An Ebonyi State Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ibrahim Obiahu, has located the incidences of religious killings across the country to direct lack of knowledge of the basic tenets of the Islamic religion.
Interacting with journalists in Abakaliki at an event to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir, the cleric observed that neither the Koran nor the Bible has in any way sanctioned the taking of someones life without a just cause.
He noted that what were often seen as religious killings were manifestations of mischievous political killings, adding that the fact that such killings were mostly localized in a particular part of the country makes them to always assume a religious garb.
Obiahu, who also observed that such killings could come as a response to some form of economic deprivations, called on both Muslims and Christians to imbibe the lesson of Eid-el-Adha, also known as Eid-el Kabir, which emphasizes the life of sacrifice, to sustain the peace of society, adding that true love for God must reflect in total love for humanity as creation of God.
Shiekh Obiahu said: “The incidences of religious killing results as a direct lack of knowledge of tenets of the religion.
“Nobody has ever asked anybody to kill anybody for any reason whether Christian, Muslim, Jew, Zoroastrian, Shintoists, just name it.
“The Koran has not ordered anybody to kill anybody without just cause so also I am sure the Bible has also not ordered anybody to kill anybody
“So the killings we see are not just religious but political, sometimes economic
“When people feel they are disadvantaged at one side or the other, they initiate something and because it is done in a particular place, in a particular part of the country, it assumes a religious dimension
“So I do not think those are religious killings.
“They are mischievous political killings.”
Obiahu, who described the Muslim-Christian relationship in Ebonyi State as very cordial, further emphasized that a life of love, submission and obedience to Allah as exemplified by Ibrahim (Abraham), the patriarch of both Islam and Christianity was required for sustained peace and unity of Nigeria.
He said: “Now the Eid-el-Adha, which is the feast of sacrifice exemplifying the submissions and obedience of prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him) or Abraham, the Patriarch, to obey his Lord and sacrifice the only thing dear to him as at that time also shows us that we must sacrifice whatever have to sustain the peace of the society
“If you know you love God, you must love the society because the society is a larger reflection of the creation of God.
“So, the feast of sacrifice also will tell us sacrifice yourself, your comfort, your resources to make sure that there is peace anywhere you are if truly you are a believer in Allah (God).”
While pointing out that the significance of the celebration was “to resonate, to resound, to re-echo the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim who obeyed God to sacrifice his only son gotten at a very old age”, Obiahu maintained that “significantly, we too as humanity must take that practical step and practically obey the will of God”.