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Igbos Don’t Like Dating, Marrying Muslims In The South East – Imo Chief Imam

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The Chief Imam in Imo State, Suleiman Njoku, has said Muslims are facing a lot of discrimination and other challenges in the South East.

Njoku said some of the challenges faced by the Muslim faithful in the South East, including their struggle to find partners and get employment from the state governments.

He said the major reason for the discrimination and various misconceptions held by the Igbo about Muslims in the region is the activities of bandits and Boko Haram insurgents in the North.

In an interview with The Punch, Njoku said female Muslims in the state can’t wear their hijabs for fear of attacks and insults.

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He said, “In Igboland, there exist various misconceptions held by the Igbo regarding Muslims. These misconceptions primarily stem from the character and actions of certain bandits in the northern region of Nigeria, such as Boko Haram, as well as negative practices associated with some Muslims in that area.

“Unfortunately, as a result of these experiences, our people tend to mistakenly believe that all Muslims are the same. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognise the fallacy in this generalisation. Every individual, irrespective of religious affiliation, possesses unique qualities and behaviours, both positive and negative. Such individual differences should not be erroneously attributed to an entire faith or religion.

“Due to experiences with particular individuals in the northern part of the country who engage in harmful activities, our people have come to believe that such behaviour is what Islam advocates or encourages. This misguided perception is the reason why, when someone embraces Islam, they are often called upon to attend a meeting where they warn them against acts of violence or any attempts to introduce Boko Haram-related activities into our community.

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“Even as a Muslim you can’t get any job from the state government, meanwhile, the Igbo go to places where Muslims are living and they get jobs easily without any form of discrimination.

“But in Imo state, once they see you’re bearing a Muslim name, they will remove your name from the list of jobseekers and ask you to go to the North for jobs, but God commanded us to love them and we do. Also, our ladies cannot wear hijabs because of the fear of attack.

“If they wear hijabs they will be called Boko-haram, but I usually tell them to shun any form of distraction and follow the commandment of God to rule their lives.

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“The Igbo don’t like marrying Muslims and they discourage anyone who wants to marry Muslims.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.