, tribe or opinion. However, with this killings going on all over the world in the name of islam, it becomes sooo difficult to believ that it has nothing to do with the religion.

  30. nodesh

    July 28, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    You have said the truth – sadaqtah

  31. Mimee

    July 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    Pls i suggest henceforth that if you do not grasp the focus of an article PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT!!! some comments here are way below anyform of intelligence. Please let all respect each other’s faith and stop yarning dust ABEG!!!!

    • Baby Dee

      July 28, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      I’m assuming this comment is directed at you with this Rant of yours…….

  32. Dee

    July 28, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    God bless you! And I’ll like to point out that the recent attacks in Norway were carried out by a Christian, but I’ll never judge all Christian based on his actions. Instead, I’ll judge everyone individually. I’ve read the Quran and I’ve read the Bible, and it’s practically all the same – except for a few random differences.

    • dammybaby

      July 29, 2011 at 1:19 am

      Ur comment actually just makes it even clearer why muslims need to enlighten themselves properly first before trying to enlighten other religions. Up until now i never knew d Norway attacker was a christian or a budhist, why, because he never said it is d bible dat made him do it or Jesus appeared to him and asked him to kill those pple. Religious killings are different from a psychologically deranged man’s actions.

    • Tees

      July 29, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      “Religious killings are different from a psychologically deranged man’s actions.” GBAM!

    • Passerby

      July 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

      Please don’t speak of enlightenment when you have not enlightened yourself. You have to have NOT listened to the news not to know that Breivik (the Norway bomber) clearly stated that he is against the promotion of tolerance of Islam and carried out the bombings in order to reinstate the purity of the church and ultimately establish a European Church of God, his actions were done to “save the Church” and destroy the Labour party. The sooner you realise you are a puppet of the media the better for your state of enlightenment.

      I love the good place this article speaks from but I’ll have to agree that it’s not enough, it’s simply the stepping stone to greater understanding. Those asking her to go to Mosques in Borno and preach peace to Boko Haram should chill out.. have the Niger Deltans in Lagos gone to have a talk with MEND? Don’t ask people to do that which you can not. Also charity really does begin at home.. And home for her might be amongst the educated youth on Bella Naija, eventually she might go broader and find herself in Borno. Be reasonable people

      Kudos to the author
      xxxo

    • chinnygurl

      November 24, 2011 at 12:54 pm

      you are so on point.

    • iyabo

      July 29, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      the differences are not random. they are fundamental.

  33. Mo

    July 28, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Am a Muslim by birth and am a christian now. This was by choice before all the bombing started. I still go by my Muslim name because that the name my parent gave me. am proud of it and I come to the defense of my Muslim brothers and sister anytime and anywhere. Majority of my family are still Muslim like my two brother and sister.
    @jc u cant judge a religion based on some ignorant of some people. I study the Qur’an and am also studying the bible. Both book do not give permission to kill. I know killing can not be compare to Bishop or pastors molest children. But I know has a human being you would not like to be judge by actions of some ignorant person. All we all have to keep doing is pray that GOD Almighty will continue to protect us all both christian, Muslim and Jews because In all religion we have those that are extremist.

    • FO

      July 28, 2011 at 10:42 pm

      Al Qaeda is comprised of highly educated moslems. Boko Haram is led by very articulate and educated persons. Religious violence in the North is usually launched from the mosques on Fridays. Terrorism is not “mai mai” but requires coordination and firm understanding of politics. There are so many atrocities atributted to moslems. I understand that may verses in the Quoran and Hadith support violence against unbelievers. I also understand that turning from the faith is punishable by death. People are making up their minds based on realities.

    • zainab

      January 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      oh shut up… go back to the old testament, isnt apostacy purnishable by death? what about all the crusades of the past centuries carried out by the churches…smh

    • moi

      July 29, 2011 at 5:13 am

      yes in all religions there are flaws, no doubt. But muslims are not pro-active enough in publicly admolishing terrorism, we can pray but heaven would always help those who help themselves.

      Muslims stop spending time & energy trying to defend your religion, channel all that energy to educated people in the mosques, create anti-terrorism/extremist societies because people are dying and more could, so stop blabbing over things that are making no change to the current situation of terrorism, it has seeped into Nigeria now, so y’all should go out there in Jos, Bauchi etc and get busy !

    • Ali

      August 25, 2011 at 5:13 pm

      If we can’t educate the likes of you on this forum which i have seen has been somewhat a waste of time, imagine how hard the reality of the situation is and why you think the perpertrators arent being educated…they are being educated but just like a lot of you here when minds are made up, efforts are futile…

  34. Titilade Raji

    July 28, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks for your warm words of Wisdoma nd enlightening ! May GOD increase you in Wisdom and give you the Blessings to respect and appreciate people in spite of their religion ! And for Us all ! I hope we learn from this !!! May the good GOD bestore on us all wisdom and tolerance to live peacefully. Amen <3

  35. DU

    July 28, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    good write up.

  36. butterfly

    July 28, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    God bless you, i wish i could be actual friends with someone like you…
    i believe its people like you we shud celebrate, ppl hu speak up for the truth. i’m a strong (if i dare say so) christian yet i’m over joyed when i see such rationality amidst devotion to ones religion. ppl like you can never be fooled into strapping bombs and what not, i sincerely love you and i hope that this truth will permeate and settle in the hearts of every one, christian and muslim alike.

  37. Robert Sanda

    July 28, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I truly appreciate this educated and philosophical article. Yes, indeed, there are true Muslims like this writer that are a blessing to have as friends. As a Christian I had the same negative attitude about Islam and Muslims as some of the individuals she mentioned judging by the lives and practices of some Muslims in a section of the Nigerian geography. That is until I lived in Saudi Arabia for over a decade and realized that to judge a religion by the character of its more vocal members is to miss the true nature of the religion. There are few like this lady but I believe that to know them is to set in motion the process of healing Nigeria. Yes, we need to dialogue. None of the trouble-makers in in the name of Islam in some parts of Nigeria actually know the true teachings of Islam. Those who burned the property Christians and killed scores of them in Maiduguri in 2006 over the Danish cartoons know as much about Denmark as they know about the other side of the moon and similarly they know as much about Islam as they know about dark matter. I congratulate this writer and I welcome a chance to dialogue with her. [email protected]

  38. mui mui

    July 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Words of wisdom well said. Jazakhallah Khairan! People are always afraid of what they don’t know. It’s human nature…

  39. Hali

    July 28, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    All well and good, however, if it quacks like a duck, walks like a duck and lays eggs…? Think of it this way, it’s hard to convince most people that not all Nigerians are fraudsters and prostitutes because there are Nigerians who are those things. It takes just one bad apple to spoil the entire basket. And the truth is that over the past few years, we’ve seen a lot of bad apples. I come from a family with muslims aunts, uncles, cousins etc etc but we never discuss religion.

  40. connie

    July 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Eh Islam is a religion of peace we Don hear, please go and educate your Muslim brothers and sisters who are killing innocent pple before you educate us. And the person who said the recent bombing in Norway was carried out by a Christian needs to confirm if he did it in the name of Jesus. Christians can’t practice their religion freely in Iran and Iraq, even in Egypt and you call your pple tolerant.? What a Joke!

    • KarmenSimms

      July 28, 2011 at 8:01 pm

      There are churches in all these places you’ve mentioned. Pls kindly do your research before you make harsh comments. Do not propagate hate…its unhealthy.

    • Reel

      July 28, 2011 at 10:22 pm

      Last I checked Coptic churches were being burnt in Egypt and Christians attacked. In Pakistan Christians are being falsely accused of blasphemy and are being sentenced to death.

    • Hali

      July 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm

      I believe the writer said nothing about churches being present or not, she/he said there is no religious freedom in those countries. Christians are persecuted in Egypt, Iran and Iraq. A church was bombed a few months ago in Egypt, it was all over the news.

      BTW – Saudi Arabia does not allow churches. Bibles are not allowed either. In 2005, a court sentenced a teacher to 40 months in prison and 750 lashes for “mocking religion” after he discussed the Bible and praised Jews. Research goes a long way…

    • Jade

      July 28, 2011 at 11:44 pm

      here here, totally agree

    • cochise

      July 28, 2011 at 11:17 pm

      here, here. try building a church in saudi arabia, egypt…the list goes on. you can’t. b/c the koran teaches intolerance. intolerance for homosexuals, infidels, bla, bla, bla. the koran (mohamad’s own words… kill any who leave the religion “of peace.” check out robert spencer’s jihadwatch. he does not promote hate, but instead stands behind freedoms we enjoy and the freedoms that would/will be erase by sharia islamic law. don’t be fooled.

    • On point!

      July 29, 2011 at 12:51 am

      Has he been confirmed to be a Christian or is he an atheist? Cos he’s blond with blue eyes it’s doesn’t mean he’s a Christian…

    • z

      July 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm

      Yes its confirmed that he’s a conservative christian. Its been said. Please try and read up before you comment on things, as well. Its been written in media articles and read on news channels. And no he didn’t say he read it in the bible to kill al those of different skin colour and muslims particularly, but neihter has boko haram, as y’all like to compare and point out. I don’t care what religion a person claims to practise, but hate is hate and I know of no faith that encourages hate towards fellow humans. And as you’ve all previously mentioned, ” what you’ve HEARD of muslims”, not a single one of you have mentioned reading the Qur’an. Be careful of becoming what you despise, by preaching hate yourself

  41. Dalton

    July 28, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    That we are having this discussion shows there is hope. Nigeria is a great nation so hopefully we will survive. This is a good article but I have to agree with JC’s comment above that the solution to religious extremism can only come from within that religion. The federal govt, JFT, or any other external force will never stop the people killing in the north in the name of Islam; they can only slow them down. Those killers are not interested in your article, and they do not take part in online discussions. And they are the real people that need to know this. So how do you get your message across to them? What exactly are the Islamic intellectuals doing about the situation right now? I think the reason why non-muslims criticize a lot is just because of the kind of evil that emanates from muslim extremists. You can’t compare mass murder of the innocent to any other kind of evil.

  42. KarmenSimms

    July 28, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    Nice article…really appreciate its message.

  43. OBOLO

    July 28, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    This is a gud write-up bt my disapointment in all this is d writer’s appeal to other religion folowers to see islam as a peaceful religion rather than caling on felow muslim to stop kiling. I may have read so many false research papers on d spread of islam bt d conclusion I got from my research which is coroborated wt al d voilence against humanity in d name of islam is that islam was spread through voilence. Pls convince me to d contrary.

  44. dl

    July 28, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    While I appreciate the spirit in which this article was written and agree that we all need to educate ourselves and practice tolerance…I have to admit I am a little frightened of what muslims are capable of.

    Of course christians can be just as brutal given the right amount of motivation and brainwashing but I just feel there is a cold callousness that I see in muslims I have met. I can’t place a finger on it and I guess I’m more scared of it coz I’m christian just as any muslim would be scared of callousness some christians could be capable of.

