By Rev’d Samuel Olalekan Awotunde
Greetings to my fellow Kwarans! I must appreciate a peaceful coexistence we have all enjoyed in the past. There is hardly a family in Kwara State, where all the family members are of one single religion. We all come from families that comprise of Christians and Muslims. Personally, I lived under brothers and sisters, who were faithful Muslims, and they never rejected me as their brother; though, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.
In fact, I have many of them, who would insist that the Gospel must be preached in our community. I can never forget how the Muslim uncles and aunties rescued us from attacks, when we staged a crusade in Marafa-Oja, Alabe-Oja and some other Muslim dominated communities in Kwara State.
My experience with thousands of Muslims in Kwara State shows that, Muslims in Kwara State are God fearing people, who respect Christians for what they believe. In fact, recently, after I ministered in Omu-Aran District Church Council Conference, a cousin of mine came with some of his friends to greet me, and asked that they all be prayed for, in the name of Jesus Christ. It was a moment of refreshment for all of us, who saw the need to raise family relationships above religious fanaticism.
I know that many of us have similar experiences with Muslims in our neighbourhood. However, I would be wrong to say I have never met few Muslims, who are trouble makers. Muslims, who specialize in causing problems. These individuals are instrumental to some religious mischiefs we have had, and are having in Kwara State. But are they doing this because they are Muslims? NO! They are evil on their own. Religion hardly makes people bad; people make religion bad.
Back to the Hijab issue in Kwara. I am not surprised at all. Sincerely, I have been expecting this, since wearing of Hijab has been mistaken for faithfulness and commitment in modern Islam. You are not a good Muslim until you use Hijab. In fact, modern Muslims are more concerned about how you dress, than how you live. This is a food for thought, for those who want to grow. Furthermore, I’ve been expecting it, since it started in Osun State, and University of Ilorin respectively. Confusion is a process!
Whether we like it or not, the current issue of Hijab in Kwara State is more of politics than religion. Don’t be surprised that, the reigning government might be doing this to gain the favour of some Islamic scholars in the land, in order to expand their political empire. Hmmm!
Here is a government that has failed Kwarans in all ramifications: workers not well paid; roads not constructed, water board epileptic, and electricity poorly distributed. Yet, the government focus on what divides and destroys.
Kwarans, we must be wise. Politicians are evil geniuses, who specialize in causing harm than good. They do what will benefit them, and them alone. They divide households and leave them to suffer the consequences on their own.
Government will go but we shall continue to live together. We must sit together without the involvement of divisive government, and proffer solutions to our problems, amicably. We must not trade our peace and harmony for Hijab, which never defines true religion, nor takes one to heaven.
To my brothers and sisters in Christ, I urge us to be wise and humble. Let’s defend our schools without hurting our neighbours. Let’s stand on our right, without necessarily making it a religious war. This is a provocation, but we must not dance to their beat or rhythm. We must prayerfully and constitutionally fight this battle. We can never preach to the people we hate and have hurt badly. LONG LIVE KWARA, THE STATE OF HARMONY AND GOD BLESS US ALL, IN JESUS’ NAME!
Opinion expressed here is that of the writer and does not in anyways represent the editorial stand of Fresh Insight