Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat has charged Muslim Leaders to make the Islamic religion more open to both Muslims and non-Muslims in the country for better understanding and cohabitation.

The Deputy Governor gave this charge today while receiving a delegate of the Nasrul-Lahi-L-Fatih Society (NASFAT), led by the National Missioner Sheikh AbdulAzeez Onike on a courtesy visit in his office at the Round House, Alausa-Ikeja.

According to Dr. Hamzat, a lot of people do not have knowledge about the Islamic religion, “Opening our mosques to everyone, explaining the religion to non-Muslims and even to Muslims is very important because a lot of our Muslims brothers and sisters are extremely ignorant of the religion. This, I believe, is the biggest solution to some of our challenges in the country”.

The Deputy Governor noted that the “Open Mosque” initiative is very important as the country presently is religiously very toxic and there is a need to calm down the temperature, adding that “this initiative in my view is very timing”.

He however, admonished Nigerians to speak positively about the country, saying “I don’t blame the outsiders I blame us on the negative perception held about the country by the foreigners and what should be our sermons in majid these days should not be the exoteric things that we use to do but practical issues that is affecting us. Practical issues that our Muslim brothers, sisters and children need to know that they don’t know”.

Earlier In his opening remarks, the National Missioner of the Nasrul-Lahi-L-Fatih Society (NASFAT), Sheikh Abudul Azeez-Onike noted that the Discover Islam, the organization has come to Nigeria to introduce the “Open the Mosque” Concept to NASFAT in Nigeria, to set them on how to conduct non-Muslims around the Mosque, to teach them what Islam is all about without offending their sensibility.

He noted that a lot of people have been converted to the religion through the Mosque opening concept, the Sheikh added that if the non-Muslims have more understanding of the Islamic religion and have access to the mosque for more knowledge about the religion, it will enhance their confidence in relating more with Muslims. Noting that “with this concept, we can invite non-Muslims to the mosque to bridge the gap between the Muslims and non-Muslims, to promote peace”.

Adding that “this was the way our prophet used the mosque, it is not only meant for prayer, it was used to address the differences amongst the people of different views, it was to promote knowledge about Islam”.

In his remarks, Sheikh Ahmed Kahooji, a volunteer with Discover Islam, from Bahrain advised Muslims to live peacefully with everyone regardless of religion and the need to know each other.

According to him, it is his wish that no mosque be closed to non-Muslims, he added that Muslims can share the knowledge they have with everyone, adding that “Allah’s basic statement is love others and live for others. So, Islam is not between man and God but must reflect the relationship between men”.

He added that the concept started 27 years ago and has yielded a lot of positive results.

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