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Attack on Christians: Islamic leaders should dismantle doctrine of hatred – Christian elders


ABUJA – The National Christian Elders’ Forum (NCEF), yesterday, called on Islamic leaders across the country to dismantle doctrine of hatred, attributing causes of various recent attacks on Christians to conflict of ideology.

According to them, currently in Nigeria it is Democracy versus Sharia in which one nation has two systems of government”, which they described as impossible’.

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The Chairman of NCEF, Solomon Asemota (SAN), in a statement signed and made available to Vanguard in Abuja, identified doctrine of hatred as major among several factors that is currently affecting the country.

His words; “What the nation is witnessing today can be attributed to three immediate factors: The doctrine of hatred that was used to indoctrinate Almajiris in the various Islamic Madrassas in the North where Muslims were deliberately taught to hate Christians and people of other faiths.

“Secondly, the concept of “sacred space” in which Islamists believe, for example, that the road leading to their mosque belongs exclusively to them.

“The “sacred space” concept is applied to every area in which Islamism has travelled. The belief is that all land on earth has been given by Allah to Muslims and it is theirs by right, to stage a Jihad to retake them.

“Thirdly, the result of one Nation operating two political systems of Democracy and Sharia.

“Nigeria is witnessing a recurring decimal of violence as a result of narrow minded religious indoctrination and the onus is on Muslim leaders in the country to take steps to reverse this anomaly in the best interest of everyone.

“No country can make progress and live in peace when a section of the population is consumed with hatred for other citizens.

“The National Christian Elders’ Forum wishes to emphasize, once again, that the main cause of the crisis in Nigeria is rooted in the conflict of ideology – Democracy versus Sharia in which one nation has two systems of government. It is impossible to have two national ideologies (Democracy and Sharia) as we witness today.

“Nigeria was established by our founding fathers, British and Nigerians, as a Democratic country to accommodate all the divergent groups within the nation. Those whose aim is to turn the Nation into a Sharia state are the architects of the present distress.

“The National Christian Elders’ Forum is calling on all Christian leaders to meet urgently and appraise the situation in the Nation with the Vice President, Pastor Yemi Osibanjo SAN as Chairman.

“There is the need for a holistic response to the relentless attacks by Islamists on Christians and Christian communities. Thereafter, there should be a meeting with Muslim leaders. This is the only way out of this agony, because while the Islamist Jihadists are few, the majority of Muslims must lead in the fight against Islamist extremism.

“If Nigeria is to remain a nation that all the citizens will call their home, Islamic leaders must champion the cause of dismantling the “doctrine of hatred” and promote Democracy which guarantees freedom of choice for all the citizens.

“Those pushing for Sharia ideology should be persuaded by their Muslim counterparts that in a multi-cultural and multi-religious society like Nigeria, Sharia as a national ideology cannot stand.

“If this is not done, and done quickly, then the nation that is tottering on the edge of the precipice will be pushed beyond the brink. Christians constitute a significant portion of the Nigerian population and, it is impossible to have Nigeria without Christians.”

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