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BEYOND THE OTHER IN (DIS) ORDER: A PERCEPTION OF UNHEALTHY RELIGIOUS RELATIONS IN NIGERIA
Abstract. Religious dissonance has been a recurring decimal in Nigeria which has brought about avalanche of disorder manifesting in loss of lives and properties, retardation of development, political gridlock as well as threat to unity. The scenario is no doubt an aberration given the religious policy in the country which suggests secularism arising from plurality. In the face of disorder occasioned by religious conflict and violence, the „Other‟ is seen as the cause. Thus to the Christian, Muslims should be blamed and vice versa. However, beyond the
„Other‟ as a factor in religious cacophony, it has been discovered that the „Self‟ is also not immune from the blame. Existing studies on the subject have focused on the antics of the adherents of other religions. In this paper, a holistic approach is presented with emphasis on both inter and intra-religious relations as a major factor in religious disorder. It is posited that cordial religious relations is achievable if both the „Self‟ and the „Other‟ adhere to the constitution and see religion as a sensitive matter that must be handled with caution and mutual respect.
Keywords: Other and (dis)order, Unhealthy religious relations, Nigeria