Do Not Greet The Christians:  Intolerance And The Evil Indoctrination Of Nigerians Ii

Do Not Greet The Christians: Intolerance And The Evil Indoctrination Of Nigerians Ii

II

There are some things we need to understand. Things that I believe helped me overcame the wrong doctrines and unfounded sentiments. First, since my childhood, I have never believed anyone is infallible (Not even my parents. I used to argue a lot with my father on many issues. We still argue once in a while. Though, I let him win on most occasions). My motto is nobody is above mistake. What I have seen in most believers (Christians and Muslim) is that they so much rely on their religious leaders. A lot of my Christians friends would justify everything with ‘my pastor says’. Muslims would always round up their argument with ‘Sheikh this said that’. Like that explains everything.  That over reliance on religious leader’s opinions has led to wrong beliefs and evil ideologies. Most times, our religious leaders express their own personal thought as religious teaching.

Take for example; a former landlord of a family friend who ejected the family because they were Muslims. He told them he could no longer have Muslim pray in his house and that his pastor informed him that most Muslims engage in fetish activities. I have also seen a lot of Muslims who will never rent out their houses to Christians. When you ask such people their reasons, what they will tell you will nearly make you puke. One ‘scholar’ (those bigots are not worthy of that exalted title) once told me that Christian tenants in Muslim homes are usually with ulterior motive. That ulterior motive, he claimed, was to convert the Muslim landlord and his family. He also contended that one will never have peace immediately he allows Christians in his house. Mutual distrust and misconception, one might say.

The truth is most of these people who discriminate against others usually have little knowledge about the people they discriminate against. Their hatred is a direct product of teachings of their leaders and sentiment of their locale. We don’t tend to challenge our religious leaders or popular but largely unfounded sentiments in this part of the world. Especially among us Muslims, we nearly see God in our leaders. Those of us that fail to do that are tagged ‘liberal’ (by those who are friendly, some not so friendly call us other unprintable names.)

I was a member of an organization circa 2003-2006. The Amir (president) of that organization had a weekly lecture where he weekly told us about American wickedness against Muslims; Christians’ plan to take over the world, blah, blah,  blah. The organization was able to attract disillusioned and frustrated youth, who were looking for someone to blame for their woes. That membership, the Amir later used for his own political agenda (Are you getting the drift?). The members, totally brainwashed, were conveniently used as campaign tools during the 2007 and 2011 elections for candidates of the Amir choice. They couldn’t think for themselves again. So, if you want to seriously address the issue of intolerance in Nigeria, you first have to tell people that their pastors, imams, Alfas, Sheiks, prophet and general overseers are not infallible. They are not even saint. They are human being capable of making mistakes and telling lie for personal gains. Note that not only religious leaders help cultivate hatred. Some parents and relatives, too. A simple advice to everyone, please re-educate yourself.

Another thing we need to understand is respect. Respect me and I will respect you. And this paragraph will most likely go out to Christians. We need to respect each other belief system. Some Christians that I have met seem incapable of doing that. The diplomatic ones will just simply overlook your religion. Some on the other hand will never let you be. When I was in junior secondary school at Aipate Baptist Church Grammar School, I had a lot of problems with some of my class mates. They were aware I was a Muslim but couldn’t stop trying to make my religion look inferior to their religion. They nearly made me a radical because I had to be prepared for them. Most time, I beat them in debate concerning the two religions. The fact was I knew more about their religion than they did while they knew little about mine. Some Muslims are also guilty of this (I mean ignorance of one’s professed religion).But I never allowed this kind of attitude to change my approach to life. I don’t think I will ever understand people who tell me I am going to hell fire because I can’t see God their own way. But I will never blame others for their attitude. I will blame only them.

In the first part of this article, I put forward ignorance and miseducation as one of the root causes of intolerance. Ignorance can simply be corrected with education. I think it is high time we started teaching each other about our religions without trying to convert anyone. Some Christians believe that Islam makes it compulsory that all Muslims must have multiple wives. Most Muslims equate trinity to polytheism. Most would change those kinds of beliefs if someone could just explain it without asking them to become Christians or Muslims. We can even introduce a Joint Religious Course/Subject in our secondary schools.

