Letter to the Editor:
The UN, Islam and Global Exigency of Tolerance
Though the United Nations have since 1995 declared every 16th of November as the World Tolerance Day, yet the world has since not been able to transform this noble vision into reality; and the human race continues to experience tensions, conflicts, and wars caused by inter-personal, inter-ethnic, inter-state, inter-racial and inter-civilizational intolerance. This is an indisputable fact.
Observably, the world has been paying little attention to the need to collectively inculcate mutual tolerance and shun violence.
Today, many religious organizations and practitioners are also perpetrating violence by not accommodating others, all in the name of their religious ideologies. Similarly, from the Middle East countries to Nigeria, France, UK and Myanmar etc, the world has become a hotbed of terrorism and lack of peace and security, all due to socio-political ideological differences. In fact, Nigeria, in particular, has also been witnessing such expression of intolerance in almost every corner of its six geo-political zones with resultant continuous cases of hate speech, tribal partisanship, kidnapping, and bombings etc.
As far as Islam is concerned, it should be clearly noted that, as a religion of peace, it does not in any way encourage violence borne out of intolerance for fellow human beings. The Holy Founder of Islam in his lifetime lived with people of different religions, ethnicities, social classes and races for the purpose of establishing and promoting socio-religious peace. Therefore, those using Islam to promote intolerance and evil actions have personal and worldly motives, neglecting the true Islamic principles of mutual tolerance, love, respect, and justice.
As we celebrate the World Tolerance Day, it is worthy of note that the global peace we all yearn for will not come as long as we continue to fail to love one another, inculcate true justice, forgiveness, and above all, tolerance for one another.
Mujeeb Oniyide is a freelance writer, member of Muslim Writers’ Guild of Nigeria and Publicity Secretary of Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Organisation, Nigeria.