The Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has called on every Muslim in the country to stand against the belief that Islam is a religion of terror, massive alienation and mindless killings.
This was the message of the governor to the Islamic organisation Jama’atu Izalatil-Bid’ah wa Iqamatis – Sunnah (Organisation Eradicating Propagating Sunnah), which paid him a courtesy visit in Osogbo on Monday.
Aregbesola said Islam by its nature rejects force, compulsion and violence that some characters are now impugning to it by their behaviours.
The governor said the mode of attracting people to one’s faith is by good deed, good character, love, accommodation rather than by violence and compulsion.
Aregbesola said it is wrong for anyone to believe that he should punish another person because of a difference in faiths, saying such person is trying to play God as God alone can reward or punish his creature.
“Islam rejects force, compulsion, killing and maiming and violence in all its forms. Islam encourages piety, good relation, nice character, a combination of which attract people to Islam.
“The absence of all these qualities brings hatred and rejection by the society. The message Islam brought to the world is that of peace, love, justice, tolerance and accommodation.
“So, any form of unilateral killing is wrong. Those who think they can punish others for whatever reason at all are playing God because it is only God that rewards and punishes,’ Aregbesola said.
He stressed that the Islamic clerics should be at the vanguard of using the religion to pursue peace, unity, good neighbourliness, tolerance, accommodation and humanitarian services.
The leader of the group, Sheikh Abdullahi Bala Lau commended the developmental stride of the governor in the state.
Lau specifically commended the governor’s effort in the area of education and knowledge dissemination.
He charged the governor to always lead his people with trust and dignity, adding that the group is proud of the achievement of the governor.
“We are highly impressed about your performance. We congratulate you on the physical development, transformation and progress in the state,” Sheikh Lau said.
He canvassed for religious and ethnic harmony across the country for peace and progress.