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Allama Sir Muhammad Iqbal
The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam
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This Islamic website offers facts about Islam and Muslims, Islam way and Islamic ideology. Online Islam - Latest Islamic World News, Articles on Radical Islamism & Jihad and Islam, Terrorism and Jihad
Ijtihad, Rethinking Islam
26 Dec 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com
Boko Haram: Re-Thinking the Question of Values and Tolerance in the Era of Terrorism

By Osomo Michael A

December 24, 2011









Terrorism is a global phenomenon and it is widely condemned by the global gladiators. Needless to say, the attendant consequence of terrorism is always brutal as human life is endangered, inaugurating some sort of political unrest in the society and consequently bring about political, social and economic retardation in the country. In the year 2004 , 200 people were killed in Spain, 57 in London, 77 in Norway and of course, 3000 were killed in 9/11 , New York as a result of the act of terrorism.

In Nigeria however, terrorists act is now a common theme, leaving every household in perpetual fear, unrest and abeyance of peace. Since the inauguration of our able president (GEJ), no fewer than five occurrence(s) of bombings have been recorded in the country. Recently was the august 26 attack on the U.N building in ?Abuja where about 23 lives were lost. While some people have posed that the president is incapacitated in handling the occurrence of this “deadly monster” in the country and therefore should resign from office others have retorts that the issue has more ethnic, religious and political undertone. Naturally, from the above, some questions readily will come to our mind, Is boko haram as deadly as it is during the leadership of Jonathan predecessors? How genuine is the course of the Boko Haram? Who supplies boko Haram ammunition? Don’t you think, Boko Haram has an allies wit the international bodies -Alqaeda? To what extent can the intelligence-gathering ameliorate subsequent bombings in Nigeria? Is it really true that one man’s freedom fighter (boko haramism) is another man’s terrorist? Of course, there are more questions than answer.

The insurgence of terrorism in our country has spurred this piece. To the pessimist, nothing can be done to stop terrorism, however an optimist hopes for change, he therefore, echoes for social change, both in politics and social economic development. Whichever way, there is one single clear fact, one cannot be completely exonerated from the political situation in the environment wherein he/she lives. Put differently, it’s quite difficult for one to become a passive observer, dispassionately about the affairs going on in your social milieu. Hence change and ways of proffering solutions to the endemic problem in our country is imperative. You cannot be too sure; you might just be the next victim.

Of all the reasons adduced for the act of terrorism in the country, I tend to be inclined towards the religious and political undertone. Tolerating others view should then be a way forward. Nigerians should start thinking of the question of values, treating the other person as an end in themselves and not as a means to an end in this period of terrorism would make a whole lot of sense. Genuine tolerance presupposes truths firm conviction, moral goodness and reasoness. If all these primary virtues are ignored, tolerance would only be tantamount to indifferences and indifference is a vice of its own kind, for it opposed to the basic virtue of charity. A person who does not care about religion, spiritual and moral matter may also not care what other think or do. We should all open our mind to this clear fact that:“ just as I accept my religious faith to be true on an absolute scale, I should expect followers of various religions to consider their own believe that are different from mine to be true ,I should expect others to exercise their freedom likewise by holding religious believes which are different from mine. If I allow the other to practice his religion which he holds to be true, I will not discriminate interactional endeavors on religious grounds. To be tolerant, I don’t have to believe that all religions are the same, neither do I have that all sorts of religious beliefs are equally true. Allowing others to hold beliefs different from mine neither refrains me from talking about my beliefs to others nor impels me to ignore my own religious ideals. As my mentor would say, I am only one among many, that my perspective on the world is only one among several. Because I am just one among many in perception of the world, the expression of what I have experienced, and the meaning I bestow on it is just one of the many perspectives of life. Consequently, I have to tolerate others’ positions and views in these perspectival multiplicities.

The Islam I know is a religion of peace, Christianity also of course would not want to perpetuate evil. It is our own colourations of our understanding of these religions that has bring about chaotic socio-political affairs.

It’s high time to say no to BOKO HARAM AND ALL FORMS OF TERRORISM IN OUR LAND! Let there be metting of sincere believers who want to listen to each other, to try to understand the religion of the other, to identify the areas of convergence and divergence and study together what they can do together. We may not approve of the behavior and thinking of the other person, but because he is a human being, a unique individual, with his own sense of meaning and unique mode of experiencing, and consequently a unique derivation of meaning and expression we are refrain from challenging or rebuking him/her. This way, the other person will be accommodated and thus results to a more ennobling and enabling environment. Here, thus, IN OUR OWN CANDID CONSIDERATIONS will purge out any religious grievances and of course, TERRORISM will be drastically reduced and impaired…let us join hands together to amputate this evil against our land. Thus, one man’s freedom fighter is, indeed and truth, revolutionary man that will inaugurate social transformation in every strata of the society, and not a terrorist that will bring social ordeals and blatant retardation in the society!

OSOMO MICHAEL A. Dept. of philosophy University of Lagos




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