Brief History of Islam & The Condition of Muslims in South West Nigeria.
The history of Islam and the conditions of the Muslims in South West Nigeria are unique and therefore require a special and appropriate attention. The presence of Islam among the Yoruba people who inhabit the area dates back to centuries, long before the coming of the British colonialists and prior to the advent of Christianity in 1842.
Islam had drawn an increasing number of followers and has since made a tremendous impact on the language and culture of the people. Being a religion of literacy and education, Islam brought these to the Yoruba and the rest of West Africa for the first time. The Yoruba language was committed to writing with the Arabic alphabet. Arabic was the language of literacy and therefore the medium of communication and scholarly discourse among Yoruba Muslim scholars.
However, with the use of Christian-sponsored education in imposing Christian doctrines on Muslim children with the connivance and, indeed, support of the colonialists, many Muslim parents became less enthusiastic about Western education for their children. Those who took over from the colonialists after independence did not help to improve the situation either.
Meanwhile, it is a matter of concern that Yoruba Muslims are consequently far behind their Christian counterparts when it comes to the issue of education in the modern Western sense of the term. This is more so given that it was from the Muslims that the West learnt the roots of the modern sciences.