Nigerian Muslim Community in Italy has strongly condemned religious fanaticism in Nigeria. In a meeting held on 14th April 2012 at Rivarolo Mantovano, in the Province of Mantova, Nigerian Muslims resident in Italy condemned what they described as “incessant religious mayhem in the northern parts of Nigeria.”
The theme of the event was “Religion and Tolerance” and it coincided with the celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) birthday.
During the meeting, the Nigerian Muslim Community in Italy expressed solidarity with the families of Franco Lamolinara and Chris McManus who were killed in Nigeria in a rescue bid by UK and Nigerian forces.
The meeting stressed that true Muslims are not terrorists. Terrorism is not a way of life of the overwhelming majority of Nigerians but is rather a sinful act of some few undesirable citizens and foreign elements that have since infiltrated the ranks of the sect, the Community said.
Muslims and majority of Nigerians by nature are peace loving and hardworking people, the Community added.
The spiritual head of the Nigerian Muslim Community in Mantova, Alfa Mustapha Oshoala, noted that the activities of the extremists and terrorists who hide under the cover of religion tend to undermine the genuine feelings of the majority of Nigerians and paint the Islamic religion in bad light.
He charged all true believers of the religion of peace to cooperate with the Federal Government of Nigeria to put an end to the menace of Boko Haram.
The president of the Nigerian Muslim Community, Alhaji Balogun Kuku Olalekan prayed to God to grant the families of the victims the fortitude to bear the loss. He went further to condemn in its entirety the activities of the fundamentalists and urged all patriotic Nigerians to cooperate with the government and the security agents to flush out and bring to justice people behind Boko Haram.
The special guest of honour at the event, Khalifa Muhyideen Nojimudeen (Al Kubra II), an Islamic Scholar from the UK urged all in attendance to be good ambassadors of God and the country, Nigeria.
He said throughout the Holy Quran, which is the book given to Prophet Mohammed (SAW) to guide the practice of Islam, peace and respect for human lives is a core issue.
Khalifa Nojimudeen urged all Muslims not to allow undesirable elements to use the religion to cause societal mayhem.
Before the meeting there was a friendly football match between Christians and Moslems followed by what the organizers called “lunch of love”.
The event was attended by some presidents of the Nigerian community associations and Christian religious leaders from different parts of Italy.
By Iyanda Olufemi