    I guess the fact that Christian terrorist groups are not as prevalent, heavy handed or as far reaching as muslim terrorist groups really “shivers me timbers”…plus if we really check it, most christian violence has been driven by material things (land, power) or vengance (which is horrible) but most muslim violence is driven by a conviction that they are doing the right thing…poor christians, if things improve in Nigeria, might not feel the need to resort to such violence as we seen in the north however, if a man really feels he is doing the right thing…what can stop or change his mind?

    • Matter of fact

      July 29, 2011 at 5:37 am

      Maybe someday or never, you will grow beyond your bias and see through the psyche of hatred and why its such a terrrible thing…hatred can be propagated under ANY platform, religion, race, tribe etc..and it spreads like wildfire from a leader to ignorant followers…shamefully today, Islam is being used as an avenue of hate just as Hitler used race and ethnic cleansings many centuries ago and now ( if you are dignified enough to admit it) the Norweigian terrorist killer who is using Christianity…people who commit evil always have a strong conviction or justification for their ways…southern church leaders preached at the time of slavery that it was ok to relegate blacks to the back of the church and that it was ok to own them as slaves..this was THEIR OWN christianity…i know better than to generalize it to YOUR christianity!…please let us be wise and unite against evil not religion race tribe etc or other platforms being used to propagate it!

    • just passing

      August 18, 2011 at 8:24 am

      Preach!!! Very enlightened and wise words indeed. (Y)

    • my day

      August 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm

      My dear, u must be in my spirit. I thought i was the only one who once i am introduced to a muslim, i begin the excruciating mental process of checking and double-checking every thing i want to say, for fear of innocently inciting a religious crisis. How do you explain people going about their normal business (with the same people they’ve worked with for years) with daggers strapped to their waists ready to kill because someone makes a jocular comment about mohammed? Someone said something about making sure to read the Quran before commenting…you might be the Quran i will ever read. I know there are lots of muslims who appear peace-loving, but the way i see it, that quality stands to be tested. I stand to be corrected but i see a latent violence bubbling just beneath the surface even with the people i want to believe as peace-loving

  45. Dalton

    July 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    This is a good article but your conclusion is a suggestion to non-muslim to dialogue in order to understand Islam better. That’s not the issue. The issue is the current taking of innocent lives in the name of Islam. I have to agree with JC’s comment above that the solution to religious extremism can only come from within that religion. The federal govt, JFT, or any other external force will never stop the people killing in the north in the name of Islam; they can only slow them down. Those killers are not interested in your article, and they do not take part in online discussions. And they are the real people that need hear your message. So how do you get the message across to them? What exactly are the Islamic intellectuals doing about the situation in Nigeria right now? I think the reason why non-muslims criticize a lot is just because of the kind of evil that emanates from Muslim extremists. You can’t compare mass murder of the innocent to any other kind of evil

    • Matter of fact

      July 29, 2011 at 10:34 am

      You dont seem to get the point do you? extremism has no race , religion, tribe or ethnicity neither does hatred. If you do an unbiased research, may have committed atrocities in the name of religion, crusaders massacred people, stating they were ”cross aiders”, slave owners and colonialists were abusing human rights with one hand with the bible in the other hand…however, you cannot be myopic and say they were representing the tenets of christianity…likewise, you cannot hold a peaceful practicing muslim responsible for the evil ways of another muslim…be fair, be realistic…do u have any control over those practicing 419 and corruption in Nigeria??? are they not the bad ambassadors who give Nigeria a bad name in the international community?? So if the people in the international community see you as a Nigerian and say, it must be part of our culture to be corrupt is that being reasonable or fair to you?? cos it sure aint to me!

  46. Nkili

    July 28, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    If more muslim spoke openly against the boko haram suicide bombers killing innocent victims in the name of islam, the fulani herdsmen killing the biron people for land that isn’t theirs to fight for and the innocent killings of youth corpers who had their whole lives before them by irate muslim youths and family who loved them, then maybe, just maybe you might actually be taken more seriously when you say Islam is a religion of peace. Not saying Christians are perfect, but they do criticize wrongdoing committed by fellow christians more readily than muslims.

  47. jenny d genius

    July 28, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    stories that touch.mscheeew.Islam promotes violence.end of story!!!!!! if u like dont publish my comment bella..

  48. Jay

    July 28, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I think ignorance is Nigeria’s problem. We base everything too much on religion. Lets all live in peace and forget she’s muslim I’m christain. He’s yoruba I’m igbo. I’m a christain and I must confess we are the quickest to judge yet the bible preaches against it. I agree to all what you are saying about bombimg and all done by extrmist muslims. But go into your own private churches and somethings your “church memebers” do are unbelievable. Some pastors even do the unspeakable.
    Lets embrace each other, accpet each others religion and culture and believe me our nation will progress

  49. A very religion-tolerant girl

    July 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    people keep talking about the Christains’ killings in the 17th centuries but we are talking about now, our present, what has the Islamic community vigorously done to stop terrorism? In Nigeria, what has the leaders & communities strongly done?? NOTHING ! It makes one think that the community supports it period ! I work with muslims from Bangdalesh, they are generous & all, but they seem to look down on other religions and i’ve never heard them openly admolish TERRORISM !
    I openly admolish gay weddings in church, so the enlightenment needs to be channeled to the Muslim community and not the world.

    Ismalism is the least tolerant of all the religions in the world ! That explains why most Islamic countries have little or no non-muslims in it. I have buhdist and hindu friends, they are tolerant. Learn from the Americans, even with 9/11 they still support & accomodate islamic domestic violated women & etc. Thats the kind of tolerance the world needs. I can’t think of an Islamic country that would do that for christains !
    When it comes to muslims I can only vouche for my friends and not the community.

    • Matter of fact

      July 30, 2011 at 1:05 am

      Since you seem to believe strongly that muslim leaders are doing nothing which isnt entirely true…people are speaking out..the question is are the perpertrators listening??? do they care??? do they have a hidden political agenda??? Please im very interested in hearing from u…what do YOU propose??? and please let us know what we can do to stop an extremist from getting up and killing people…something realistic non violent since we want peace right?….you cannot just point fingers..give us some productive suggestion thanks!

    • very religion tolerant girl

      August 12, 2011 at 4:18 am

      I’m not familiar with your community but I would suggest creating a class/group etc termed ‘Islam is love not terrorism” something to give people a rethink. Let the group focus on those verses from the Koran twisted to support terrorism. Untwist and re-educate to the youths mostly.My suggestion.

    • Matter of fact

      August 22, 2011 at 4:04 am

      LOL! at least ure honest to the fact that you don’t know much about the community so its a reason to be cautious in your judgement of the situation. As for your suggested intervention…this is not some student union fight lol! these are very disturbed people with deep rooted grievances…and that’s what we need to address..and really the people insighting them because they are largely uninformed and brainwashed..look at how much of an effort i have put into this form with people who are supposedly reasonably minded…now multiply that by a large number…there you go! this isnt childs play…and THATS why you think no one is doing anything to stop the terrible situation even though they are!

  50. mizz

    July 28, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    The comments that followed this article are a true reflection of the average Nigerian mind, some insightful others downright hateful and sad. For as long as we continue to cloak those who perpetrate crimes against humanity with the garb of religion, we will continue to fail and they will continue to succeed..A man who burns down a building, whether a beer parlour, church or mosque, is an arsonist; a man who kills another whether a christian, atheist or alien from outer space is a murderer, the sooner we focus on the real issues which is putting pressure on our Governments at every level to strengthen the security of our lives and property, which in turn would help us fish out these enemies to us all, instead of focusing our hatred and sentiments towards religion, the better for us all…Secondly, we must all learn that there is a difference between RESPECTING and ACCEPTING another persons point of view, the fact that the next man thinks or acts different from you should not be a threat to you, In other parts of the world you find everyone from Jews, Hindus, Homosexuals, Transsexuals, you name it living peacefully in the same community not because they are hypocrites but because they understand that every individual is entitled to their own point of view, so why should we be different in Nigeria? Whatever we do let us avoid sentiments when it comes to matters of tolerance of one another, it gets us no where…Peace and Love!

    • Reel

      July 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm

      Just to point out that Muslims are free to practice their religion in the South. Where have you ever heard of Christians attacking Muslims in Lagos or any other Southern States?

      Yorubas are split almost entirely between Christians and Muslims and they have lived in peace for centuries.

    • my day

      August 1, 2011 at 2:41 pm

      Even the muslims from the south are not seen as ‘true’ muslims by their colleagues in the North.

    • ChiefExecutiveOmoIta

      July 28, 2011 at 11:03 pm

      Phenomenal!

    • kiki

      July 29, 2011 at 11:51 am

      Simple and true

  51. Mabel

    July 28, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Until ppl realize that religion is a personal walk and does not involve anybody else but them self these problems will continue. The problem with most religions, not all, is that they try to change everybody around them into a believer, even ppl who already have their own religions. Religion is not for the changing of the world, it’s simply for the changing of that person who practices it. It’s not for looking out into the world and finding fault with everything and everyone, it’s for looking in and finding faults in the self and resolving those. Too many ppl have been brainwashed to believe they are on the earth to fight some battle of good against evil for God, I am more than certain that God can fight His own battles. The only battle for humans to fight is the battle of flesh against spirit in ourselves, nothing else.

    • molarah

      July 31, 2011 at 12:50 am

      Errr….I don’t know what religions you are referring to, but Christianity teaches about reaching out to others with the truth of its gospel. Of course, some people translate that to shoving it down people’s throats, but that’s where the individual preference comes in.

  52. cochise

    July 28, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    you must think we’re all idiots… the koran certainly does promote the killing of infidels, especially jews. you are quoting early mo’ koran teachings. later in his life he encourage the death of non believers, beheadings (which he personally did). the koran also says that the later teachings override the earlier teachings…hummm. go figure. you choose the quotes that the ignorant.. you would have believe

  53. Kuluwaz

    July 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I absolutely love this Sar. Beautiful. Feel inclined to address some of the issues and rants by previous readers but I doubt it will make a difference. Those who are able to understand and take in the message in your note have and will. I pray for a more united Nigeria when its no longer about being Muslim, Christian, Southern, Northern but more about whether you are good or bad. Kudos darling!!!

  54. opium

    July 28, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Well said Connie, the ONLY people that needs to be educated are the muslims themselves, the way you portray yourself is the way others will treat and believe what you do, if you say its a religion of peace then make peace with people, are the al-qeudia not muslims, mutallab is a muslim as well, boko as well there must be something underlining in the koran that they are all following, killing for allah, is that tolerant? Muslims change your ways.

  55. Jade

    July 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    I understand my dear about the misconceptions. I am christian and my best friend in all the world is muslim. We disagree at time about eachother beliefs but at the end our friendship sings thru. I wud never try to dissuade him from he believes but to respect him. Its tru that some christians are of the notion that the part refers to not be unequally yolked gives us the right to abuse others on what the feel is there direction on God. But i am of the firm belief that that scripture refers to maintaining respect at all times. I love my bff and will always do. I hope in time muslims, jews christians everyone will share that same unity.

