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Guests of GodPilgrimage and Politics in the Islamic World$
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Robert R. Bianchi

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195171075

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195171071.001.0001

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“One Nation, under God”

(p.211) 9 Nigeria
Guests of God

Robert R. Bianchi (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Nigerian politicians such as Ahmadu Bello and Shehu Shagari threw so much money into the hajj that Christians became convinced they were creating an Islamic state. By the time Muslim army officers seized power, the specter of religious warfare drove Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha to sponsor a Christian pilgrimage to Jerusalem as well. Nigeria is one of the few countries where the state sponsors both Muslim and Christian pilgrimages–a policy that is intended to assuage complaints of religious discrimination but that more frequently aggravates conflicts between rival regions, denominations, and ethnic groups.

Keywords:   Ahmadu Bello, Shehu Shagari, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha, Jerusalem, Christianity

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