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Dons state importance of inter-religious dialogue to peace promotion

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
04 August 2022   |   3:47 am
Religious tolerance key to peaceful co-existence, dons have said.

Religious tolerance key to peaceful co-existence, dons have said.

Speaking at a seminar organised by Centre of Peace and Development, Veritas University, in partnership with Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, West Africa, Profs. Benson Ohihon Igboin and Rafatu Abdulhamid agreed that economic and violent challenges do not essentially distinguish between Christians and Muslims, even though they may suspect themselves in other areas of co-existence.

Delivering a paper on ‘Which Talk is Not Enough? Interfaith Dialogue and Violent Conflict in Nigeria’, Igboin, who is Head, Department of Religion and African Culture, Adekunle Ajasin University, observed that the market force does not affect the Christians differently from the Muslims.

He held that dialogue “is an attempt to deal with such a common existential reality that does not have religious colouration, as well as religion-induced conflict.”

The don maintained that inter-religious dialogue has become more urgent as a result of pluralism and diversity.

He explained that although dialogue is to be understood as talking with the process, he added: “it is also to be viewed as attempting to embody mutuality, respect, sharing and trust across board.”

In his contribution, Abdulhamid, a professor of Islamic Thought and Gender Studies, Department of Islamic Studies, University of Abuja, who delivered a paper titled, ‘Islamic perspective of interfaith dialogue amid violent conflict in Nigeria’, explained that Inter-Religious Dialogue (IRD) does not mean that Muslims should become Christians or that Christians should become Muslims.

She added that IRD means each maintains their unique beliefs, while accommodating others and their beliefs also.

The academic stressed that dialogue “is an opportunity for the various groups to present their claims and respond to those of others as a means of forestalling chaos and breakdown of law and order.”