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Hijab Crisis in Kwara: Look Beyond Religions

When you see Muslims and Christians at loggerheads in a society in this country, look behind religion and you will find a bigger problem that both are hiding in the shadow of deceits.

Hijah crisis in Kwara should be seen as a sign of an underlying social issues within the state. A state that has lived in harmony among all shouldn't just wake up overnight to find itself in that situation. There are surely some factors that led to the blown up into what we see right now. 

While Government will eventually have
its way by way of legislation and force to compel schools to allow Hijab, it will evidently be a no solution if it doesn't address the social issues that give rise to the crisis.

Watching the video of some Muslim boys in Ilorin throwing stones at a church some days ago gave me enough reasons to ponder.

On two different WhatsApp groups, long before this crisis become visible , I had inadvertently bumped two classes of people of Kwara extraction from the two religions

The first was an elderly man who spent his time preaching against traditional religions and  values  under the guise of revising history.  He spoke on ways to exorcise the curses that has afflicted Yoruba nation and made them incapable of prospering. While he received some kudos for his grasp of history, I was not in mood to let his hypocrisy go,  so I put some questions to him right in that group and challenged him to answer them. 

Rather than answer, his initial questions was "who are you? What is your name? Who blah blah.." I refused to be dragged into identity issues and eventually managed to get him to focus on the issues. I told him pointblank that he is spreading confusion and the ensuring religion crisis that will visit Kwara may be far from what he think. 

While his position was to attack the traditional religions openly, I  could see clearly that he  exhibited intolerant towards other religions. He couldn't attack the Muslims on the group directly as they were in larger number so he chose the traditional religions and then brainwash his listeners to see it from history angle. Indeed, it has always been a recurring pastime of Muslims and Christians to unite together against traditional religions while in realty they are both indirectly hostile towards each other. The traditional religions they despite do not really care or moved by their antics. 

The second case is that of a young man who apparently read my message (which was unconnected to religion) upside down and mistook me for an atheist. I have long realize that not talking about religion and not telling your religion disposition to strangers can sometimes be a blessing as it helps unravel their character more quickly. The young man ventured dangerously into religion and somehow managed to accuse me of attacking his religion all because I said religion should be private affair and because I refused to answer his questions. The ensuring discussion went on to becoming opportunity for him to brag about his religion. I was in no mood for such topic and ended it in my usual way of deploying sarcasm which totally unsettled him and eventually, changed the topics.  and I realized from this and many others that Kwara is sitting on a keg of gunpower. Both incidents are on different Kwara platforms and there are others I will not like to talk about.

There are Christians in Kwara as there Muslims but it appears that the Muslims in Kwara have forgotten about this and possibly because of the Emirates model of tradition adopted in Ilorin. They have forgotten that Kwara is more than Ilorin. They have forgotten that Yoruba will always have their traditional values, wherever they are.

While the state grapple with the current hijab controversies that is dangerously being mishandled,  I am of view that nothing other than digging out the actual problems can reset Kwara to its Harmonious past.

Judging from the antecedents, in other states where religions have fractionalized their people, there is always much more than religion behind the crisis that engulfed them. Kwara leaders should therefore look beyond the Islam and Christianity to address their issues

On a final note, whenever I see Muslims and Christians fight or agitate I see even a bigger problem for Nigeria as a whole. These are foreign religions which ordinarily should never be state religions but here we are two of them fighting over rights that are not theirs while uniting to destroy traditional values of the people because of their pagan past. The day traditional religion people start asking for their own religion right and freedom should be a day of awakening for everyone.

In my humble view it is only the traditional religions that has been more tolerant in Nigeria, the Muslims and Christians  preaching peace and tolerance  have been the same ones upsetting our life with their intolerance and unbridled competition for social space. The reason Nigeria is still standing however is because the majority of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria are still inclined to their traditional values. And without these moderate group, the country may have been consumed by religion crisis.

When you see Muslims and Christians at loggerheads in a society in this country, look behind religion and you will find a bigger problem that both are hiding in the shadow of deceits.

I am Isqil Najim

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