Experts Advocate Religious Tolerance

By Ethel Timi-Johnson

Experts from the academia and religious circle gathered at the Department of Religious and Cultural Studies, Faculty of Humanities to deliberate on issues bordering on consolidating religious tolerance in Nigeria.

Speaking at the Workshop with the theme, Building Social Cohesion through Interreligious Dialogue which held at the Faculty auditorium on Wednesday, November 3, 2021, representative of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Hope Kabo, disclosed that the event which is partly sponsored by the KAICIID International Fellow Programme for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue buttresses the fact that the University is a focal point for intellectual programmes aimed at proffering solution to societal issues.

“The University is a melting point for ideas and so scholars need to remain in active dialogue to address societal issues. There is need for continuous dialogue and more platforms to allow us address societal problems from the intellectual viewpoint,” Professor Kabo said, expressing hope that participants at the Workshop would come up with discussions on how to build social cohesion in a country with diverse ethnic groups.

Facilitator of the Workshop and a Lecturer in the Department of Religious and Cultural Studies, Dr Suberu Ibrahim noted that the Workshop was in fulfillment of the KAICIID Fellowship. He described KAICIID as an intergovernmental organisation saddled with the responsibility of promoting harmonious relationship between local, international and transactional bodies through workshops and programmes. “This Workshop which is aimed at enhancing dialogue and building social cohesion would enable us suspend judgement and bias for different religious sect and have a better understanding of religion. There is need for us to see dialogue as a culture of expressing our differences. We need to develop a deep understanding of values and differences which exist in every society,” he remarked.

In his presentation on Building Social Cohesion through Interreligious Dialogue: Islamic Approach, Professor Abdulrazaq Kilani, also of the Department, called on leaders to consciously act as agents of social change.  “Promoting religious and cultural literacy is an important factor in overcoming hatred and extremism. We need to promote peace and unity of humankind by shunning ethnic division and bigotry,” he stressed.

Other presentations at the Workshop included, Building Social Cohesion through Interreligious Dialogue: Lessons from the Brotherhood of Cross and Stars, the African Perspective and the Christian Perspective delivered by Professor Ilami Clive, Drs Grace Lawrence-Hart and Ndidi Gbule, respectively.

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