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WILL THE TRUE MUSLIMS PLEASE STAND UP?! By: Tofarati GT Ige

I personally do not like to be drawn into matters that have to do with religion. Especially, when it has to do with other faiths, but in these present times, not to discuss it would be almost criminal.

With the deadly siege laid against Nigerians in recent times by the terrorist group, Boko Haram, the dynamics have changed, and people are becoming more suspicious of other faiths.
It is a well known fact that in countries like USA and UK that have experienced attacks from fundamental Islamist groups like A-Qaeda (which is believed to have ties with Boko Haram), ISIS and a ragtag team of others, a lot of people have become Islamophobic. In recent times, there is a stereotype, partly in 1st world countries, about Muslims being more prone to commit acts of terrorism. People who travel out of the country know that immigration officers often single out people with Muslim names for special searching and interrogation.
Sincerely, it would be hard to blame people for thinking that way. More than 80% (give or take) of terrorist acts committed in the world today are carried out by people who CLAIM to be doing it to advance their god’s work. They commit these terrible crimes in the name of Islam, forgetting it’s supposed to be a religion of peace. Obviously, the appeal of seven virgins in hell is too tempting for them to pass-up.
True and faithful adherents of Islam would readily tell you that it’s a religion that abhors violence in any form, but Image Makers and Advert Executives would also tell you for free that perception is sometimes more important than substance.
Media practitioners would corroborate the fact that a lie, which if unchecked, will in the long run assume the status of truth-hood.
Islam has been seriously bashed lately and it’s time for its faithful followers to educate the world about what the religion stands for.
The people behind BH have found a wicked way to twist the minds of gullible people to believe that any Nigerian that doesn’t buy into their own brand of religion is an infidel and should be killed.
The major religions in the world make us to believe that the greatest gift human beings have is that of free-will; the ability to choose whatever we feel is best for us. Even the constitution recognizes it, and states boldly that every individual has the sacred and unimpeachable right to decide which religion to follow.
I urge all Muslims around the world, whether you’re a cleric or just a follower, to carry out massive awareness of what Islam is really about.
The charlatans behind these cowardly terrorist groups have recognized the gift of propaganda and rely heavily on this to influence and target more recruits. True Muslims need to counter that, and fast, before our children grow up thinking that religion is a do-or-die affair which people should lose their lives over.
Religious extremists are more deadly than the Ebola Virus, and it would be a welcome relief to see all lovers of truth and freedom devoting time and energy into creating awareness and exposing these murderers for what they really are: frauds.
Sharing his thoughts on religious tolerance, the late American comedian and social critic, George Carlin wrote, “Religion is like a pair of shoes…..Find one that fits for you, but don’t make me wear your shoes.”
In closing, I would also like to quote Thomas Mann who said, “Tolerance becomes a crime when applied to evil.”
There should be no tolerance for destiny-killers such as Boko Haram.

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