One of the major responsibilities of clergymen, and this includes Muslim clerics, is to strive for peace, tranquility and promote a culture of peaceful coexistence among members of different religions in the world.
But these two personalities — the current bishop of the Catholic ArchDiocese of Sokoto, Matthew Hassan Kukah and the Archbishop of Athens, Ieronymos II made headlines in their respective countries for promoting religion intolerance and inciting remarks considered to be offensive by Muslims against their religious beliefs.
While Ieronymos II directly attacked Islam, and by extension Turkey and President Erdoğan, in the light of their long history with Greece, pre and post Ottoman years; Kukah, despite being the Secretary of the National Peace Committee, literally referred to Islam as a religion of violence.
In the controversial Christmas message, he also incited the Christians against the Muslims particularly from the North, where President Buhari, also a Muslim, hails from. Kukah’s real crime, in the same article, which has sparked condemnation from the Nigerian Muslim community, is indirectly calling for a coup. This is a pre-meditated attempt that crosses acceptable standards particularly coming from a supposedly ‘man of God’.
The two scenarios might be a different context but the fact remains that they are supposedly men of God, with millions of followers emulating their path. Hence its important for them to shun Islamophobic remarks and continue to promote peace, which is the central message of Islam.
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