Religions all over the world preach love, tolerance and harmony, however, the most prominent religions of the world: Islam and Christianity emphasized the importance love in almost all their teachings.

The Holy Prophet Muhammed (SAW) enjoins Muslim to love their neighbours just as they love themselves. The Holy Prophet of Islam buttressed his point on love where he said in one of his numerous Hadith that *None of you is a believer until you love for your neighbour that which you love for yourself*

The Holy Bible, the Book of the Christians through Prophet Issah, Jesus (Masshi, the son of Mariam) is also not silent on the need for love among humans. The word *Agape Love* echoes in almost all the  preachings of the Christian Missionaries. Agape Love, a rare and selfless love that is giving to every person, including  those who least deserve it. 

Other religions of the world, Buddhism, Judaism, confuism, animism etc also talk about love in most of their teachings. For these religions, the believe is that, without love the world become Hobbesian ( brutish, nasty and wicked).

It is therefore in line with the above positions on  love that this writer examines the controversies generated by the recent ban placed on Muslim students attending schools *formerly owned* by the Christian Missionaries.

Going down memory lane, the story behind the efforts of the Christian Missionaries to take back the ownership of their former schools goes thus:

1. Some schools were established by the missionaries from both religion divides (Muslims and Christians)

2. In 1976 or thereabout, government took over all the schools, gave them grants, rehabilitated and expanded the schools, and employed more teachers.

3. From early 90s upward, Christian missionaries started scheming with so much desperation to get their schools back. 

4. Legal processes were initiated with the rulings not too favourable to the Christian missionaries who were hell bent on taken their former schools back.

5. Hostile campaigns and actions started by the Christian missionaries. Hostile campaigns in statements like *this schools belong to the Christians, the Muslims should leave*, etc. Actions like forcing Muslim students to recite our Lord's prayer, other prayers that are alien to Islam and Muslims etc.

In the year 2018, Christians became more  forceful and aggressive in requesting that government handed over their schools (using ban on hijab as an excuse) and forcing Muslim students to recite prayers in the Christian ways, failure which they were subjected to harsh treatments. 

Towards the end of the administration of AbdulFatai Ahmed, the Christians or the missionaries (whichever is applicable) became restless and uncontrollable towards taking over their schools. 

To ensure an amicable resolution, the government of AbdulFatai Ahmed called a meeting to resolve the issue. All the effort of the government failed to assuage the feelings of the Christian missionaries at a meeting attended by the missionaries from both sides.

 This forced the government of the day to ask the Christians to make a choice between accepting the school the way the government wanted it, or be ready to welcome the government decisions, which include: dividing the school into two based on what was inherited and what the government have contributed and invested in it or maintain the status quo ante.

One must say without mincing word that the present situation is unfortunate, and uncalled for. It is unfortunate that those who preach love were found projecting hate.

Needless we ask the Christian Missionaries what they stand to gain or lose where Muslim students are allow to wear hijab. Is there anything special about this hijab that the Christian Missionaries don't want us to know. Are we to appeal to them to please open up for us to understand this loveless agenda been orchestrated by the Christians: agenda that reeks of selfishness, hatred and disharmony. 

Though, there is a glimpse of hope as the present administration ably led by His Excellency, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq has ordered the closure of those schools that are enmeshed in this controversy and also set up a committee that comprises of representatives from both religion to look into the nitty gritty of the issue and ensure a workable and amicable resolution of the issue.

May I at this juncture, enjoin the two sides (Muslim and Christian Missionaries) to for the sake of love that they often preach, to please  give peace a chance.

Praying that the Almighty Allah heal the world, and protect us from all strives and evils.

Mopelola AbdulMaliq-Bashir is the
Coordinator of the Women Wing, Kwara Must Change

She can be reached via her e-mail:

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