  56. amber rose

    July 29, 2011 at 12:10 am

    blah blah blah…go and tell dis to the ppl who have lost family and friends.. wat religion of peace. this is a public site so dont even get me started here ooo. nice write up and all but wat r ur clerics doing abt this menace? we are all oohhing and ahhhing here. will u still oohh and ahh when another innocent bystander gets killed cos they have to race to heaven to meet their 70 virgins and heavenly wealth? abeg, talk of smtn else joor and face the reality.

  57. Purpleicious Babe

    July 29, 2011 at 12:47 am

    interesting…..

  58. Zizu

    July 29, 2011 at 1:03 am

    As always I’m tempted to comment on some rather ignorant comments, but as aforementioned, it is ignorance, and well a waste of time to address.
    The writer isn’t trying to change your minds of Islam, but telling you her piece, if you choose to learn/know more or better. Entirely up to the individual. We can keep talking about muslim attacks on non-muslims and what-not, but let’s not forget the media is biased. That being said, I woont go on about media sensationalism in this instance. Truth is truth, whether played up or not. This is an article on Faith/Belief. I remember a quote a heard awhile back, it went “belief is a beautiful armor, But makes for the heaviest sword. Like punching under water, you never can hit who you trying for. Some need the exhibition, some like to know they tried”. You did well saratu. Faith is a hard thing to write about, but you were able to write eloquently on your journey to better understanding/cementing your own faith. And that’s not a journey a lot of us have the courage to take. Awesome darling. Xoxo

    • moh'd aminu

      July 30, 2011 at 11:12 pm

      good, very good.

  59. On point!

    July 29, 2011 at 1:08 am

    Meanwhile Boko Haram said der target was d Nigerian government and not it’s people so why then did they blow up a church in maraba Abuja? I believe the problem lies with the intellectual Muslims not doing enough to educate there people on the right teachings of Islam, a friend once told me how he was nearly stabbed in one northern state when he reached to pick up a Quran in a shop just to look thru it! A beg how do we educate ourselves when we might loose our lives in the process?? It does not make sense arguing and denying the points made above by non Muslims cos d facts are all over the world… The problem is not Christians not understanding the Muslims, the real problem is the Muslims not understanding der Quran! I live in Abuja and we used to have a Muslim driver and cook but with what’s going on, we wer seriously advised to sack dem just invade, I felt bad but fact is fact, once jihad is declared dese guys who we live with and joke with would slay us!

    • Matter of fact

      July 29, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      How many people’s evil ways can you take control over? Cant you see that in a lot of situations no matter what you do ..as i am trying to in this forum..people will still hold on to their convictions and act accordingly?..when it comes to faith, each is responsible for their own soul..you cannot hold a muslim responsible for the actions of another muslim..people get taught everyday in churches and mosques etc…does that mean it would affect their ways?? please lets be realistic here…again and again anyone can propagate hatred under any platform..its just a shame that in this day and age, Islam is the culprit….you can imagine how the average muslim going about their business feels..being judged, stereotyped and patronized day in day out even by different people…

  60. Salam

    July 29, 2011 at 1:17 am

    All i will say is salam alaikum

  61. Topsy

    July 29, 2011 at 2:12 am

    Well written. It is a lively discussion. I believe that we need to put things in a global and historical perspective. Humans have been killing in the name of religion for centuries. Can we say Crusades? Also remember the Bosnian war… Slavery in the Americas? What of our traditionalists who mutilate people for hte sake of saving them from witchcraft or the like..
    I am a muslim and the acts done in the name of Islam are deplorable. It is mostly motivated by politics, money and power. Man has always done this. Moderate learned muslims need to rise up and defend our religion and this is what this article does. We cannot say child molestation vs bombings. They are horrible comparasions. There are people who will always find ways and reasons ot hate each other. I know many a christian who believes that unless you go to “his” church or follow “this’ pastor you are doomed even if you are a Christian. Muslim radicals use religion as a cover for for their tribalism and hate for the “west”. It is disgusting how they bomb and call the name of Allah. They have killed more Muslims than anyone else. Please remember that we all need to exercise tolerance and pray for forgiveness.

  62. ade

    July 29, 2011 at 2:32 am

    Dear people. I have love for all. I am a Christian and do know that God loves all people. I have many Muslim friends who are very dear to me. However it is also important to note what the Quran says about Non-believers (Christians and Jews included). This is a direct quote from the Quran:
    “O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. (5:51)”
    I will not post anymore as it does get rather deep and violent but I do think it is important for people to read both the Bible and the Quran and decide for themselves. Please again I love all people and believe we all have free will to choose what we want to believe. This is NOT to stir up hatred but to educate people. Don’t take my word for it. Read BOTH books and decide for yourselves.
    Peace and Love to all people.

    • Nna

      July 29, 2011 at 1:23 pm

      The unbelievers in the Quran means idol worshippers. Read the Quran please before quoting. The believers in the Quran refer to Jews, Christians and all who believe in One God.

    • Peace

      August 27, 2011 at 9:54 pm

      Be objective and sensible in your analysis…we all know terrorism is a sin and many have made the effort to educate you on that verse 5:51 which you are fixated upon and the context under which you are quoting it…just like the boko haram and many terrorists…everyday people are guilty of bias and made up minds…the truth is bitter God has commanded not to be friends with those who inherently hate you and have reservation about you but he FORBIDS murder and suicide…look up Quran 60 8-9 where it is stated that you only fight those who fight or oppress you…

      So i am educating myself on the bible as well and i found this commentary on war from a biblical perspective written by a christian…now imagine if people MISINTERPRETE these biblical verses…..just like the Norwegian bomber did…we need to propagate peace from being fair in understanding….see below…

      Many people make the mistake of reading what the Bible says in Exodus 20:13, “You shall not kill,” and then seeking to apply this command to war. However, the Hebrew word literally means “the intentional, premeditated killing of another person with malice; murder.” God often ordered the Israelites to go to war with other nations (1 Samuel 15:3; Joshua 4:13). God ordered the death penalty for numerous crimes (Exodus 21:12, 15; 22:19; Leviticus 20:11). So, God is not against killing in all circumstances, but only murder. War is never a good thing, but sometimes it is a necessary thing. In a world filled with sinful people (Romans 3:10-18), war is inevitable. Sometimes the only way to keep sinful people from doing great harm to the innocent is by going to war.

      In the Old Testament, God ordered the Israelites to “take vengeance on the Midianites for the Israelites” (Numbers 31:2). Deuteronomy 20:16-17 declares, “However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them…as the LORD your God has commanded you.” Also, 1 Samuel 15:18 says, “Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.” Obviously God is not against all war. Jesus is always in perfect agreement with the Father (John 10:30), so we cannot argue that war was only God’s will in the Old Testament. God does not change (Malachi 3:6; James 1:17).

  63. omo2gbaski

    July 29, 2011 at 4:47 am

    Jazakhallah Khair for this , i really hope people take someting from this article

  64. Matter of fact

    July 29, 2011 at 5:00 am

    In the long run i always say religion or faith or whatever you practice is PERSONAL. This is not an Arsenal or Man U game. As a muslim myself, i see no reason why i should be apologetic for another fellow muslim’s ways..especially if im completely disconnected to the way they have chosen to practice their faith so differently….just as in the international community they see every Nigerian as 419…yes there are a significant number of corrupt and very badly behaved Nigerians…too bad if people choose to get fixated on their biases or the negative….if hypothetically 1 million people are bad ( which is a very very large number) of a total of 150 million ( Nigerian population), bear in mind that when u judge and stereotypes, you are being unfair to 149 million people who aren’t behaving like morons…its the same as the issue with Islam and terrorism…all i can say is one day, God will judge us all….the fair and the unfair, the biased and the unbiased..and He is a FAIR God and we will all stand ALONE before Him to account for our actions,….so you can all get sentimental about the tragedies all you want but in the long run, i as a muslim REFUSE to be apologetic for the EVIL ways of ANOTHER man. .FYI muslims get killed too, they die too in terrorist attacks….my muslim friend was on the Mutallab plane, he would have been a gonner but no one will ever be true or fair to highlight that when they spread the story…

    All Islam has ever brought me is PEACE. My life is a testimony to it. At the end of the day, its just a pity…the people i resent these so called fellow muslims causing commotion because they have subjected the likes of me to be victims of HATRED and STEREOTYPE from various non muslims….Im at peace and i pray that the world will become a more peaceful abode…there is too much bigotry everywhere, we really need to drop all the spiritual arrogance , humble ourselves and closer to God, no one really has control over what our fellow man will or will not do …I wish you all the best. Salaam Alaykum ( peace be unto you).

  65. Sugabelly

    July 29, 2011 at 6:34 am

    Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”

    According to the Quran, Muslims should cut off the heads of people who are not Muslims or believe in something else.

    Quran (9:5) – “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”

    According to the Quran, if you believe in anything other than Islam (e.g. Oduduwa, Sango, Amadioha, Chukwu) your fellow Muslim citizens should kill you and attack you until you convert to Islam.

    Why does this sound familiar? Oh yes, a little group named Boko Haram.

    Moving on….

    From the Hadith (accounts of the Prophet Muhammad)

    Bukhari (52:177) – Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”

    More murder….. O_o

    Tabari 7:97 The morning after the murder of Ashraf, the Prophet declared, “Kill any Jew who falls under your power.”

    Even more murder….. O_o

    Tabari 9:69 “Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us” – direct quote from the prophet

    In fact I’m not even going to discuss this one.. no wait, so, anybody that does not agree with Islam or follow Islam can be killed and that is 100% OKAY!. Ngwanu.

    Ibn Ishaq: 327 – “Allah said, ‘A prophet must slaughter before collecting captives. A slaughtered enemy is driven from the land. Muhammad, you craved the desires of this world, its goods and the ransom captives would bring. But Allah desires killing them to manifest the religion.’”

    Yay, more murder and blood shed.

    Ibn Ishaq: 992 – “Fight everyone in the way of Allah and kill those who disbelieve in Allah.”

    I am so OVERWHELMED by the amount of PEACE washing over Nigeria because of Islam.

    It is one thing to say that you think your religion could be practised better or in a more humane and peaceful way, but it is completely another to claim that an obviously violent and bloodthirsty religion that incites its followers to commit random acts of violence against anybody that does not follow them or agree with them is “A Religion of Peace”.

    I respect everyone’s right to practise their religion and I will defend any Nigerian’s right to practise their religion to the death (that includes Islam, Traditional Religions, and any other religion that Nigerians wish to practise) but what I cannot understand is this illogical insistence on the LIE that Islam is a “Religion of Peace”.

    Islam is NOT a religion of peace. As the massive body of WORLDWIDE overwhelming evidence and ongoing history has proven and continues to prove to this very moment, Islam is a religion of violence, intolerance, and sexism. (So is Christianity to a lesser degree but that’s not the point here).

    In fact, if ANY religion in the entire world is going to be named The Religion of Peace, it would be JAINISM and not Islam.

    Or maybe bombings, beheadings, stonings, suicide attacks, and threats are now expressions of peacefulness.

    • uke Joy

      July 29, 2011 at 9:30 am

      hmmmm that means the boko haram are the true Muslim, because they’re really following the Quran

    • fokasibe

      July 29, 2011 at 10:17 am

      I would really like someone to address these issues and educate people on whether or not this is true. I need to know…I’ve checked the internet but I want soneone to expantiate on this please. Thanks in advance.

    • Matter of fact

      July 29, 2011 at 11:46 am

      When you SELECTIVELY and wrongly quote the Quran OUT OF CONTEXT you are really no different from a terrorist who uses it to justify their evil ways..when u selectively lift off verses from Hadiths whose authenticity you cannot verify, you join those who propagate the justification for killing others…..let me educate you and clarify..under NO circumstance should ANYONE take the life of another…its is a SIN!…However, you are allowed to defend yourself if you are under ATTACK or prosecution….
      why didnt you quote Q 48 v26 that says ” when the unbelievers got up in their hearts heat and cant-the heat and cant of ignorance-Allah sent down His tranquility to His messenger and the Believers and made them stick close to the ”command of self-restraint”…the surah 8:12 thay you quote is from the surah titled ”SPOILS OF WAR” which talks about the situation of war or battle when believers are under ATTACK. Yes, self defense is a must in Islam NOT terrorism the way you are implying. There were wars in bible werent they? Didnt David kill Goliath in self defense? Does that make David a murderer? How come the crusaders were never historically refered to as terrorists when they sang ”stand up stand up for Jesus Ye soldiers of the cross” as they slaughtered and conquered ??
      Why didnt you quote ” VERSE 61 OF THE SAME SURAH which says ” But if the enemy incline towards peace, do thou also incline towards PEACE and trust Allah; for He is the one that heareth and Knoweth all things”

      ”Why didnt you quote Q 2: 256 ” LET THERE BE NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION. Truth stands out clear from error. Whoever rejects tagut and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah heareth and Knoweth all things”
      Why didnt you quote Q 3; 159 ” It is part of the mercy of Allah that thou dost deal GENTLY with them. Wert thou severe or harsh hearted,they would have broken away from about thee; so pass over their faults and ask for Allah’s forgiveness of them..”

      A lot of your spiritual leaders are lifting verses out of the Quran and quoting them out of context to insight bias and hatred….you have to be careful on how you swallow and disemminate information… ask an unbiased and knowledgable person to clarify any controversial info….you have just validated a LOT of verses in the Quran that talk about people like you, who no matter what will never understand…we ALL have the responsibilty to seek information correctly..Quran 6 verse 59 says ” As for those who divide their religion into sects, thou hast no part in them in the least; their affair is with Allah. He will in the end tell them the truth of what they did”
      May God have mercy on ALL of us. May He expose the hypocrites and evil doers and increase our knowledge and fairness in dealing with one another…May He open our hearts to enjoin peace. Salaam alaykum ( Peace be unto you)

    • Peace

      August 27, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      @ Sugabelly…looks like you left these verses out….in fairness and truth do we find peace not in mischief and confusion.

      Quran 60:8 Allah forbids you not, with regard to those who fight you not for (your) Faith nor drive you out of your homes, from DEALING KINDLY AND JUSTLY with them: for Allah loveth those who are just.

      Quran 60:9 Allah ONLY FORBIDS YOU you, with regard to THOSE WHO FIGHT YOU for (your) Faith, and drive you out of your homes, and support (others) in driving you out, from turning to them (FOR FRIENDSHIP AND PROTECTION). It is such as turn to them (in these circumstances), that do wrong.

  66. Obi

    July 29, 2011 at 7:10 am

    I agree with the person who said to deal with “the real issues … ” (paraphrasing his/her words) … if you burn down a church, mosque, beer parlour, even public toilet, you’re an arsonist … kill an atheist, Buddhist, any human being, you’re a murderer, etc. All these crimes are punishable by law. Crime is crime. Punish the perpetrators irrespective of their religion. That members of the same family bear the same surname doesn’t mean they will act alike. It’s sad that ignorant folk who are either deceived or choose to be ignorant have become the doors and windows of Islam open to non Muslims but that’s the reality we have to live with. To the author of the article, job well done. The next step is the deliver these folks from their ignorance before it is too late.

  67. Ari L.

    July 29, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Well said. I think educated Muslims do not get it. We love our sane Muslim friends.. P.S I have Muslims family too. However, it is hard to tell an American who was affected by 9/11 or to tell the family of an Igbo trader who was killed by Boko Haram this. Education has to start with the Muslims. Christians may be judgmental but for the most part, we are peaceful.

  68. NaijaPoet

    July 29, 2011 at 8:37 am

    well said … i think it was quasi tribalistic to mention that it was an ‘igbo colleague’ that asked you that very offensive question. in a bid to promote peace and tolerance, that was unnecessary. your message would have been clear regardless of whether you had mentioned whether the said colleague was igbo, yoruba or tiv. dont you think? That said, I totally agree that innocent muslimsare being dealt a tough hand worldover.

  69. angel eyes

    July 29, 2011 at 9:11 am

    @ sugarbelly , im sorry for u, may God forgive u really cos u re quoting from the holy quarn and translating it into rubbish…total misconception but thats between u and God
    for those that think d bombings n killings are mainly carried out by muslims, go n do ur research very well n u’ll be shocked at wat u ll find……..a christian guy killed pple in norway n he was referred to an an extremist……if d guy was a muslim, he wld hv been labelled a terrorist..i am muslim and i’ll always be one and pple’s opinion abt islam hv never bothered me…because like it or not, ur opinion of it doesnt define wat it is…..God bless the wroter of this article.

  70. angel eyes

    July 29, 2011 at 9:17 am

    writer*

  71. Ahmad ISMAIL

    July 29, 2011 at 9:40 am

    IT SHOULD BE A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY, SOME OF US HAS SO MANY HATRED FOR ONE ANOTHER PLEASE KEEP ON WITH THE GOOD WORK.
    REGARDS
    MASALAM.

  72. Yusuf

    July 29, 2011 at 10:06 am

    May Allah reward U abundantly, i mean both the writer and the publisher.

  73. Moren

    July 29, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Good write up Saratu.

    Some of the commenters miss the point.

    Why do people hold on to religion? The need to believe that there’s super force with powers to deal with their issues, some force to give them hope.Religious propagandists see this and exploit people to the fullest. For example, in the North (as well as other terrorist ridden countries), there’s mass illetracy and poverty and the people need hope. Naturally, a smart leader emerges to convince them that its the system that is making them poor, their religion will offer salvation…and because they are desperate for hope, they fall prey.

    Their desperation has made them irrational- They are using religion as a tool to fight against the repression by the system.

    Nigerians especially believe that religion is the solution to all their problems without being practical. If you notice most of the developed countries today, even though have religious foundations, they do not let it hinder their progress.

    I happened to take a course in islamic anthropology while in school, and modern issues in islam lie in muslim taking some of the teachings of Quran, hadith out of context…the revelations came during a violent period in history. The jurists are supposed to continuously interprete these books and make them relevant with the times.But they had a period called close of ijthihad(learning) where they believed that they could have interpreted every possible situation that may arise?! This is amazing given that prophet Muhammed advised muslims to seek knowledge even if its till the end of the world(China like they thought back then 🙂

    I am muslim by the way…

    Sorry for the lengthy lecture- but seriously, people should get educated! Education will cure ignorance, allow tolerance and respect for other people & their beliefs

  74. Yusuf

    July 29, 2011 at 10:19 am

    @opium, i think u need to learn simple english, i am not sure you understood the article.If killing of innocent people is in the quran,every muslim would be a terrorist, but the writer made it clear that the perpetrators are the minorities, muslims condemn such horrendours act. ok, are the niger delta millitants not christians?,is pastor king a buddist?,ofcourse not,he is a christian who did things that fit into the history of terrorism.so watch your mouth and get a english teacher for u to understand the article better.

  75. dave

    July 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I don’t believe that we are serving the same God. People that belive this are just compromisers. The God of Christians and Jews, for example did not anywhere tell his followers to murder unbelievers and be rewarded in paradise with beautiful dark skinned shinny virgins. but this is what the God of Islam exhorts his followers. And that if you kill an infidel or unbeliver or kafir you are doing the very will of Allah. But the bible God says love your enemies and feed them, even if they hate you back continue, because it is by love you win them over. Islam otherwise wins its converts by killing, coercion and through the blade of sword. The comparism can go on listless. There is no affinity between Christianity and Islam. However let’s just learn to live together taking a cue from the Western world. where different faiths co-exist in unity of purpose and a sense of nationlism.

  76. jossy;;

    July 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

    how can a christian pick up a quran in a country such as Nigeria where a mere touchd of the ‘quran’ almost coused WAR in one of d northan states.d truth of d matter is dat u go back & educate ur brothers on d real& ture meaning of islam

  77. BODUS

    July 29, 2011 at 11:50 am

    IF BOTH CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM PREACH PEACE, WHY IS THERE ONE UPHEAVEL OR THE OTHER ALL OVER THE WORLD. WHY FOR INSTANCE IN NIGERIA ARE MOSLEMS THROWING BOMBS AND CHRISTIANS ENGAGED IN ARMED ROBBERY, KIDNAPPING AND OTHER HEINOUS CRIMES.
    I BELEIVE LASTING PEACE WILL BE ACHIEVED IF IN NIGERIA FOR INSTANCE WE STOP DEFENDING OR CASTIGATING ONE RELIGION OR THE OTHER BUT INSTEAD PREACH THAT “EACH PERSON SHOULD BEHAVE AS IF HE/SHE IS THE ONLY HOLY BOOK OF HIS RELIGION THAT OTHERS WOULD READ” THAT WAY WE WILL TAKE A BOLD STEP TOWARDS NOT JUST READING THE HOLY BOOKS, BUT DOING WHAT IT PRAECHES.

  78. Saheed Adepoju

    July 29, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Nice write up. But all religions are exclusive in nature. i.e Muslims say only Muslims are going to heaven and Christians say only Christians are going to heaven. So which one?

  79. Isoken Mayor

    July 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    The responses to this article just goes to show how ignorant a lot of us still are. The churches that burnt children for witchcraft where from which religion? Christianity has the worst history of violence pls read up on your history. Pls show me a verse in the Quran where it says categorically that killing is allowed. How many mosques are in the Vatican city? There are churches in Saudi but not in Mecca or Medina. We are just looking for someone to hate, the Norwegian Killer is a christian, but he wasn’t labelled a terrorist that in itself should d show that there’s a whole lot of bias. The Bible says we shouldn’t judge but a lot of you are judging without even knowing what the religion is about.
    I don’t use one theiving Pastor to judge the whole of christiandom neither should Islam be judged based on the actions of misguided followers. The article encourages you to research your facts not spout biased news reports and hearsay as facts.
    I am a christian married to a muslim and I fear for the Nigeria my children will grow up in, because of this intolerance

    • Matter of fact

      July 29, 2011 at 12:15 pm

      God bless you Isoken!! In all but a few words you have said a lot and summed it up!

    • obi

      September 30, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      @ isoken mayor ,why are u still a Christian? why haven’t u converted since ur hubby is a muslim

  80. Uchechi

    July 29, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Thanks for the article my dear, but I can note you are trying to be defensive, that will not help ok. Its sad to know that Islam has been faced with so much criticisms in recent years due to killings carried out by some groups of the sect who get their justification from the Quran.

    I have just finished watching 3 series (documentary on the life of Muhammed and roots of Islam) on BBC iPlayer (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/) cos I was damn curious about this religion.

    My conclusion will be that the killings are largely due to misinterpretations of some verses in the Quran. The better you start educating fellow moslems, the better for the world and till then Islam in my opinion, Islam will not be regarded as a religion of peace, due to its image and reputation over the years.

  81. Tell Them

    July 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    Having read all comments here, I cannot agree more with what majority of the people are saying. Muslims, please what are you doing about/with the people killing in the name of Islam. When HIV/AIDS started killing people in Nigeria, we had NGOs, Think Tank groups, radio jingles, TV ads, sex education, home movies, Nigerian music, etc; all in the effort to fight the disease. Pls my muslim friends what are you doing about the killings by your people? If we continue to live in denial, then it’s a matter of time before we become like Sudan, which is no longer one country.

  82. Oluwatoyin

    July 29, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    I appreciate your expression of self there smamman. I agree that a degree of understanding and respecting the right of others to choose their faith are a key part of any peaceful society.

    A lot of religiously-deep-yet-spiritually-shallow people have tainted many ways of living. We need not think too much further than Terry Jones (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/02/pastor-terry-jones-burning-koran) for a recent and relevant example of a Christian who fell into this unfortunate category.

    I’m a Christian and I’d love everyone else to be, but I’d also love to not be sat at work right now. If my GOD gives people the right to choose HIM, what sense could it make that I should try to impose an intimate relationship with my dear GOD on anyone else. Worse yet to ‘punish’ anyone for not choosing HIM when I believe that HE is the only one with a right to Judge just puts me in a bad place!

    No-one is truly won over by violence or fear anyhow. Only one thing does, Love. Not a feeling, but exhibited through a lifestyle, that includes respecting and forgiving others, trying to understand and not judging others.

    Spirituality in my understanding is founded on an intimate relationship. Intimacy is built on mutual care and trust. From my perspective, even if you don’t believe JESUS is LORD, if you’re not close to what you ‘claim to’ believe in then you’re either ‘just hype’ or ‘still lost’ and stuck in ‘religion’.

    As for the extremely futile and useless ‘blame game’, I’m sincerely not interested. There are sadly still too many irokos in the what the world considers to be the ‘Church’ for me to point fingers outside.

    I won’t claim to know much about Islam but I do know too many muslims to believe that it is an inherently violent way of life. To me, even as a born again Christian, quoting the qu’ran to prove otherwise, particularly without having ‘studied’ the entirety of a text and its contex would be like me quoting the Bible saying that under some circumstances even Isrealites should be stoned etc. Misunderstood and sometimes, maliciously misinterpreted.

    These matters are far beyond the mental, hence they are considered ‘spirituality’. GOD gave me a brain for a purpose. As did HE all of us, but the challenge is that true spiritual wisdom is far beyond mental interpretation. It is a gift the heart must seek before the mind can acquire.

    Once upon a time there were Christian crusaders as well, not only supported but sanctioned by ‘the church’. Christians want to cut down trees they should be uprooting when we try to gloss over this. It affected some other cultures far more severely than we care to attend to. I’m sorry JESUS’ Name was misused in that way and so many were victimized. ‘Every tree has a few bad apples as smmaman’ implied. As JESUS implied, ‘be perfect before you blame’.

    Most religious/spiritual people (certainly ‘most’ for the ‘major’ religions) believe in a power/being ‘greater than themselves’ which advocates peace. So even with our differences aside, how naive would I be to say that anyone truly seeking to ‘expand their spirituality’ should focus on promoting that..?

    Call it an ‘oversimplification’, but then LOVE and life win, and who wants to worship hate and death?

  83. Jennyphar

    July 29, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I agree with u Smamman… I’m a Christian… I don’t believe in blaming things on one’s religion.Everyone should be judged as an individual; you shouldn’t blame what someone does on Allah,God,Buddha or Amadioha. I really do pray that one day there’ll be peace in Nigeria and I hope we can all work towards it by being kind and respectful to one another despite our differences.

  84. Spiritual

    July 29, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    I think this write-up is in good faith and obviously shows you have questions still unanswered like everyone else in every religion. I would like to point out though that people can turn religion away from it’s original plan or if they do well, follow it’s exact tenets. I think if we are to look at the two most popular religions (Islam and Christianity) and their figureheads (Mohammed and Jesus) we can glean the answer’s we all seek quite easily. If your actions are not in sync with the tenets of a religion, then you obviously are not practicing that religion. I have read both religions holy books objectively and have looked at history. I have lived among both religions (i was born and grew up in northern Nigeria and now live in the south). I have looked at the lives of the figureheads of both religions and have come to my conclusion. I don’t have to be politically correct but, i know i’m careful as to how i say my conclusions and where i say them. The writer is educated and most likely lives abroad among educated people (by that i mean western education) so some things might not add up. If you have not read both holy books, i suggest you do just to be sure where you stand and why you stand there (that is if you you practice one or the other). Looking for similarities is really not the key but tolerating in peace the others religion. Whatever each religion claims anywhere can be clarified by going to their holy books. They are not far from you. May you find clarity in your search.

  85. jose

    July 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Not so sure about this article, from my point of view yes there are some moderate muslims by what they tell me, but when i ask em what should be done to a converted ex muslim who leaves islam for christianity, they say he should b killed. theres too much whitewashing on islam and from what we see in the news everyday all the atrocities committed by islam we doubt when u say its a “religion of peace”. i hear now its being called the “religion of pieces”. if u understand ‘sunnah’ i think u’ll comprehend what a muslim is, and from what i read, a “real fundamental” muslim is NOT peaceful. so much oppression towards women and nonmuslims not to mention whats happening to christians in egypt, somolia, iraq, ect. i think islam needs reform..

  86. Adun

    July 29, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    As a Christian from a muslim family, I have only known religious tolerance and I am bewildered by the differences we are too quick to heighten between faiths – Islam, Christianity.
    We all need to learn to live together, and yes the outside world needs to educate itself, but more muslims should come out to speak about what they believe and why. I think then it has more weight and will help the inter-faith relations in society a great deal – just as we all need to be taught, it would be good for the muslim community to enlighten itself, as I think they are still in most cases, unenlightened, and highly dependent on the teachings of the Imams.

    God is loving, God is peaceful. We should all try to be Godlike.

  87. True Talk

    July 29, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    You people are here arguing. Go and listen to what the Sultan of Sokoto, head of Nigerian Muslims, said today. He wants the soldiers who were sent to root out Boko Haramites in Maiduguri to be withdrawn. Also he said that the soldiers who were arraigned in court, for killing some Boko Haramites, should not be granted bail. But he failed to say what he himself and the Sharia Council in Nigeria are doing to stop the terrorists. When a little opposition to Islamic Banking surfaced, the Sharia Council came out with threats. But when it comes to killing in the name of Islam, they are silent. It’s only the blind that does not know that Nigeria is on it’s way to disintegration. And I say, bring it on!

  88. coach

    July 29, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    YOU ARE ATTEMPTING TO HEAL A WOUND WITHOUT REMOVING THE BULLET FIRST. YOUR PEOPLE IN THE NORTH OF NIGERIA HAVE DELIBERATELY REFUSED TO EDUCATE THEIR SUBJECTS. YOU CAN SAY THIS BECAUSE YOU ARE EDUCATED. I NEED YOU TO WRITE ANOTHER PIECE TO THE BOKO HARAM LEADERSHIP SO SOME OF US CAN READ WHAT YOU HAVE TO TELL THEM. IT IS FOR FEAR OF THIS THAT THE NORTHERN ELITES PREFER TO KEEP PEOPLE LIKE YOU UNEDUCATED SO YOU DON’T SEE AND ASK TOO MUCH QUESTIONS. IT IS HOWEVER GRATIFYING THAT WE HAVE MUSLIMS IN YORUBALAND AND THEY LIVE IN PEACE WITH EVERY BODY. THE HAUSAS HAVE A FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM AND THAT IS ENDEMIC ILLITERACY.

  89. Nkili

    July 29, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Too many muslims getting defensive, yet the so callled muslim elites never come out to publicly condemn the so called extremist minority. Bringing up slavery and crusades is quite silly because who has been following world affaisr would know that the pope and other christian authority have PUBLICLY CONDEMNED these acts and made apologies too. How many muslims have publicly condemned the few bad eggs? During the elections more muslims on the social networks were more concrened in defending islam and buhari than condemning the callous acts of their brethen! Some of even went as far as calling it the will of Allah-and these were educated folks.

    The child witch hunt was heavily criticised by christians and that’s why it didnt continue for long. Homosexual pedophile priests were excommunicated. Pastors who use their congregration to amass wealth are not tolerated either. U only need to visit google to see the number of articles that have been written to expose this miscreants.

    Again I ask, how many muslims have come out to publicly condemn boko harams and the likes? How many muslims have spoken out againt the fact that churches are constantly being burnt in northern nigeria or that churches cant be built in saudi arabia, or that christians are constanly being torutred and mothered in muslim countries like iraq, afganistan etc? I grew up in lagos and there was a mosque opposite our house. Muslims were free to go in and worship as they pleased. Nobody ever attacked them. In warri and onitsha, a lot of muslims own thriving buisness and they are allowed to live in peace.yet, christians in the north live in constant fear.if it’s not their houses ,muslim burn down ,it’s their offices or market stalls.

    My dear, u guys need to educate the ”bad minority” that’s giving islam a bad name before you start thinking of educating anyone.otherwise all this talk of islam being a peaceful religion is just talk and talk is cheap

  90. Nkili

    July 29, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    oh and let’s not forget the mercy killings that muslims carry out on family members who convert to other religions

  91. Nkili

    July 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm

    and isioma daniels that was almost killed because she said mohammed would not have objected to the miss world competition or the nameless,faceless people taht have been maimed, burned, chopped up,stoned to death in the modern era in the name of islam that no northern elite (at least in nigeria) has openly ondemned. Noboby’s perfect. No adherent of any world religion is perfect. But it’s one thing to be have your faults, accept and admit them and it’s another to try to justify them or pretend they dont exist.

  92. Magdi

    July 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Alsalam alikum, thank you, this is very nice approach to respecting others as well as getting others to respect you.

  93. Interesting!

    July 29, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Some of the comments I’ve seen here have proved my theory that Nigerians, and people in general are an intorelant bunch! We choose what it is we want to hear, interpret it as we wish and then shut off completely from any other view point (reasonable as it may be). Some fool goes on a shooting spree in Norway – oh, he’s a deranged man. A pastor slashes his wife to bits, and goes to court clutching his bible and quoting verses – his religion is conveniently left out of the issue. But once a crime is commited by anyone that could by chance be a muslim (he’s arab, or Hausa) – he did it for Islam because that’s what the religion preaches.
    Guys, take a step back and think!

  94. mizz

    July 29, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims across the world, which basically means one in every 6 or 7 people is Muslim, if Islam was truly a religion of violence and us Muslims get “70 virgins” for killing our fellow human beings, wouldn’t we all be dead by now? Instead of focusing your energy on hateful comments and attempts at shallow research of all the scriptures quoted in the comments above, why don’t we focus like i said earlier on the REAL ISSUES which is holding our Governments accountable for the lack of security of our lives and properties? Wake up Nigerians! Our children and generations unborn will not forgive us!!!

  95. loleetah

    July 29, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    very well written article smamman, MashaAllah ,islam is truely a religion of peace,

  96. Al-Islam

    July 29, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    The confusion on what is suicide and who may be targeted in war

    A small minority of Muslims (who are not in the category of those who have nullified their Islam*) misunderstand the word shaheed (martyr) when it comes to war and the act of suicide.

    Muslims may engage in defensive wars and if they happen to die in this way, doing it for the sake of Allah, insha’Allah they die shaheed, and as we know, a shaheed may attain paradise.

    Hadith – Sahih Bukhari 1:35, Narrated Abu Huraira

    The Prophet said, “The person who participates in (Holy battles) in Allah’s cause and nothing compels him to do so except belief in Allah and His Apostles, will be recompensed by Allah either with a reward, or booty (if he survives) or will be admitted to Paradise (if he is killed in the battle as a martyr). Had I not found it difficult for my followers, then I would not remain behind any sariya going for Jihad and I would have loved to be martyred in Allah’s cause and then made alive, and then martyred and then made alive, and then again martyred in His cause.”

    Some Muslims incorrectly think that suicidal bombings during war is not suicide but an act of defensive war. They see it the same as fighting with guns or swords in a war. However, shooting in a war, one goes in with the intention NOT to die. Using oneself as a walking or flying bomb, one goes in with the intention of killing oneself (and the perceived enemy).

    Sometimes a Muslim may have enough knowledge to quote the hadith in which it was said that the companions of Prophet Muhammad (saaws) would throw their bodies on top of the Prophet and were willing to take a hit for him. However, this does not mean they were intending to kill themselves! This means they were willing to perhaps take an attack to an arm or leg to prevent death to the Prophet saaws. Or that they would shield him and escort him to safety, and by shielding him, preventing the enemy from striking at that moment since the Prophet couldn’t be clearly seen in the crowd. Putting oneself at risk is not the same thing as intending to do an act that would surely kill oneself!

    As we know, the religion of Islam is based upon intentions, as we are judged according to our intentions. A good deed is not accepted by Allah if we have intentions other than doing it for the sake of Allah, or if it is not in accordance with Quran and Sunnah.

    SUICIDAL BOMBINGS ARE AN ACT OF WAR **AND** SUICIDE and therefore haram (prohibited) since suicide (INTENTIONALLY KILLING ONESELF) is such a terrible sin with terrible consequences.

    In addition, such Muslims are completely unaware of the ayat (proof) against killing women and children. Ignorance is so sad. And any haram act by any Muslim anywhere, hurts the Muslim ummah as a whole.

    Hadith – Al-Muwatta 21.9 (Similar proofs in 21.8, 21.10, and 21.11)
    Yahya related to me from Malik from Nafi from Ibn Umar that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, saw the corpse of a woman who had been slain in one of the raids, and he disapproved of it and forbade the killing of women and children.
    Of course if any woman or child is shooting directly at you, it is permissible to act in self-defense to an immediate situation, but (unarmed) women and children cannot be an intentional target during war or any such attacks. And of course, Islam does not support women in military, but it does permit an individual woman to pick up a weapon to use in self-defense if a specific situation dictates that. The general intent is to shield women and children from the brutal fatalities of a war front altogether and to place the responsibility on the men in society to protect them.

    *see http://muttaqun.com/kuf.html for a list of what disqualifies a person from being Muslim despite their claim to be Muslim, keeping in mind that Allah is the only One who knows the true status of any person as a believer or disbeliever and Allah alone knows who will enter paradise or hell. Muslims are at all different levels of faith, some committing many sins, some very little, and this should be recognized. The Muslims are one nation, a nation that must punish its own, according to the law of Quran and Sunnah, and that must pray for one another in Muslim unity.

    Hadith – Bukhari 2:445, Narrated Thabit bin Ad-Dahhak

    The Prophet said, “Whoever intentionally swears falsely by a religion other than Islam, then he is what he has said, (e.g. if he says, ‘If such thing is not true then I am a Jew,’ he is really a Jew). And whoever commits suicide with piece of iron will be punished with the same piece of iron in the Hell Fire.” Narrated Jundab the Prophet said, “A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him.”

    Hadith – Bukhari 7:576, Narrated Qais bin Abi Hazim, see also Bukhari 8:361, 438

    We went to pay a visit to Khabbab (who was sick) and he had been branded (cauterized) at seven places in his body. He said, “Our companions who died (during the lifetime of the Prophet ) left (this world) without having their rewards reduced through enjoying the pleasures of this life, but we have got (so much) wealth that we find no way to spend it except on the construction of buildings. Had the Prophet not forbidden us to wish for death, I would have wished for it.” We visited him for the second time while he was building a wall. He said, -A Muslim is rewarded (in the Hereafter) for whatever he spends except for something that he spends on building.”

    Hadith – Bukhari 7:670, Narrated Abu Huraira

    The Prophet said, “Whoever purposely throws himself from a mountain and kills himself, will be in the (Hell) Fire falling down into it and abiding therein perpetually forever; and whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever; and whoever kills himself with an iron weapon, will be carrying that weapon in his hand and stabbing his abdomen with it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.”

    Hadith – Muslim #6485

    Hammam b. Munabbih said: Abu Huraira narrated to us ahadith from Allah’s Messenger and out of these one is that Allah’s Messenger said: none amongst you should make a request for death, and do not call for it before it comes, for when any of you dies, he ceases (to do good) deeds and the life of a believer is not prolonged but for goodness.

    Hadith – Muslim #6480

    Anas (b. Malik) reported Allah’s Messenger as saying: None of you should make a request for death because of the trouble in which he is involved, but if there is no other help to it, then say: O Allah, keep me alive as long as there is goodness in life for me and bring death to me when there is goodness in death for me.

    Hadith – Al-Tirmidhi #1613, Narrated Jabin ibn Abdullah [Ahmad transmitted it.]

    Allah’s Messenger said, “Do not wish for death, for the terror of the place whence one looks down is severe. It is part of a man’s happiness that his life should be long and Allah Who is Great and Glorious, should supply him with repentance.”

    Hadith – Qudsi 28

    There was amongst those before you a man who had a wound. He was in [such] anguish that he took a knife and made with it a cut in his hand, and the blood did not cease to flow till he died. Allah the Almighty said: My servant has himself forestalled Me; I have forbidden him Paradise.

    The Noble Qur’an – An-Nisa 4:29

    …And do not kill yourselves (nor kill one another). Surely, Allah is Most Merciful to you.

  97. chi chi

    July 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    This is not the right place to preach tolerance and understanding! Talk to your fellows my sister they need it most!!! What do you say to a mother who had to bury pieces of her child? Or in some cases nothing at all? Many people here are quick to agree with you and disagree with those who don’t all in the name of tolerance! I wonder if same will agree if they had lost a beloved family member? Maybe not. As a historian I know a lot about religions of the world and their divers ways. Violence to non Muslims is a part of Islam from time immemorial you can’t separate one from the other!! We call it violence they call it JIHAD! And its a way of life for them.

  98. Omolita

    July 30, 2011 at 2:22 am

    Talk talk talk, My comment to the writer of this article is how will your talk of peace console the parents of all the innocent corpers who have been killed in the north while their muslim counterparts in the south are living without fear, ask your conscience is it fair? do you know what it is to lose a child senselessly after sending your child to university level and expecting the child to be something in life? if Islam is peaceful the “minority muslims” will stop and think about their fellow muslims being killed also before any killing spree. I served in the north and i dont want to start what i went through, i am alive today by the grace of God. I have never heard of a retalatory killing spree in the south or west after after every killing orgy in the north yet you say Christians are judgemental what a joke! A peaceful religion is turning the other cheek when you are smacked on one cheek and that is what christianity is all about( mind you i am not saying christianity is better) and that is why you can still live in the south or the west and still go around the world without fear of being killed even after every killing orgy by muslims. I have muslim friends who are angels and i would do anything for them as individuals . I think the solution is treating the muslims the way the treat others and as for nigeria i hope the come to their senses by allowing the north go so the can practice their “peaceful religion and sharia” to their heart content so the rest of nigeria can rest. As a scarfless muslim female are there places in your area you go to without your scarf and be safe physically? can you enter a mosque and preach what you are writing in this article first as a female second as a muslim? stop decieving yourself pleaseeeeeeeeeeeee.

  99. Bisi

    July 30, 2011 at 2:26 am

    Wonderful piece. May Almighty Allah continue to bless you the wisdom and knowledge. Ameen.

  100. Omolita

    July 30, 2011 at 2:33 am

    To bellanaija, i love bellanaija especially since i live abroad it brings nigeria closer to me and i appreciate, but i would advise you stop featuring articles like this about religion it brings out the worst in people especially with what is happening right now in Nigeria and it will take the focus off the beautiful articles you feature on bellanaija.
    Thank you and keep up the good work.

  101. Nkili

    July 30, 2011 at 11:58 am

    actually i think it’s agood that topics like this are discussed and people can speak their minds. True healing can only start with proper dialogue and there can be no dialogue without honesty

  102. Beau

    July 30, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    My dear ‘matter of fact’ I admire you for the tenacity with which u have tried to counter several perceived anti-Islam comments here.
    However I have a question. If the author of this article where to disseminate this same information which she has given us here, preaching peace and tolerance for others, in mosques or were to go about her community doing so, what would be the general response to her message?

  103. Score Board

    July 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I thought I’d approach this very interesting discussion thread as an opinion poll. Below is the result. After reading 142 comments:

    38%– Muslims are in denial of killings in the name of Islam. Nothing is being done by Muslims to educate the killers and bring peace to the troubled northern Nigeria.

    26%– Great article. Islam is a religion of peace. Muslims are doing enough. Killings in the north are non- religious

    22%– Christians have their share of blame in the nations instability. People should live in peace, respect and tolerance for one another.

    14%– Indifferent. I could not really get the point of their post.

    Now that we’ve got this statistics, what are we gonna do with it?

    • Matter of fact

      August 23, 2011 at 11:23 am

      Your numbers are flawed. No one is in denial. As a matter of fact this article has very interestingly demonstrated the reality of how HARD it is to communicate with people especially if they have their minds MADE UP. FYI, ALL the muslims have responded that it is wrong and it is an issue so DENIAL os a false term.

      Likewise it is ignorant to conclude DESPITE the effort to inform you that there are people speaking against this problem, that people are doing NOTHING because again, ur minds are all made up and ALL you can see is what the MEDIA throws at you..