I became who I am (i.e. a tolerant,open-minded, unprejudiced, and broadminded person)largely because I re-educated myself. I read a lot and widely too and I relate a lot with people of diverse background.  I try to learn about everything and everyone. I cultivate relationship with non-Muslims and I have formulated a law that a good Christian is a good Christian while a bad Christian is simply a bad person. Religion rarely makes you bad, I choose to believe. A pastor who slaps his church member at will or one who beats young children up or one who embezzles church fund does not represent all Christians.  Neither does an imam who marries ten wives or one who embezzles society’s money or encourages (or justifies) the hatred of non-Muslim represent all Muslims. Mark Twain was right when he posited that ‘all generalizations are wrong…’.

I respect Christians and their beliefs even if I cannot understand some of them. I will never hate anybody because he/she is a Christian, Buddhist or oracle’s worshipper for that matter. Some of them, I am happy to admit, are better than the so called Muslims. Kaycee (a writer on naiajastories.com) once asked his Christian mother who believes that anyone who is not redeemed is going straight to hell this (paraphrased) question;What if she had been born in Afghanistan to an imam father, would she not be a Muslim?We all need to ask ourselves something like that. I am one of those who believe that our birth, locality and circumstances largely determine our religion. So, what is our problem? One more thing, if God wanted us practicing one religion He could simply have created us that way. God, it seems, likes diversity. He says ‘O mankind! We have created you a male and a female and made you into tribes and nations, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is the pious one.’ (Quran 49; V 13). I believe something similar is in the Bible.

Lastly, I believe it is timeopen-minded, unprejudiced, tolerant and broadminded believersspoke out. We need to tell those dogmatists, narrow-minded, extremist, bigots that they no longer have place in our society. If religion cannot foster peace, love and harmony then I think we need to re-evaluate the reason for religion in the first place. If we believers continue on this pedestal of intolerance, bigotry, prejudice and hatred, then atheists may have a point. Let’s learn to live in love, peace and harmony like the first line of my Alma Mater anthem preaches.

Concluded.

 

                                                                        Iwo, January 5, 2012.

 



46 thoughts on “Do Not Greet The Christians: Intolerance And The Evil Indoctrination Of Nigerians Ii” by layrite (@layrite)

  1. This is simply brilliant!!!

    I can relate with this article because I carried out a similar re-education of myself and I have been able to uncover a lot of errors in the ‘organized’ religion practiced by Christians. I am a happier and more tolerable person.

    I am happy with this eye-opening article.

    1. Maybe I should rename this article the ‘Reeducation of Layrite’. Thanks for re educating yourself. It would be nice if you can try to re educate others, too.

      I am humbled by your comment.

  2. A very informative conclusion. I like that you wrote it from your own point of view, makes it very grounded.

  3. Hmmm *sighs*. My dear,it’s not that easy. That feeling is sort of inborn, something that’s almost a part of us. Why? Because diversity in religious beliefs grew from disbelief in the earlier existing ones. So, for that to happen, we must go back to our roots.

    I really know why I said this.

    1. What do you have in mind with going back to ‘our root’, because it is open to interpretation.

      Thanks for reading.

      1. What I mean by our roots is, what brought about the religion/belief; its history. I think with this, we can be able to understand why it came into existence in the first place and its true teachings. With this, we’ll be able to understand the truth behind each religion and why the members/teachers actually behave the way they do.

        1. Yeah, you are right.

    2. @Eletrika , You are absolutely right.
      This takes me back to one of my recent post titled “IS DESTINY REAL”. That piece generated a lot of diverse, contrasting comments which was my aim of publishing it.

      We should not allow religion dictate our absolute beliefs, all in the name of what we had been nursing in our minds from birth, most of which portray very subjective opinions, someof us do not even care to evaluate and become more objective about.

      Sincerely @Layrite, this should be an eye-opener for many religous extremists out there. There is an age old Yoruba maxim that says “It will be a shame on Christians and Muslims when idol worshippers make heaven and the so-called believers find themselves in Hell”. I stand to be corrected on this.

