Christian and Muslim students of the Kaduna Polytechnic University took part in a series of workshops where they learned to dialogue, challenge hate speech, and appreciate one another’s differences. Kaduna, a state in central Nigeria, is made up of both Christian and Muslim communities that sometimes clash because of perceived communal differences and rumors that spiral out of control. These young Christians and Muslims were reluctant at first to participate in the dialogue, but are now close friends and are committed to dialogue and interreligious solidarity. This project was funded by KAICIID, as part of the Nigeria Small Grands Scheme that reached out to numerous communities across Nigeria.
"We fail to dialogue amongst ourselves, which is what leads us to disagreement. When we dialogue, actually, we learn to understand what they are trying to tell us – it’s not essential that we agree, and likewise, when we dialogue, you understand me instead of agreeing. It is vital in our lives, not that we must argue, but it is easier to understand each other. When we dialogue, we get to understand your position, and likewise, you understand mine. We tend to understand that our positions are different." -
Simbiat and Joseph, a Muslim and a Christian, did not know each other before the programme. From the beginning were reluctant about getting to know one another, as many other participants were, but after taking the time to dialogue and to get to know one another, they understand and appreciate their differences. Now they can interact with friendship and respect, and both are open for dialogue and cooperation.
"I found that our positions are very different, but we can still understand each other,“ - Simbiat
"We can’t pass each other on campus without greeting each other, we have made so many friends, irrespective of religion, even if we don’t shake hands. I protect them,“ - Joseph