«The keystone of respect towards religious freedom is the way minorities are treated.»

Dr. Jose Miguel Serrano Professor of Philosophy of Law at Law Faculty Universidad Complutense de Madrid

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By Dr Liviu Olteanu, Secretary General of the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty

Dr. Liviu Olteanu, the Secretary-General of the AIDLR, whilst in Abu Dhabi, congratulated a HERO, the Imam ABUBAKAR ABDULLAHI from Nigeria, who risked his own life, to save 262 Christians in June 2018

Abu Dhabi (UAE), 9th December 2019

Dr. Olteanu, Secretary-General of the AIDLR, was impressed during the Forum for Promoting Peace in Islamic Societies, by the empathy and spirit of sacrifice displayed by the elderly Muslim leader, Abubakar Abdullahi, the Imam of Nghar village in Plateau State, Nigeria, who saved the lives of 262 Christians fleeing a murderous attack by Muslim Fulani militants in Nigeria. The 85 year old imam must be considered an Ambassador of Peace and Inter-Religious Harmony, for selflessly risking his own life on 23 June 2018 to save members of another religious community, when the extremists attacked at least ten villages in the Barkin Ladi Local Government Area in Plateau State, killing scores of Christians and burning homes in a two-day rampage. During the attacks in the night, the Imam defied the attackers by locking the doors of the Mosque after the Christians had safely entered; meanwhile he remained outside. When the trigger-happy assailants came and ordered him to open the doors so that they could slaughter the refugees inside, he refused, telling them that they could do that only after they had killed him. His actions were certainly risky and could have cost him his own life. The Imam humbly admitted that he wanted to help the Christians, because more than 40 years ago, the Christians that lived in the area, had allowed the Muslims to build a mosque. He said it was the first time he had experienced such “an ugly incident” in all the years that Muslims had lived in a neighboring village to the Christians farmers. Dr. Liviu Olteanu thanked and congratulated the Muslim hero, Imam Abdullahi, for protecting the Christians from the attacks of Muslim extremists in Nigeria. Imam received the ‘Religious Liberty Calendar 2020’ from the International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty as a sign of appreciation of his practical love expressed to others.

Some photos of the event: