Nigerians are overly religious and that has hampered mutual understanding and cordial relations between the two religious blocks. The extremist disposition of some members of both groups tends to repel open-minded adherents of both faiths who seek a clear understanding of issues. Muslims understand Islam better than Christians; Christians understand Christianity better than muslims, but neither has taken time to teach the other. This has created a mental barrier between the two and helped widen the pychological distance between them.
There are grey areas in both faiths which require proper explanations to disabuse minds. The concept of TRINITY for instance is still a source of mystery to many muslims because they don’t understand its implications. Don’t just develop theories or opinions about it. Seek clarification and where certain things don’t appear conceivable to you, it doesn’t matter, because that’s what it is and you can’t change it. Instead of going about spreading theories and denigrading a faith and its adherents ,simply respect their peculiarities and treat them with dignity. It should not matter whether it makes sense to you or not.
The concept of JIHAD has been a big puzzle for many non-muslims around the world who see it as the act of compelling people to accept Islam. This is particularly so, as many terrorist groups today, have severally, in their quest for moral support and legitimacy, hinged their reprehensible acts on the desire to protect some fundamental religious values, beliefs, or doctrines. I don’t blame non- Muslims for feeling that way because it’s normal to have impressions, but have such non-muslims sought proper understanding and enlightenment especially from well-informed adherents of the concerned faith.?
Misconceptions about each other’s values, ways of life and social behaviour have been responsible for the psychological feuds between ethnic and religious groups and therefore hampered mutual understanding and respect. Survival in a multi- cultural society like ours requires mutual understanding, tolerance, accommodation and open-mindedness. That is why it is a secular society.
Submitted by Shu’aibu Muhammad Doro, News & Current Affairs Department of Unity Radio fm/tv Jos.