As part of conscious effort to bridge the gap between followers of Nigerian two main religions, concerned Muslims in Kano made history Sunday when they paid a solidarity visit to Christians in their various places worship throughout the city.
The first of its kind initiative in the history of the ancient Islamic city took the Muslim delgation to visit five denominations of the Christian faith, including: Our Lady Of Fatima, ECWA (Hausa service), Baptist Church, Cherubim and Seraphim, and Calvary Life Assembly all located within Sabon Gari area of the municipality.
The solidarity gesture came to counteract the content of an SMS circulated among the Christian community by yet to be identified individuals warning them of a "Jihad" to drive them from the city.
Delegation leader, Bashir Is'haq Bashir -- speaking in the company of the chairman of the local chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Reverend Ransom Bello -- assured the Christian Community of their Muslim brothers' continued support, especially now that the Nigeria is experiencing serious security challenges.
He said: "We are here to deliver a message, a message of peace, a message of hope, a message of peace, a message of solidarity that all Muslims all over Kano are with you, that they are not a source of threat to you but a source of security and in them you have a dependable ally."
Bashir Is'haq Bashir stated that both faiths must downplay their differences and emphasis such factors that bind them together, adding that "we must desist from rumour and spreading of falsehood in the collective interest of all."
he called upon followers of both faiths from judging the two religions from the actions of deviants, stressing that suspicion breed mistrust and mistrust make communities drift apart.
He stressed that Muslims and Christian in Nigeria "must unite to put all the evil forces that are pulling us apart to shame, quoting a verse in the Quran that says 'I have made you Nations and tribe so that you may appreciate one another , and the best among you in the sight of Allah is he who is best in conduct."
Is'haq Bashir declared that going by several teaching of Quran and saying of the Prophet of Islam enjoin Muslim to accept Jesus as Prophet of Islam and accord him the necessary respect whenever his name is mention.
The Muslim leader who addressed Christian faithful was well-received amidst thunderous applause and shout of "Hallelujah", when he called members of both faiths to unite and fight corruption, bad governance, stressing that Muslims and Christian should be their brothers' keepers to the nation to achieve greatness.
According to Is'haq Bashir "we must tell Muhammad the child to be compassionate to Emanuel the child and enjoin Emanuel the grown up to take Muhammad as the best man in his wedding day, so that when they grow up they will not be burdened with the excess luggage that we have been carrying this long."
In his response, the CAN local Chairman, Bishop Ransom Bello described the Muslim visit to churches in Kano as beginning of new era, adding that "it's a sign of positive things to come" while expressing confidence it would go along way to put the state on permanent religious harmony.
Ransom Bello explain that the "gesture will certainly open up a new chapter in the history of Kano and peaceful coexistence, maintain the need to expand the frontiers in the interest of lasting peace.
Prayers were offered by various Church leaders for continued peace in Kano in particular, and the nation in general.
AbdulSalam Muhammad, "Kano Muslims pays solidarity visit to Churches" Vanguard January 15, 2010
"BREAKING NEWS: Muslims Attend Church Service in Kano" This Day Live January 15, 2010
Reproduced with permission from Islam Today