Lagos government promises to protect residents’ choice of religion
The Lagos State Government says it will continue to protect the right of residents to practise the religion of their choices.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State said this on Friday at the 34th National Quranic Recitation Competition, organised by the Centre for Islamic Studies, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, in collaboration with Muslim Community of Lagos State.
Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos remained a cosmopolitan state where people of diverse religious, ethnic and cultural orientations had lived together in peace, tolerance, mutual respect and understanding for centuries.
”As a government, we will continue to protect the right of every citizen to practise every religion of their choice without fear of harassment or discrimination,” he said.
According to him, Islam is a religion of peace; encouraging tolerance and harmonious coexistence among all people of different beliefs.
The governor said that as the country engaged in the battle against extremism, the Quran recitation programme would, among other initiatives, promote a true understanding of the religion of Islam.
He said that the programme would help make young people less vulnerable to beliefs that were not consistent with the teachings of the religion.
”It will go a long way towards inculcating, in the adherents of Islamic faith, the habit of reciting the Quran for a proper understanding of the words of God contained in it.
”The Holy Books, including the Quran, contain the commandments of God which are expected to serve as a guide for the conduct of adherents.
”For this reason, it is important to have sufficient knowledge and understanding of these commandments, through constant study.
”To underscore the importance of this, it was reported that the Holy Prophet Muhammed (PBoH), in his last sermon, emphasised that he was leaving behind for Muslims, two things that will continue to serve as a guide for them after his demise: the Quran and his personal examples,” Sanwo-Olu said.
In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr Mohammed Abubakar III, said that aside reciting the Quran, Muslims must work with the Quran.
”If we work with the Quran, there will be no issue of corruption,” Abubakar said.
He urged the government to apprehend bad people in the country and deal with them accordingly.
The President, Muslim Community of Lagos State, Prof. Tajudeen Gbadamosi, said that the event was to bring together young Muslim men and women from all over the country who had memorised all or parts of the Qur‘an.
Gbadamosi said that it was an important event emphasising the unity of the country and of the Ummah.
He said that it also promoted technical excellence of the recitation of the Holy Book adding that the recitation of the Holy Book would bring immense reward to the society.
”l therefore urge all participants to see this competition as providing an opportunity to learn more about one another and appreciate one another as Muslims.
“We may have different cultural backgrounds but we should cherish our two bonds, namely the bond of country and the bond of faith,” the president said.
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