      My conclusion, many people have a lot in common with terrorists, MADE UP one tracked MINDS, invariably impossible to sway or educate… and intolerant…and oh, its the terrorists who are in DENIAL. Until we as a people are able to open our minds and address the underlying issues it will continue to be bla bla bla..sad

  104. Kabir UmarFaouk

    July 30, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    what ever you said about Islam, some people will criticise you,
    some people have eyes but not for seeing, they have ears not listening, they have mouth for argument. They should go deep in thier roots to know much about thier religion too. This will solve thier problem as you solved yours. Being a literate does not mean being educated, but a way to be educated through research. but the research has to be nonest

  105. adea

    July 30, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Thanks for the article. I learnt a lot from it. In my opinion, the end of the world is near, that is why there are so many violence all over the world. Let everybody serve his God as he pleases but should remember that he would account for all his deeds and action on the judgement day. I wish everybody peace. Assalam alekun, Shallom.

  106. ?????

    July 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Please I have a question for the author of this article and all those saying that Islam is a religion of peace? Please why do Muslim refugees from Libya, Egypt, Tunisia flock to Christian countries like Italy, Uk, etc, for refuge? Why do they not go to Iran, Pakistan or even Saudi Arabia that is super rich? The truth they say is bitter.

  107. ummu-salam

    July 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    No excuse is ever good enough for violence so whether a person kills another because of psychological issues,religious or political he should receive the full weight of the law and get the appropriate sanction.Most of those who kill others in the name of religion often have other underlying issues/motives.people who have nothing to live for,wake up,join a crazy movement for the sake of justification and decide to take others along with them?Islam is a religion of peace and a million extremist strapping bombs to their chest wo,kt change that,we will continue to preach peace and tolerance to those who would listen and who practice islam as it should as for those who believe in violence for whatever reason then let them and their accomplices be punished for their taking the lives of other people and destroying properties and places of worship.The 1st verses that was revealed in the Holy Quran says”Read” (several hadiths talks about the importance of education and the need to always strive for knowledge) so how can ‘Boko haram’ (meaning ‘education is forbidden) be islamic?…logically speaking how can any movement that forbids education be right?;a typical case of the ignorant being led by the brainless!
    To this author I say keep it up!if dis is where u can let your voice be heard then speak out!May Allah reward you abundantly.

  108. Mai Mai

    July 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    Ms. Mamman, well done, you have touched on points that make us all reflect. Truth is, you can never really change peoples views. We don’t make it easy for ourselves but education and knowledge are key. As I said some months ago, Lack of Boko (education/knowledge) is the haram. Shukran for this and jazakallah khair!

  109. Reel

    July 31, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    From India, to America, to the UK, to Spain, it is Muslim extremists! There are other religions aside from Isalm in the world, yet we don´t hear of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhists or followers of Sango wrecking havock on the scale we have haerd Muslims in recent years!! Haba! Enough is enough!

    To all those saying that we need to read the Quran, no we don´t! I don´t need to read the sanskrit, Torah or any other holy book to see that people of other religions are not violent.

    There are many moderate muslims in the world but that doesnt take from the fact that there also those of the same faith that are killing in the name of the allah. Abeg stop blaming the media and wake up to reality!! There has to be violence for the media to sensationalise. So instead of writing articles, go and re-educate fanatics in tour community!! Enough of the denial!

    I am tired of Muslims telling Christians to be tolerant, in modern times when have you ever heard of Christians attacking Muslims in the name of Jesus? Despite the multiple bloodbaths in the North in the last decade Christian reprisals in the South is practically unheard of!! That to me is tolerance and turning the other cheek!

    I am a Christian born a Mulim, with many Muslim family members, but I honestly do not know what is in the water above the Niger!!

  110. Nafisah Ade

    July 31, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    I am a muslim and i have never read it any where in my quran where terrorism, murder or any type of killing is encouraged. The main problem of the northerners is illiteracy; they believe what their leaders tell them. Their leaders use them for their selfish interests. They have mixed islam with their cannibalism culture.

    The act of inciting terror in the hearts of defenseless people, the wholesale destruction of buildings and properties, the bombing and maiming of innocent men, women, and children are all forbidden and detestable acts according to Islam and the Muslims. Muslims follow a religion of peace, mercy, and forgiveness, and the vast majority have nothing to do with the violent events some have associated with Muslims. If an individual Muslim were to commit an act of terrorism, this person would be guilty of violating the laws of Islam.
    It is stated in the quran that “God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your homes. God loves just dealers. (Quran, 60:8)”

  111. chinny

    August 1, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Salāmun ‘Alaykum. No offense am not muslim, but i do speak arabic, and have studied islam , found that though it professes peace in many scriptures it does have parts that advocates violence and inequality for women and other religions, especially through the different taxes, especially the dhimmi, so my dear nigerian sister, all you say is good and all and yes christianity has had its fair share of blood shed, and so has Islam, go back and do more research, because these words you wrote are all good, but nowadays especially in Nigeria Extremist Muslims wants to take over through Sharia laws, without understanding that there are other religions around, and that we do live in democracy.If you look at Nigerian constitution,it has been revised so many times just to appease the Muslims. If I may add, but most Nigerians like to play like this never happened, but Biafra started mainly because of Muslim extremist who murdered Easterners in the North just because they were christians, Nigeria seems to play like Biafra was a tribal thing, when it was both economically,religiously,tribally..etc . But the truth My dear Nigerian sister is that education is the best tool to either corrupt or stop bigotry, and as we know many Muslims in Nigeria, especially the extremist refuse to send their children to non muslim schools, forbidding western education,so lets stop fooling ourselves. I dated a devout muslim for a year and when my younger brother tried to date his cousin they went crazy on him, to the fact of marrying the poor girl off to an older man, just because my brother was christian. Again I have Masters on Islamic study, not because I didnt have anything else to do, but because I wanted to understand Islam from Africa to Middleeast to the Western world, and to form my own opinion, and i believe that Islam can be a religion of peace, if scholars teach young impressionable muslims about Peace and acceptance and tolerance of others.Salāmun ‘Alaykum.

    • Rainbow

      August 25, 2011 at 11:04 am

      @ Chinny go and read the book ”Half of a yellow sun” by Chimamanda Adichie. It will give you the background information of how biafra started. Biafra was NOT started by the hausas. The hausas went ballistic ”AFTER” ibo soldiers murdered the Sardauna oof Sokoto and Tafawa Balewa and were making jest of the situation thereafter, which drove the hausas crazy. They did not start the war, they were provoked.
      Prior to this, many ibos were trading and living in harmony in the north…..Go back and dust your history books…i love this forum because it has been very educative…however, more importantly it has taught me the importance of seeking accurate info and to further my understanding without bias on controversial info…you may speak Arabic or may even be Arab but that doesnt mean a thing especially if a non Arabic speaker has gone the extra mile to gather accurate information….also, information can be tricky based on how we interprete…
      You are right, women are uneqaul to men in Islam but i believe its the same in christianity, i stand to be corrected. God bless xx

    • Rainbow

      August 25, 2011 at 11:23 am

      @ Chinny with regards to the story of your brother…thats quite sad but it happens both ways..i hope that doesnt further bias you. My very close childhood friend was severely heart broken after he was refused marriage to his christian girlfirend. Her mom completely refused to have her marry a muslim man and you know what they were both of the same tribe and educated to a masters degree level…
      Even today, there are christians who say and are told in church that they cannot be ”unequally yolked” by marrying a muslim. this is life, there are always 2 sides to a coin..that’s why we should try to be objective and unbiased and unite against hatred not religion race or tribe.

  112. ?????

    August 1, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Are you kidding me? Can you really look a non-muslim in the eye and tell them that Islam is a religion of peace? Last Christmas on CNN North American there was this big news of a Christian woman who had been condemned to die by hanging because she insulted prophet Mohammed. She was 45, a mother of 5 young kids.The only witnesses in her case were her accusers and even at that, there was no evidence.
    The whole world including Pope Benedict rose up to intervene. They begged the govt of Pakistan to release the woman and abolish the blasphemy law. For at least one week, there were several protests in Pakistan. Thousands of children, men , women, both young and old, came out asking for the woman to be killed immediately. They threatened that there would be war if she was pardoned.
    I know that in countries like the US, there’s the death penalty for mostly murderers who for safety concerns cannot be released back into the society. But what you don’t ever see is thousands of people coming out in support. In fact the reverse is the case.
    On the day of the protest in Pakistan, an Islamic scholar/ cleric told CNN reporters that if the government would not kill the woman, then his mosque would pay $6,000 to have her killed. So how can the writer of this article, an ordinary mosque going Muslim, that does not even wear the hijab claim to know more than her religious leaders. If you want to read that story for yourselves, below is the link: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/Thousands-Rally-to-Uphold-Pakistani-Blasphemy-Laws-112430964.html

    • Naija4life

      March 27, 2012 at 5:36 am

      Abrahamic faiths are ALL similar…if you are a christian please explain how u reconcile these words of christ as peaceful…
      LUKE 19 VERSE 27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them–bring them here and kill them in front of me…..Please lets get real and preach peace and tolerance for one another..

  113. ogidi maryam

    August 1, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I am proud 2 b a muslim,ramadan kareem

  114. N.O.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I deliberately shun blogs like these for many reasons. People are given a platform to express their beliefs, no matter how worrying or hateful they might be. Even more so, it gives them the cover of anonymity. So what is more worrying is that if the number of commentators in all their hate is a reflection of the community in which we reside, then there is a lot more hate and intolerance within us than we fear to admit.

    I am a muslim, and I have come across and befriended an interesting mix of people. I have had buddhists and hindus as best friends; Christians, Jews, and muslims. What I have upheld and have deemed utmost in all cases is respect; not just tolerance, but respect. I have respected that these are right thinking people that have decided in all sanity to believe in what they will; and so far none from this mix that I have come close to has preached any sort of extremism.

    I commend the author, and I am proud as I know her, because the truth is whether within our religion or across religions, we are all actively in the search for truth. And personally I would say the best of us is that one that is actively searching and not just coming to conclusions. It will be hard to try and tackle each one of the major points I have noticed spring up one by one. Yes, I do agree with the people that say we must rise up against religious violence actively, and tackle most importantly bringing down these ideologies. It is not by retaliating or sending in the army that we will get solutions. If it is a widespread belief, there will always be someone to act as perpetrator. The author has used a platform available to her; take the knowledge that you will from it (if you wish),render suggestions politely if you wish. The truth is we are all one community and we can tackle our problems together. People have rightly said, no suicide bomber or mad man gives warning to a favoured party before lashing out, we are all potential victims.

