Building Bridges- We are in this together


June 27, 2012 by Salman

There is an understandable trust issue between Nigeria’s Christians and Muslims.

Christians find it hard to trust Muslims, thanks not only to Boko Haram, but to a history of riots in Northern Nigeria in which gangs of our youth have acted out of the Deen and hurt and maimed innocent people.

Nigeria has large populations of Muslims and Christians North and South. For most part we have lived and interacted as brothers long before independence.

Unfortunately Nigeria has a record of being an epicenter globally of religious intolerance. I am not going to lay or share blame. This can not help.

We must forgive each other for crimes, yes, crimes of the past. No Muslim has ever been justified to take the law into his hands and kill an innocent person he believes is a non Muslim.

Islam does not give Muslims this right, and likewise no Christian has such right.

But right now, more than any time in our history, we face a single threat and challenge that embarrasses every human being who claims to adhere to Monotheistic faiths.

Boko Haram is an insult and embarrassment to Islam and a threat and to Christianity and Christians, Boko Haram is a menace.

The North is not safe any more, we look over our shoulders and thank Allah every night we sleep to wake the next morning. The sounds of bombs. Bombs! is common place and so many of us have heard the blasts and seen the remnants.

Some of us have lost loved ones, in the Kano bombing , over 200 died, most of these were Muslims. In church attacks, hundreds of Christians and security agents of all denominations have been murdered.

This is a time when we Muslims and Christians must build bridges.

The menace of Boko works and strives based on the principle of divide and defeat. Their sole tactic is to get us scared and then to hate each other, so we can fight their mad war for them.

We must not let them win. We are in this together.

We can not be scared of them. It is said that it is better to die for what we believe than live in deceit.

Dear Christians, we MuslimsAgainstTerror are yet a small and growing group, small in size perhaps but big in heart.

We hereby sincerely apologize on behalf of all Muslims for the acts of injustice that have been done to innocent Christians in the past and those that are being done today.

We are starting a movement that will teach, admonish and redirect our misguided youth towards intelligence, love and peace as a way of addressing grievances as against mob actions and violence.

As we are talking to you, we are talking to our own too. To parents, to talk to their Children, to teach them proper Islam, a deen of intellect and understanding, a deen that preaches that the pen is mightier than the sword. That the first word revealed in the Quran was not ‘fight’, but was ‘read’.

We are as appalled by Boko Haram as you are. When we go to Mosques, we are directed to drop our bags in the bush before approaching the Mosque, due to the level of distrust in the community.

We have friends, brothers, wives, parents and sons of the Christian faith.

We need your empathy, we need your help, we need your understanding so we together bring shame, miserable shame and disgrace to the corpse that is Boko Haram, the scourge to Nigeria, Islam and humanity.

The Quran lays out very well defined principles for engagement, it defines that even in war, we must only do so in defense and we must never attack three categories: Elderly, Women and Children.

Boko Haram are wayward people, they are hooligans and criminals. Please do not be fooled by their quoting Quran out of context. Allah(S) will punish them for this.

We are extending a hand of peace to you. We appreciate and recognize the doubts in some of you. But InshaAllah, slowly but surely we will earn your trust and together we will win.

There are proper ways of doing things, There are proper ways of combating the administration. Throwing bombs at Churches, Economic and security buildings, businesses, clubs and restaurants is the insane way.

Talk is cheap, by our actions you will believe, God willing.

Peace to all Nigerians.