      Let’s preach Peace and Unity, and not RELIGION. We need genuine, Unconditional LOVE for ourselves.

      Like in Christendom, it is widely believed according a book of the Bible that “..Anyone who does not accept JESUS CHRIST as his/her personal Lord and Saviour cannot make heaven (Rephrased)

      Again in another development, some Muslims wrongly posit that “Anyone who does not observe his/her 5 times daily prayer will not qualify for “Al Janat” (heaven) while some Islamic scholars prove this wrong.

      If we continue to expand all these complicated assertions, we will be creating havoc, hatred which directly or indirectly reduces the effervescent power of Peace and Unity in our world.

      I personally believe that we all shall be judged by the Almighty based on what we did with our lives on earth and NOT Religion or how religious activities.

      The ultimate thing is “BE GOOD”.

      1. Are you trying to displace and replace the ‘preacher’? LOL. Just like everybody else on this issue, you are right. We need to place more emphasis on our behaviour and relationship with others. We need to really follow God instead of just invoking his name to cover up our inadequacies.

        Thanks for reading this and for your insightful comment (or commentary?)

        1. @Layrite, I am not in anyway trying to displace or replace as you said. Its about our interrelationship with one another. Respecting the feelings of others and always trying to render a helping hand to the ones who needs it around us.Not seeking for differences here and there.

  4. Peace and tranquility will reign if we can unite. Be good to all.

    1. You are right, bro. It is just frustrating that in this age some are still bent on spreading hatred and disunity. We need to stop them.

      Thanks for reading this and for your comment.

    2. You are right. It is just frustrating that in this age some are still bent on spreading hatred and disunity. We need to stop them.

      Thanks for reading this and for your comment.

  5. I started reading this article, guessing from the title what the general gist would be. What I did not expect though, was the balance you achieved in your opinions and expressions. I ended up reading it thoroughly, as opposed to scanning (my initial intention). I agree with you that intolerance is simply wrong. Thank God that recently Nigerian Muslims and Christians have started connecting like neve before despite the crises raging around us. Thank you for this article.

    1. Thanks for the nice word.
      And it is nice we are still connecting despite the odds. It is God’s grace and we shouldn’t squander it.

  6. “helped me overcame” should ‘helped me overcome’

    Interesting article. Bottom line for me would be – Respect Everyone’s Views and Opinions; Even If/When You Do Not Agree.

    Well done,

    1. Gbam. Respect; I think that’s the best expression. It’s not that easy to accept what you don’t agree/believe. You can only respect it.

      1. RESPECT! Even if you don’t agree.

    2. Nice one, the kind I expected from my humble Presido

    3. Thanks for the pointer. I have spotted some mistakes in the essay too, nothing adequate editing wouldn’t remove.

  7. I have similar views. I wish everyone would pause and just think.
    I respect your article.
    But, hehehe, be careful with your anti islamic views. Beware of Boko Haram.. If dem catch you?

    Salman rushdie had a bounty placed on his head by Ayatollah. And Rushdie’ s book wasn’t even this blunt.

    Lol

    1. @Kaycee Humour is your GAME. And no NS Writer is yet to beat you in that…LOL

      1. Really? Scratching head…;)

    2. Nothing anti Islamic in it. I consider
      myself a very dedicated Muslim but I cant live my life hating people
      just because they cant see from my perspective. Life is too short, bro.

      On Salman Rushdie and Ayatollah Khomeini’s now infamous fatwa.
      Ayatollah, as much as I respect him for some of his accomplishment (at
      least chasing away the imperial power which kept supporting a largely
      unpopular government count for something), I believe he erred. He didn’t
      even care to read the book which is purely fiction.

      Now if a bounty is placed on my head, I have no doubt that you guys
      would be there for me. Hen? LOL.

      Thanks for reading and your comments.

      1. Guy. If na that one…

        YOU ARE FREAKING ON YOUR OWN.

        1. I dey laugh ooooo. Then I will run underground like Rushdie, maybe I will get a Knighthood in the process. LOL.

  8. This is deep. But by the way, truly we need to get the Ayatollah here…
    Nice one. Made for an interesting read. Well done.

