In Country Plagued By Religious Violence, Mosque Was Built Next Door to a Church – and They Are Thriving
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Republished with permission from Peace News Network
Written by Mohammed Ibrahim
December 21st, 2018
What would happen if you built a Muslim mosque right next door to a Christian church in a country that is plagued by religious violence?
In Nigeria, where religious violence has intensified over the course of the last year, building two places of worship so close to each other seemed like an impossibility. Residents in the suburb of Kudanden were nervous when construction began on the new mosque, as it was situated next to a Living Faith church. The buildings even shared a fence-line….
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January 4, 2019 at 11:30 AM #8406AnonymousInactive
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When peoples talk about religious coexistence, the country that springs to mind is Israel. Yeah I know, haters will be shocked. But look at facts:
When Israel became a country, it gave full citizenship and religious freedom to the Arabs (Muslim and Christian) within its borders. They make up 20 percent of the population and have the same rights and responsibilities as Jews, except they don’t have military obligations.
For the past seventy years – while Arab countries have lynched and ethnically cleansed themselves of a million Jews (with no one in the world caring), Israel has been steadfastly protecting the rights of ‘their Muslim and Christin citizens – including the rights to wear hijabs, speak Arabic, pray as they wish, and loudly criticize the government. There are Israeli Arabs in Paliament who make speeches about wanting to destroy Israel. They got elected so, hey, Israeli free speech! They get to call for their own country to be ended, and no one jails them.
In Israel today, people are about 80 percent “Jewish” – but really, many of these are pretty secular or atheist and are only Jewish under the Nazi definition (ie they come from Jewish families that have been targeted for discrimination/murder elsewhere). About 20 percent – and rising – are Muslim and Christian. Of course this does not count the Palestinians of the WB and Gaza, who live outside Israel’s formal borders and are not Israeli citizens.
Israel also protects the rights of the Druze minority, who I think are kinda-sorta Muslim but hard to describe.
And Israel is the land of the Baha’i Gardens. The Baha’i arose in Iran in the 1800s and are being persecuted to extinction by Iran’s fundamentalist theocratic government. They are a small minority group with delightful beliefs about equality and human rights. Israel welcomes them while Iran calls them heretics.
So in contrast to every other land in the ME, and despite its many problems, Israel has managed to have Jews, Muslims and Christians and others as citizens – all able to vote, pray, and run for office, and all equal under the law. Churches and mosques and synagogues pepper the landscape.
I hope to see it someday.
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