The Federal Government has been urged to introduce peace education in the curriculum at the different levels of Nigerian educational system so as to promote religious tolerance in the country.
The scholars who made the call at the unveiling of a book titled: “Between the Cross and the Crescent: A strategy for Religious Tolerance in Nigeria”, held on the 6th of January, 2019 in Lagos opined that intolerance is caused by ignorance hence, the need for proper understanding of peace which could be included in school curriculum.
The keynote speaker at the event, Dr. Saheed Timehin, an Islamic scholar and lecturer at the Lagos State University(LASU) said, intolerance “moves from suspicion to envy, fear and to hatred but when you are knowledgeable about your own faith tradition and that of have other people, naturally there would not be any problem”.
“We have the problem of introducing peace in our curriculum. Peace is something that begins in the home, it is an orientation, an attitude, you are either tolerant attitudinally or not. Therefore, we need to write a new set of literatures, novels, story books teaching the ideals of peace. We also need to package new films, soap operas etc that will teach tolerance and peace. With the advent of ICT people receive a lot of negativity which would be very difficult to tackle without peace education”, he added.
The author of the book, Mallam Ahmadu Folami informed that stated that his decision to write the book was spurred by, “my personal experience of having both Christains and Muslims in one family as children of a great shaykh, and that of the living faiths course we had with late Prof. Lateef Adetona in my masters’ class where he explained reasons why Christains and Muslims are always at loggerheads with one another and possible ways of eschewing this attitude and embrace peace for a living society, I was inspired in writing this book”.
He enjoined Christians and Muslims to live in peace and harmony adding that the Qur’an and Bible are revealed books from Allah and both serve as references to one another. “Many verses of both scriptures speak of showing compassion, mutual respect and love for others irrespective of their religion, to enhance the rope of brotherhood”.
He further added that peace co-existence between the two faiths will help the conflicts and terrorism in Nigeria and as well help Nigeria to achieve her sustainable development.
The book reviewer, Dr. Abdulrasheed Ashamu, an Islamic scholar and lecturer in LASU commended the author.
According to hum, the book is important and timely considering the level of religious intolerance going on within the country today.
“There are problems often times between the Christians and the Muslims on trivial issues and has led to killings maiming , burning of vehicles and houses among the Muslims and the Christians. The author wrote the book to give us solutions to all these. Among the solutions he listed was tolerance, we have to tolerate one another so as to live in peace and accord.
“The author of the book has done a very thorough job in terms of research. It is highly researchable and at academics it is highly welcome. I would love to recommend the books to all Muslims and the Christians so as to broaden their knowledge. He was able to do justice to the topic raised by most of the people, noting that both the synagogues preaches peace and therefore we should live peacefully.