Comfortably sitting in my corner of the room as the new intern, I listened interestingly to the conversations going on around me, and one caught my attention, it was the issue of Religious intolerance going on nowadays.
It was my first official day at the media company where I planned on undergoing my one month industrial attachment, and so immediately I heard that conversation, I thought to myself, “this could be something I could write about; this isn’t such a bad first day for me after all”.
Mrs. Oni, as I had been told her name was when I was introduced to the staff in the department walked back into the room and made a comment about the recitation of the holy Qur’an playing at the background of one of the computers of one of the employees who was not on sit at that time. “What is this thing Mr. Muhammad has been playing in this office for the past few days sef, he’s just using it to disturb the rest of us in the room” She said.
Mr. Aina, who was in a different conversation at that time happened to have heared what she said and immediately reacted.
“What’s wrong with him listening to whatever he wants to listen to, if it was one of you listening to your ‘hallelujah’ songs, no one ever complains, you can’t even start to imagine the blessings that have been showering upon you since this recitation has been playing, you should be happy sef”.
“What blessings? When I don’t even know the meaning of what is being read, abeg jare” Mrs. Oni said.
“You don’t understand ehn, do you have to? When your pastor speaks in tongue in church, do you understand what he says, or does what he says even have a meaning and yet you flow with it? Compared to this that has a meaning you can understand” Mr. Aina said
“We hardly even listen to those songs in here, Mr. Aina, but that doesn’t mean I’m against him listening to whatever he wants to listen to”. One of the other workers said.
As the conversations continued, In my corner of the room, pretending to read a magazine while listening to their conversations, I thought to myself, in a way this is actually an example of religious intolerance that goes on worldwide especially in this part of the world(Well I’m more familiar with that of this part).
One would think that a country like mine with several religions will have people tolerating each other and living peacefully, but this is hardly the case, most people still find it hard respecting other people’s beliefs for reasons known to them.
Because we have these beliefs doesn’t mean we shouldn’t respect the other as a person and what they believe in. Asides the workplace example I gave, there are other of such instances of religious intolerance that occur at home, at market places, even at schools.
I’d give another example, everyone knows the christians go to church every Sunday, in the same light, it could be also regarded as a day of rest for others.
Mr. Hassan was happily resting in his home that Sunday morning when he heard the not so unusual noise coming from the next compound; it was the songs of praise coming from the members of the small building next to his that was a church.
Mr. Hassan said to himself: “Oh ooo, these ones have started again.
I’ve had a long week, I can’t take this anymore, I need to rest, I’m going to show these people that keep disturbing my rest every Sunday who I am today” He said to his wife who was in the kitchen. He put on his buba and sokoto and angrily went downstairs and then to the church.
The church was a small place with a few members so when they heard someone yelling outside they ran out wanting to know what the matter was.
“I’m tired of all these, one cannot even have a simple rest in one’s house again on a beautiful Sunday morning, you keep making noise and disturbing the whole neighborhood from morning till evening, what is it sef?” They heard Mr. Hassan yelling outside the gate as the gate man had refused to open the gate for him…………….
There are several other cases of religious intolerance that goes on in today’s world, I have used the examples above to portray the importance of making sure we try to respect and recognize the beliefs of others for peaceful co-existence to reign.
Have a lovely day guys.