Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 69453
Islamophobia: A Study of Unfounded Fear of Islam in Nigeria

Authors: AbdulHameed Badmas Yusuf

Abstract:

Islamophobia is unfounded fear of Islam and, more accurately, of his adherents. This phenomenon has found a fertile terrain in Nigeria given her status as a multireligious society where Muslims and Christians co-exist. Over the years, Islamophobia has taken constitutional, diplomatic, educational, financial, and political dimensions in the country. Any move by Muslims to adhere to their religious dictates, within the constitutional framework, is misconstrued by Christians - their religious counterparts- as a systematic way of Islamizing the country. Against this backdrop, this paper casts a look at Islamophobia from the five dimensions mentioned above. It shall identify possible causes of Islamophobia and proffer solutions accordingly. Available resources as well as events in the recent past reveal that Islamophobia is not unconnected with orientalism and terrorism, which are informed by prejudice and ignorance respectively. As such, the paper suggests adequate knowledge and tolerance as inevitable tools to curtail the menace of Islamophobia. This will go a long way in enhancing mutual tolerance and peaceful co-existence among the adherents of Christianity, Islam, and other religions in Nigeria. Both historical and analytical methods are used in this paper.

Keywords: islamophobia, islam, Nigeria, orientalism, terrorism

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