  115. N.O.

    August 1, 2011 at 10:58 am

    There are muslim organisations such as the IET that is actively dialoguing with the people of Boko Haram for example to try and tackle their ideology. Personally, I believe (keeping true to my belief of respect), let them do what they will with their lives, as long as it does not affect the people living around them. Nobody should die because some people believe western education is wrong. That is crazy in all languages. By the help of Allah we will rise against it, and the aim is to tackle it from the roots.
    I believe it is not a religion that has a flaw, but the people that are practicing it. We should not point fingers. Violence has been practiced under various umbrellas; for me, none is justifiable unless it is in the act of defense (then you might ask; who is the attacker?)
    It seems there is also a party of people fixated with this virgin thing. I know a lot of muslims that find this laughable. I think it came up in the media sometime ago and it never died down. And I think people see it as some sort of muslim anthem or pledge or oath we were taught in Quranic school. But I have not been in those concentration camps where these suicide bombers must be raised; maybe that journalist that came up with it as sole incentive has, and that is what they must teach them. Educate yourselves about jihad; as explosive as the word may sound now thanks to the media. The strongest of jihads in Islam is Jihadun nafs…the struggle of the soul. Some might call it the conscience, but it is generally the struggle for good over bad.
    Islam is a religion of peace, read about it! Not in a bid to try and convert to the religion. Read to know. Read so you can ask meaningful questions, and you can better appreciate what is around you. Do not judge the religion by the people practicing it alone; we humans are flawed, but what Allah gave us is perfect and complete. Read our history, and how Muslims and Christians resided side by side in Arabia for centuries; how it was a Christian monk Waraqa that confirmed that Prophet Muhammad (saw) was indeed a prophet of God; and how it was a duty of the muslims (that was carried out) to protect the Christians living in their community.

    “Rivers, ponds, lakes and streams. They have different names but all contain water. Religions have different names, but all contain truth.” – Muhammad Ali

  116. Nomy

    August 1, 2011 at 11:11 am

    On this one….. I hold my thoughts! Comments? Totally reserved!

  117. zk

    August 2, 2011 at 3:00 am

    great write up. smart words by mizz.
    we alot more thoughtful and insightful comment and suggestions. many of the comments here are just bias, blinded which represent a majority if the average nigerian. we all sit and think about such sensitive matters more carefully and not just throwing silly comments around..
    word.

  118. mii

    August 2, 2011 at 10:39 am

    Miss Very religion-tolerant girl, et al:
    “it is the mark of an educated mind to entertain a thought, even if it doesn’t accept it”.
    If you, and all like you thought along these lines as Aristotle did, the world would be a better place. If u had read and understood this post appropriately, you would have spared us this unsavoury comment. The education is necessary for all; so that the faithful practice their faith more correctly, and evidently for others to respect what is sacred to people of other faiths than theirs. Your comment is a pen-equivalent of the physical intolerance showed by the less educated people you so scathingly described. We would all do well to learn and think before we speak or act. Kudos to you smamman.

  119. Alpancino

    August 2, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    Great article!! Most of those comments are very stupid, whats makes you think that all muslims are terrorsits, don’t you know that most of the people who are terrorizes the world are just uksing islam as a mask to commit those acts. I advise that if you are not educated about something, ask questions dont just assume. FYI, you dont need to like a religion, but you ought to respect it.

  120. abisola

    August 2, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I am a christian and i strongly agree that Islam is a religion of peace,i have had my own share of agruement especially in my office and all i tell my fellow christians is to look at the muslim guys amongs us and their behaviours will humble you.
    Gossiping at the work place is by xtians(well maybe my workplace),fighting, malice keeping,backbiting,i beg thumbs up for you. A true islamic scholar fears God to an average christian.

  121. Adedoyin

    August 4, 2011 at 12:31 am

    Dear sis, what an enlightening piece you’ve written. It’s true that there are muslims who falsely represent Islam, and fail to understand it’s TRUE teachings, but you can find such cases in all religions. Point is, to truly understand a religion we must draw our attention to what it teaches & not necessarily towards those who claim to follow it. You’ve shed light through the means in which you could, and not everyone would do that. I really appreciate that, and hope you’ll continue to write about important matters relating to the beautiful religion of Islam.

    Masalaam

  122. amizobaldegirl20022yahoo.com

    August 4, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    every religion has its bad and good people its unfortunate some muslims use religion as an escuse to kill,but wen a muslim home is robbed and someone is killed we don’t go about boudmouthing or judging other religions,that’s because we know that like brotherss and sisters from the same mother u might have a good and a bad one,and seems to me like its only terrorism when its done by a muslim every other killing done around the world the media has a special way of classifiying it.i dont think there is anything we muslims who know that Allah forbids killing can do about the others who don’t,so i chose to ignore anyone who has anything negative to say about islam,i know what the teachings say so go ahead and hate,the bad will still do bad.
    and if you chose to judge every muslim before getting to know them then go ahead you know what that makes you.

  123. TEEDEE

    August 5, 2011 at 7:55 am

    tnks for the write up . pple should look at situation from a reasonable point of veiw .sometime ago it happened at my area where an islamic jihad poster was pasted on a church sign board this almost caused fracard in the area though i interven and point it out to both parties that is not the religion but some pple are just self centered i had to remove the posters by my self .the question is that cant problems be caused without attaching it to religion . any right thinking person will not kill a living being like her in the name of religion ………………..may almighty allah guide us amen

  124. Loma

    August 9, 2011 at 9:53 am

    I’m sorry but its hard to see Islam from your point of view, I grew up in the north and I can’t describe to you the mental torture involved in knowing that the people you interact with everyday can actually hurt you in the name of their religion. If you look closely you can even see their masked hatred for you just because you are a Christian and also from the south. The frequent killings and riots got so bad (..and yes we lost friends too) until we had to move back south. I often heard the northern muslims claim that the southerns are not practising the true religion because they are not as violent.. and yes you can quote me.

  125. Dee Mist

    August 9, 2011 at 11:25 am

    @ smamman…May Allah bless you for this write up.
    Let God be the judge of all.

  126. jennietobbie

    August 12, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I am gonna say this: I see PEOPLE not religion; I see PEOPLE not color; I see PEOPLE not culture….I JUST SEE PEOPLE.

    I have my flaws and I am a Christian. We all do, regardless of who we are; where we are from; or what we believe in. You have to be VERY human to understand that FACT!

    When you have Muslim family friends and have been to the mosque to observe their religion and listen to what they have to say and you are a CATHOLIC and they’ve been to mass and recited the Rosary with you….you are BLESSED with RESPECT!

    The gist is that WE ARE ALL THE SAME! And the absurd thing about this whole intolerance is that we are serving the same GOD who CLEARLY created us all to LOVE each other.

    Honeybuns, if you believe everything on the TV and other social networks(and people’s opinions) I have this message for you: It’s one thing to be IGNORANT, but it’s another messy level of stupidity to be IGNORANT AND STAY THAT WAY!

    Education is not all about getting your A’s and B’s in your class; some things are learned outside the classroom and you don’t need grades to pass those experiences. GET OUT AND HAVE RELATIONSHIPS WITH HUMAN BEINGS NOT WITH FACELESS PEOPLE ON THE INTERNET.

    Thank you Smammam and BN for posting this…

  127. TJawiee

    August 13, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Seriously, a lot of people practising Islam nowadays its either they dont have a clue of what the Quran says or they are just bunch of dummies and ignorants. The way they practising the religion today is definitely not the way the Prophet (P.B.H) laid down the foundation. Cheers!

  128. Dee

    August 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

    loving this dialogue!

  129. just passing

    August 18, 2011 at 8:01 am

    With both Christian and Muslim parents, I’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to both worlds. Your comments seem to imply that Christianity or Christians have no flaws or wrong doings when this couldn’t be further from the truth. Do I begin from the way the religion has been so commercialized with self-proclaimed prophets selling the religion to gullible people for hefty fees or maybe those killing young children in villages everyday under the claim of “exorcising demons and witches” in the name of Jesus? But no one calls upon these people because we know that it is just the minority that take part in these practices. If we can be so tolerant towards the wrongdoings of other religious groups, why not towards Islam? Maybe I should mention that the ongoing wars between Muslims and Christian extremists in Nigeria are indeed just that, a war. Not bullying or oppression from the Muslim side. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone any form of violence least of all under the pretense of religion, but people are quick to criticize what they don’t know. Islam is a religion of peace and admonishes unlawful killing. Those who fight and falsely call it ‘jihad’ do so knowing full well that they are fighting for personal gain. They interpret the Quran to suit their own intentions. They say they do it in the name of Allah but on the day of judgement, they will be shamed and their faces will be black. Criticize the minority who engage in such acts, please go ahead. But please, do not criticize the majority nor the religion as a whole. Thank you.

  130. Matter of fact

    August 22, 2011 at 3:52 am

    Your numbers are flawed. No one is in denial. As a matter of fact this article has very interestingly demonstrated the reality of how HARD it is to communicate with people especially if they have their minds MADE UP. FYI, ALL the muslims have responded that it is wrong and it is an issue so DENIAL os a false term.

    Likewise it is ignorant to conclude DESPITE the effort to inform you that there are people speaking against this problem, that people are doing NOTHING because again, ur minds are all made up and ALL you can see is what the MEDIA throws at you..

    My conclusion, many people have a lot in common with terrorists, MADE UP one tracked MINDS, invariably impossible to sway or educate… and intolerant…and oh, its the terrorists who are in DENIAL. Until we as a people are able to open our minds and address the underlying issues it will continue to be bla bla bla..sad..

  131. spikinmamind

    August 23, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    To cut the long story short, Muslims should educate their own to stop killing people before coming here for a pity party period! The day they start valuing human lives is the day people like me will start CONSIDERING them as a religion of peace. They should learn to love and tolerate their fellow human beings if they want that in return. The so called peaceful and educated Muslims, what are they doing about the killings or are they afraid to speak up about the wrongs inside their religion. When we hear that some Muslims are speaking up against the killings then we will know they are really peaceful.

  132. k

    August 26, 2011 at 4:27 am

    Writer, this article is very informative. if the uneducated islam are informed, i guess they will stop killing innocent lives in Nigeria especially they southerners,and corpers. very painful to see ur brother been burnt to death. very painful for parents to see their children been kill after so many year of going to school and how the parents manage to keep him up to that stage of life. Years and decades ago, Islam was a peaceful religion but not today. Don’t be mad if u’re in a place u are been discriminated by Africans. islam was the most truthful religion decades ago. can’t say that today. # may the souls of corpers who lost their lives to violence rest in peace. #victimofviolenceinnorthern9ja

  133. Brave Heart

    September 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    I am a Christian and I have a lot Muslim friends. I understand what the Quaran says to an extent and I know there is no violence intended. So well said there.

    I am not here to argue religion but let us treat each other the way we want to be treated, period.

  134. chacha

    October 28, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    some northern muslims are extremists and that is why they practice all they read in the quaran without common sense coming to play.I sincerly appreciate the aspect that they are obeying what the quran says by being sincere and trustworthy to an extent..But the aspect of sheepishly accepting and adopting violence because it has been sited in one one of two places in the quaran (just like in other holy books) without allowing conscience or common sense to guide them is seriously an offense and not acceptable.I believe that with proper education and enlightenment from the clerics and people they hold in high esteem,these extremists will come to realise that they are taking the whole issue to a bad angle. The people are to be blamed ,not the religion.Afterall we have some yoruba muslims and they are not showing this trait.

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