The Lagos State University Muslims Community (LASUMC), yesterday, Sunday, June 17, held an annual symposium with the theme: “Islam and Global Peace” to create solid orientation regards the misconception of Boko Haram and Islamic religion.

Meanwhile, two germane topics were discussed; “Nigeria War on Terror: between National security and Human Right” and “Islam between Revivalism and Radicalism ”delivered by Dr. Abdul Hafeez Oladosu, Arabic and Islamic studies, University of Ibadan and Dr. Sa'eed Ahmed Rufai, faculty of education, Lagos State University.

At the symposium, Dr. Oladosu, started swiftly by examining the concept of terrorism as a strategy of demand for the impossibility. He however shunned the attribution of terrorism to islamic religion.

Speaking on misconception the issue of National security, he said: “National security is taken to mean the security of the presidency and subordinates” he asserted that the nation is only secured when the citizens are secured.

Oladosu postulated possible solution to terrorism challenge in the country. He started by stating that Nigerian Leaders should ask questions like ”why terrorists attack“ and not “how”. He also identified gaps in Anti-terrorism Bill (ATB), stating way forward such as; “the need to challenge the anti-terrorism bill for its unreasonability, non-proactiveness, undemocratic nature and its failure to recognize the beauty of the religion, Islam”.

Discussing “Islam between Revivalism and Radicalism”, Dr. Ahmad Rufai Saheed traced the source of the stigmatisation of Islam in the world. He traced the epochal nature of the teaching of Islam taking into consideration the different battles fought by the Holy Prophet Muhammad.

Dr Sa'eed discussed categorically the various stages of revivalisation and radicalisation of Islam after the classical epochal period. He established a fact stating that “after the death of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the teaching of Islam took different orientation and attempt to salvage the religion brought about the revivalisation and radicalisation of islam”. Considering Boko Haram activities, He concluded his lecture by bringing fore the different orientations of Muslims in the northern and the southern part of Nigeria and misconception of Muslim brothers as a potential terrorists.

Since three years, it has been observed that Nigeria has been consistently attacked by terrorists. These terrorists are the popular Militant Islamic group better known by its Hausa name “Boko Haram”, this group is a violent Jhadist terrorist organization based in the northeast of Nigeria. It is an Islamist movement which strongly opposes man-made laws. Founded by Mohammed Yusuf.

The organisation is a Jihadist group that seeks to establish sharia law in the country. The group first became known internationally following sectarian violence in Nigeria in July 2009, which left over 1000 people dead. The group is also known for attacking Christian churches as authenticated by they claim responsibility for bombing of churches since past three years, most recent is the bombing of three churches on Sunday, amongst many other attacks.

According to the group, also as denoted by its name "Boko Haram" comes from the Hausa word 'boko' meaning "western education" and the Arabic word 'haram' figuratively meaning "sin" (literally, "forbidden"). The name, loosely translated from Hausa, means "western education is forbidden". The group earned this name due to its strong opposition to anything Western, which it sees as corrupting Muslims.

This Jihad struggle has however led to stigmatisation of Muslims as terrorist by the more than average of the entire populace in the country. This however, prompted the LASUMC to hold a symposium with the aforementioned theme to address the wide spreading misconception of Boko Haram activities as entire Muslims attack on the Nation, pointing that it is a stain on Islamic religion.

International Organization like The United Nations (UN) has declared the Islamic sect a terrorist group. UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, in January 2012, affirmed his condemnation of the Boko Haram menace as a terrorist act that the global community has to come together and fight.

The sect is has been confirmed to have been carrying out their attacks by secretly planting bombs in locations, mobile vehicles like they attacked various churches, many after an open threat, in the case of attacks on Nigeria Press Companies like This Day newspaper, and of recent suicide bombing is the order of the day.

-Olasunkanmi Arowolo

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