Nigeria and Terrorism: Is there still hope?

There are reports of continuing atrocities in Nigeria by the radical group Boko Haram. It is thought as many as 200 people have been killed in recent weeks as a result of attacks in the Gwoza hills, near the border with Cameroon in a brutal campaign of violence.

Our intern Abubakar Ado Jibrin in Nigeria writes of the latest developments in his country as follows:

It is of very important to note that the violence in Nigeria is not wholly religiously motivated.  That said the Lords Resistance Army, (LRA), that has been responsible for the killing of over 200.000 innocent lives in Uganda and other parts of East Africa are doing what they are doing in the name of religion. They claim to advocate the use of “The Ten Commandments” as the guiding framework in governance.

In this regard, “Boko Haram” and the “LRA”, have real commonality, since Boko Haram want to govern by the caliphate’s doctrine.

But an unbiased study of the phenomenon, leads one to understand that they hide under the cloak of religion to conceal their goal and objectives which are politically motivated rather than just purely religious.

On the other hand, the killing of Christian in the middle belt region of Nigeria can be traced back to the manipulation of tribal adversaries, which politicians exploited tactically and used to remain in office.

Karl Marx had it right, when he said that religion is the opium of the masses. Then why does no one question how skillfully politicians manipulate the people in a country like Nigeria where illiteracy and lack of political awareness prevail.

Tolerance means resistance to what you feel is not compatible to your respect for the other. Then why don’t we promote something more diplomatic and even less complicated: The concept of Recognition. It simply means acknowledging the vast difference in religion and ideology and even our cultural differences, and agreeing to settle down harmoniously without any disagreements and giving great respect to those points of disagreement that do arise.

The Nigerian political system is failing with regards to promoting the principle of recognition of the rights and traditions of the other. We must not allow anyone to try to supplant the long decaying gospel of tolerance.

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