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Let’s nurture religious tolerance

Jul 26, 2012, 2:24 PM

Tolerance is the appreciation of diversity, and the ability to live and let others live.

It is the ability to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards those whose opinions, practices, religion, nationality and so on differ from one’s own.

It is important for people to appreciate each other’s religion.

This is the only thing that can bring peace and stability in the world.

In The Gambia, there are two main religions namely, Islam and Christianity.

The people of these two religions have been living in harmony and peace, and even inter-marry.

Followers of the Islamic religion with different schools of thought must continue to appreciate each other, engage one another in dialogue, and thus avoid unnecessary confrontations.

Our Islamic scholars must be ready to lead us with total devotion, knowing fully well that it is an obligation upon them to teach others.

Religious tolerance has to be safeguarded by religious leaders in our community, if they want the people they serve to live in peace and harmony.

The fact of the matter is that, if every religion practices its faith without stepping onto each other’s toes, there will be no problem.

Intolerance which causes problems in our society happens as a result of the failure of people to appreciate and respect the practices, opinions and beliefs of another group(s).

Some of the conflicts happening today in Africa are as a result of sectarian violence, and all this occurred because of intolerance and religious beliefs.

We must jealously safeguard our peace and stability, which is our diamond.

God says in the Holy Qur’an: “Let you worship your religion and I worship my religion.”

What we should learn from this is that gone are the days when people can be forced to join other religions.

Also, we must continue engaging in dialogue, rather than confrontation, which cannot be helpful in resolving any situation.