Most religious conflicts are not about God —UI don, Oladosu

A lecturer in the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, Professor Afis Oladosu, has said that the majority of struggles branded as religious are actually not about God.

Professor Oladosu, who is also the dean of the Faculty of Arts, stated this in Ibadan while delivering the 489th inaugural lecture of the institution.

He said a lot of conflicts being tagged as religious are not about creed or faith and as much as they are about gaining power and material prosperity.

“Spaces of conflicts around the world commonly branded as religious are actually less about God and more about the preservation of spaces of power and economic survival,” he said.

Professor Oladosu identified promotion of peaceful relationships by government agencies among various ethnic and religious identities and communities as essential for the development of the country.

He called on ministries, directorates and agencies of government to remove all policies and regulations that constitute infractions to the nation’s constitution, especially those that have to do with freedom of religion.

“Is it because I am a Muslim? is being asked in the town far away from the quietude of the gown. It is being asked in the Nigerian Immigration Office where Muslim women are constantly being told to remove their hijab as a precondition for the issuance of international passports. Is it because I am a Muslim? was the question Amasa Firdaws asked when she was initially denied the chance to be called to bar simply because she wore Muslim hijab,” the don said.

He called for the expansion of African Studies programme of the University of Ibadan to include Middle Eastern and North African Studies to enhance intra-African relationship.

“Indeed, the establishment of a programme in Middle Eastern and North African Studies in this part of the world has become a desideratum. Such a programme when established here in Ibadan would strengthen intra-African relations and enhance the status of our university as the primus interpares in the sub-Saharan region,” the don added.

In a remark, the registrar of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede, said some individuals used multiple identities to pretend to be fighting religious cause.

The well-attended lecture had in attendance other dignitaries, including the Oyo State deputy governor, Mr Rauf Olaiyan, his wife, Professor Amudalat; the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Alhaji Dawud Akinola; and the Executive Secretary, Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), Professor Muslih Yahya.

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