President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Tuesday in New York, the United States warned against religious intolerance and castigation of another's religion, saying both were recipes for disaster and chaos.
Addressing the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations against the background of recent protests in Nigeria and other parts of the world over the publication of a video which allegedly denigrated Prophet Mohammed, President Jonathan said freedom of expression and religious tolerance should be complimentary to each other for the peaceful coexistence of people of varying faiths and religious beliefs.
According to him, "events of recent weeks have demonstrated how interconnected our world is and the extent to which one incident can spark off general mayhem and conflagration. Freedom of expression should not be a licence to incitement. The freedom that we all hold dear and true should be exercised wisely and cautiously. Freedom of expression and religious tolerance must not be mutually exclusive but should be complimentary to each other."
"Much as we eschew violence and deplore the needless losses of lives and destruction of property, we also condemn the deliberate denigration of religious beliefs and sensitivities which in turn lead to counter reactions," he said.
Speaking through a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, President Jonathan also told the global assembly that his administration had adopted a mul