Modernism and Secularization: Towards a Reconciliation of Religious Freedom and National Security in the Realization of Peace in Nigeria
This paper examines religious violence in some Northern parts of Nigeria and its effects on national security. It argues that Modern religiously motivated violence has affected the balance between individual religious liberty and national security in this country. The paper attributes this to modernism and its feature of secularization particularly as it displaces some religious values such as love, peace, concern for others, the fear of God and so on. The paper underscores the need for peace in Nigeria and for government to address the conflicting duties of allowing people to exercise their religious freedom and maintaining national security. It draws on W.D Ross’s prima facie and actual duties to argue that when duties conflict, there is need to arrive at a substantive duty after a fully considered deliberation. Unfortunately, one cannot be allowed without it having a negative effect on the other. In order to avoid a situation whereby attempts at resolving conflicting duties on the part of government degenerates into a more intense violent conflict, there is need to reconcile religious freedom and national security. The paper concludes by stressing that since religious freedom and national security are crucial elements in the functioning of the society, there is need for Nigerian government to reconcile both without one necessarily affecting the other in a negative sense; this will give room for peaceful co-existence in this country.
Key words: Violence; Peace; Security; Secularization; Modernism; Religion
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