The Niger Delta

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The Pope's Comments, Islam and Nigeria

After reading the story of violence following the pope's speech on this blog I decided to write my reactions and questions here.
The main reaction I have is that of fear!
Fear for my friends leaving in northern Nigeria because I know that in situations like this, whenever there is turmoil related to religion, it boils down violently to Nigeria.
History will prove my point;
In February 2000, at the time of the introduction of the Sharia system of legislature in some northern states in Nigeria, the violence that erupted claimed hundreds of lives.
Similar incidents was recorded at intervals in subsequent years especially in April, 2003 during/after the Iraq war.
The worst of them was in February this year, at the height of the cartoon controversy about the prophet Mohammad published by a Danish newspaper. Some Islamic militias felt that the best way to correct such cartoons was to kill innocent Nigerians.
I couldn't,t believe it...
Most, if not all, of the those who died in the crises may not even have seen the cartoon, not to mention knowing the person who published it.
Sadly enough, this incident and its retaliation in the eastern part of Nigeria lead to the greatest number of civilian death after the civil war.
Today, the Muslim world is angry again.....
already people have been killed in Mogadishu,
Bombs in churches in the West Bank...
my fear is that it may trickle down to Nigeria.
And, my question is Why?
what have the victims done to deserve been brutally murdered like this.
The pope made a statement quoting a comment that has been there for hundreds of years, in an isolated discussion, I don't think its anything new.
He has also apologised to Muslims, why kill somebody because of that?
From their daily TV shows and discussion Muslims have been trying to convince the world that Islam means peace and unity.
But, it seems to me that some of them are trying to confirm the quotation the pope made.
This is wrong. Religion should not cause violence, let us learn to uphold the sacrosanct nature of the human life.

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