Religious tolerance as a major ingredient for ensuring peace globally was the major message delivered at the opening ceremony of the 62nd Annual Conference of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Nigeria which took place on Saturday at Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government Area of Ogun State, southwest, Nigeria.
The event marked the official opening ceremony of the three day event with the theme: Pathway To Global Peace.
Speaking on behalf of the Governor of the State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Honourable Abdullah Adeyanju Binuyo, urged Islamic scholars to ensure that they taught the youths the real tenets of the religion of Islam as written in the Holy Quran and practised by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
“Islam respects the dignity and fundamental human rights of others particularly the adherents of other religions. That was why the Prophet lived peacefully among the different races and adherents of other faiths in Madina,” Binuyo said.
According to him, the religion of Islam does not compel anyone to practice any religion by force, “that is why what the Boko Harams of this world are doing cannot be called Islamic. Nobody kills in the name of Islam because our religion abhors taking people’s lives”.
Binuyo also commended the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at for its commitment to the development of Islam and mankind in general. “It is on record that the Jama’at through its schools and hospitals have not only provide education and health care delivery and services to the people, it has also provide employment opportunities to many Nigerians,” he said.
Also speaking on behalf of the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, the Governor’s Special Adviser on
Information and Strategy, Alhaji Lateef Raji, stated that the duty to make the world a peaceful place is the duty of everyone.
“As Muslims we should always endeavours to work towards ensuring peaceful co-existence among the various peoples of the world,” he said.
Raji stated further that there is the need to always accommodate the view of others, live peacefully with people of other religious beliefs because Islam itself recognises the beliefs and faiths of others.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ogun State Ministry of Information and Strategy, Alhaji Abdul Fatai Opebi, who represented the state Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, also spoke on the need for Muslims to live peacefully with the people of other faiths.
“Islam means peace. The name of the religion itself comes from Salam which means peace, hence, the religion of Islam has never condone compulsion in religion,” he said.
Dr Sa’eed Timehin, a lecturer at the Lagos State Univeristy (LASU), Ojo spoke on ‘Just and Equitable Relationship Between Nations as a Panacea to Global Insecurity’ while the Amir of the Jama’at, Dr Mashhud Adenrele Fashola spoke on ‘the Holy Qur’an as Constitutional Basis for Political Stability, Peace, Harmony and Prosperity’.