1.1 Background to the study
The quest to understand what religious conflict is starts from the breaking down of the two separately from the basis for a rational clarification. But we must understand that the basis for a religious conflict is one to different ideologies, beliefs, values etc. The social network coordinated by belief system is so strong that as it can make heal, so it can be used to champion a cause of war or struggle. This was what Dawkins tried to explain when he elucidated that.
Imagine a world with no religion. Imagine no suicide bomber, no 9/11, no 7/7, no crusades, no witch-hunts, no gunpowder plot, no Indian partition, no Israeli/Palestinian wars, no serb/croat/muslim massacres, no persecution of Jews as Christ-killers
In defining religion, Dawkins noted that it is a false, a delusion similar to scotosis or insanity. He said, ‘when one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity, when many suffer from a delusion it is called religion’.3 But is religion truly a delusion? If it is, then what do we mean by delusion? ‘It is a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence, especially as a symptom of psychiatric disorder’.4 However, what is important to note here, is that it is the belief in religion that serves as the mechanism engineering the prominent attacks against the other religion. But is belief the only thing embedded in religion? According to Wood,
For a group or philosophy to be protected as a religion under current human right legislation in the United Kingdom, it must be able to demonstrate a combination of (a) belief and/or conviction, (b) practice and/or ethics, and (c) a sense of belonging or community. Belief and practice are separated in this definition, and the element of belonging in interesting because it recognizes the role of social relationship is religion.
But what we call sense of belonging must be as a result of the belief which has been binding on the individual which make him react to another since they both belong to a particular religion. So ‘Belief’ is fundamental and exerts great strength and psychological strength upon the individual in question. Religion as a word is used as something relating to religion. Religion therefore pertains to God and belief, it is derived from; The term “religio” refers to four latin verbs, relegere, religare, reeligere, relinguere. … Religion could be defined as a reading over of things or phenomena, which pertain to the worship of God (relegere). It could be define as a bond, which binds the visible, and the invisible worlds (religare). It could be taken as a repeated choice of what has been neither lost nor neglected. Being created (first election), man is chosen again to enter into relationship with the creator (reeligere). Religion is also considered as an act of leaving certain things in order to be submitted to others, maybe to a supreme being (relinquere).
But all these etymological sayings are not enough to explain the divers religion of the present with the atheistic, Godless philosophical religions and the pantheistic religions, therefore, ‘all these ways are nominal and etymological definitions; they are important but not sufficient”. And even the etymological definitions were words of various individuals and therefore can be criticized as ‘subjective views’ which is in negative to the objective word called religion. In a nutshell, it should be noted that religion is multi-dimensional and therefore, cannot be pinned down into a definition.
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RELIGIOUS CONFLICTS IN NIGERIA: ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS