Christians and Muslims: Promoting peace in Mubi, Nigeria
In 2014, Boko Haram militia occupied the market town of Mubi in north-eastern Nigeria for weeks. The terrorists have long been expelled - mistrust has remained. Christians and Muslims are aiming to change that together. By Katrin Gansler
Overcoming scepticism towards others: mistrust between Christians and Muslims could poison the climate in the Nigerian city of Mubi. Yusuf Yaro, chairman of the Muslim council of Mubi South (left), and the Catholic priest Alexander Miskita William are taking a stand against it. The imam has been visiting the Church of St. Andrew for years
Concerns brushed under the carpet: the market town of Mubi in the Nigerian state of Adamawa is in the middle of an election campaign before the presidential election on 16 February. But there is one thing politicians are not talking about: how the inhabitants are coming to terms with the memories of Boko Haram's occupation in autumn 2014
Roadblocks are of limited use: in October and November 2014, Boko Haram fighters spent weeks in the city. In November 2017 and May 2018 there were further serious attacks on two mosques and a market, in which many people died – despite a considerable police and military presence throughout the city
Responsibility in adversity: when Boko Haram took Mubi, Fatima Sharfadeen, now 16 years old, was at school. "I took my brothers and sisters and put them on the school bus," she says. Later she managed to flee to Cameroon with her family. She will never forget the fear she felt during this time
Banks in ruins: throughout the city, the schoolgirl is reminded of the terror. Boko Haram carried out bomb attacks on numerous banks that have not yet been rebuilt
Attacks on 337 churches: it is estimated that 337 churches were attacked in northern Adamawa. To this day, many Christians, most of whom fled during the occupation, are suspicious. After all, no one knows who collaborated with Boko Haram
Slow return to normality: "moderate Christians and Muslims are slowly coming together again," says Pastor Daniel Doyi of the E.Y.N. Church (Church of the Brethren) and president of the Christian-Muslim peace initiative Campi, even if he is forced to admit that "Mubi is no longer what it used to be"
The state must support dialogue: according to Doyi, reconstruction of churches like the E.Y.N. Church Police Barracks would help. The pastor also expects the state to take responsibility. "So far only non-governmental organisations appear interested in interfaith dialogue", criticises Doyi
NIREC promotes reconciliation: Muhammad Abbas, who works for the Mubi North Local Government Area, does not accept this criticism. He refers to the National Interreligious Council (NIREC). "It preaches peace. People know that"
"Boko Haram abuses religion": for Pastor John Musa, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Mubi South, knowledge about the other religion is of importance. "Islam is just as much about peace as Christianity. Boko Haram merely abused it"
For the sake of reconciliation: such insights help Christians and Muslims to move closer together again. "The best example for me is that Christians are once again visiting the office of the Muslim Council," says Imam Yaro, who regularly plans joint events there with Pastor Musa
Educating the next generation: children and young people should once more grow up together in an atmosphere that is free of prejudice. To this end a peace club has been set up at Fatima's Sharfadeen school. Together with 16-year-old Nwoah Amos Drambi and Jibrilla Garba, Vice President of Campi, she is currently discussing a new campaign. The aim is to convey the importance of peaceful coexistence in life