By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo
An Islamic scholar, Imam Tijani Dawud Igiogun, has called on religious leaders to campaign against terrorist groups who claim to be fighting to expand the frontiers of Islam in the country.
The cleric made the call while delivering a lecture on Terrorism and Islamophobia at the sixth Ramadan lecture organized by Nigeria Union of Journalist, Osun State Council, at the press centre Osogbo.
Dawud stressed the need for more prominent Islamic leaders and clerics in Nigeria to publicly denounce Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.
Quoting from Qur’an (60:8), which says Islam is a religion of mercy that does not permit terrorism noted that “God does not forbid you from showing kindness and dealing justly with those who have not fought you about religion and have not driven you out of your home. God loves dealers”
He added that Muslims are commanded to take lives of animals for food in a manner that causes the least amount of fright and suffering to know how Islam values life not to talk of human beings.
He cautioned Media practitioners to careful while reporting religion related issues and sensitizing the general populace of one another’s religious doctrines.
Imam Dawud charged all Muslims to emphasize that Islam is a religion of peace that uphold love between their neighbours, peaceful coexistence and the sanctity of human life.
He called on government to address issues of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, marginalization, exploitation among others, stressing that if decent jobs were handy, disgruntled citizens that end up as terrorist may have a rethink.
According to him, “Islamic religion clerics should not get weary in tactfully trumpeting splendid Islamic values, love, justice, forgiveness peace, pacifism and sanctity of human life with compelling hermeneutic.
“ These terrorists that claim to be Muslims have not in any way spared their Muslim ‘brothers’ in their attacks as often noticed. They as well as non-muslim have been victims of violence and terrorism.
“There is no gainsaying that religious conflicts have plagued Nigeria more than any other kind of conflict in it’s history as a nation. Therefore, if there must be relative peace in the country then religion must play an indispensable role for peace to attained,” the scholar said
Earlier, Chairman, Osun NUJ Council, Comrade Kehinde Ayantunji appreciated members of NUJ and other invited guests who deemed it necessary to attend the lecture.
Ayantunji urged the members of the union especially Muslims to use the holy month of Ramadan to pray God to restore peace to some northern parts of the country currently security challenges.
Describing Islam as a religion of peace, the NUJ Chairman charged Muslims to eschew any act capable of tarnishing their image.