    1. Thank you. Spread the gospel. Lets kick out intolerance, it begins with youuuuuu. lol.

  9. Okay, after reading this again, I have to say another well done for writing simply and yet passing the message beautifully across.
    It is really going to be hard going through history to unravel most of the harm done @eletrika but it’s worth a try.
    @Kaycee, ehn, na so you popular? But @layrite why you no write the guy full name…?

    1. Yes @Suddie. What even brought about religion in the first place?

    2. I no know the guy full name? Do you?

      1. @babayada, tell me o…I no do History well…seriously. That’s why I said, it is going to be difficult going through history again…you know. Especially with so many other things to life…Well, do talk on. I really do gain lots from your posts.
        @Layrite .. hmm, na spirit im be…Maybe we go beg am to tell us. Weya, @kaycee , wetin be ya name…? Abi, you wan whisper am for my inbox? ;)
        @Layrite, I should comment again that you really do not write like the conventional Muslim. We need lots of your type, liberals. Sadly, most people of the religions would not consider being liberal as being worthy enough of being a steadfast faithful.

  10. gooseberry (@gooseberry)

    Cool analysis. Yeah, people attach too much importance to religion and forget to understand the main subject behind every religion which is GOD. In the process of being too religious, they forget to practice what their own religion preaches which is really crazy.

    Your religion preaches love your neighbour as yourself and you go about hating anybody that isn’t part of your religion.

    I just feel people should pay more attention to believing and worshipping their God than being too uptight about other peoples religion cos in the end, God won’t judge us according to our religion but our deeds.

    1. Absolutely right. Most of the so called religious people are mostly unGodly. They mostly practice the opposite of the religion dictate.

    2. @gooseberry You know most religions are not what they originally started as. Many founders of religions, I believe, would be devastated if they came back to see what is being done in the name of that which they founded. I say this, and mean it.
      Little wonder Ghandi said ‘I love Christ but dislike Christians’ … or something like that. Hmm…

  11. Again, @layrite, I like a lot of the things you said here. Very great work. This is so commendable! But you know what, I think in the end, human hatred is human hatred. As long as groups exist, there will be prejudice and discrimination. If it’s not Christian vs Muslim it will white vs black or men vs women or East vs West or North vs South or English-speaking vs French-speaking…you see we human beings have this inborn capacity to hate and strive with one another. That hateful tendency is the problem not so much religion. Some ppl just use religion as the basis for their own hatred…but even if there was no religion they would use something else… God help us.

    But terrific piece. I Salute again!

    1. Yeah, I guess you are right. Religion mostly is just an excuse. People are who they are.

      Thanks for ‘branching’.

  12. @Layrite, I have nothing to add to what you have said, except to thank you for writing a sensible, thought-provoking article. I especially like that you seasoned it with your life experiences.

    Too bad that many of the people who need to hear your message would probably not want to hear it.

    Please accept 20 points from me as a way of thanks.

    1. This is so encouraging. Thank you.

  13. In the light of the great work, following my brother and friend, @TolaO, I donate 10 points in my own thanks. You deserve far more.

    1. You truly rendered me speechless. But thanks. This is so encouraging.

  14. “Religion is the Opium of the Masses”. Few words have such truth in them.

    I have come to understand that the reason people can bend others to their will through Religion is their lack of education. It happens in normal situations, not to talk of religous-based ones.
    Even the Bible says in Hosea 4:6 : “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge”
    The Bible is meant to be a guide for how we live our lives, not a hammer to beat people on the head with. With the Bible and Quran, people do ‘selective reading’, picking out those verses that will help their cause.

    1 Cor 13:13 “Faith, Hope and Love, abide these three, but the greatest of these is LOVE.”
    Mark 12:31 “Love your neighbour as U Love Urself.”

    We DO NOT love ourselves well enough, which is why we find it hard loving others.

    Well done bro. I am sharing this.

    1. And you just touched on a theme that was abundantly expreSsed in d wonderful movie: my name is Khan.
      LOVE!

      1. @Shai. I love that movie.

    2. Thanks, Raymond. Adequate and well balanced education will solve most of our problems in this country including religious and ethnic intolerance.

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