Book Review Oyeronke Olajubu (2006) A review of Umar H. D. Danfulani (2005) The Sharia Issue and ChristianMuslim Relations in Contemporary Nigeria. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 81pp. This book provides an insight into the diverse intricacies of exchanges and negotiations that characterizes inter-religious tension in contemporary Nigeria. It is a persuasive read for everyone interested in the histography of contemporary Nigerian inter-religious relations, especially between Christians and Muslims. A major strength of the book stems from the vantage position of the author as an indigene of Northern Nigeria and a resident of a city in Northern Nigeria. Consequently, adequate exposure is accorded otherwise subsumed agendas which underlay the religious issue that are publicly displayed. The book is divided into three sections; whereas section one examines the background factors to the sharia-inspired religious crisis in Kaduna in2002, section two focuses on the ChristianMuslim responses to the implementation of the sharia. In addition, section three considers thesis concerning the implementation of sharia in Northern Nigeria. These sections are followed by Notes, References and the List of papers contained in The Studies on Inter-religious Relations 15, edited by Ingvar Svanberg and David Westerlund. Section one of the book presents the dual feature of Kaduna as a historical Muslim settlement on the one hand and a city with cosmopolitan nature on the other hand. Kaduna is described as ‘the hot bed of political awareness and power in Northern Nigeria and a capital of the North’. The immediate events leading to the sharia crisis in Kaduna were enumerated as: the huge political gains from the sharia issue by governors of Northern States in Nigeria and the series of seminars and rallies held to examine the possibility of sharia in Nigeria. The book reports the different reactions to the introduction of sharia in Kaduna. These reactions were for and against the introduction of the sharia system in Nigeria. Both Muslims and Christians were represented in both divides of the reactions. The second section analyzed the responses of Christians and Muslims to the implementation of sharia in Northern Nigeria. Christian reactions included mass migration, seeking refuge in military camps and the staging of peaceful rally to the State house in Kaduna. However, the rally was hijacked and eventually resulted in a violent religious clash leading to killings on both Christian and Muslim sides for three consecutive days. Many lives and properties were destroyed during this religious crisis. The tense situation elicited reactions from the Pope and the Federal government. A clear position by anti-sharia commentators is that it is a manipulation of religion for political ends. Some posit that the sharia issue is not religious but is an ethnic problem whereby the Hausa-Fulani want to hold on to political power in Nigeria forever. It is worth noting though that the rule of a Yoruba person (Olusegun Obasanjo) as the president of Nigeria in the past seven years (1999-2006) would have attenuated this assumed ambition of the Hausa-Fulani significantly. According to this book, the opposition of Christians to sharia is based on past experiences of discrimination and maltreatment against Christians in Northern Nigeria. On the other hand, Muslims support sharia due to the conviction that it will supply them peace and tranquillity in a crime free society. Muslims also believe sharia would eradicate unjust economic relationships and uproot moral decadence in the society. Section three considers the promises of Governor Yerima Sanni to buy houses and rehabilitate prostitutes as suggestive of foreign investment by Islamic groups. Again, there is the thesis that the introduction of sharia is an attempt to return Islam to its pristine state, continue the reform of Usman Dan Fodio and part of the hidden agenda to Islamize Nigeria. The thesis that poverty is an instigating factor for the emergence of fanaticism is of profound import for me. I am persuaded that poverty is a crucial factor in the manipulation of people for political gains in any society. It is therefore plausible that poverty plays a significant role in the yearnings of Muslims for the sharia especially as political leaders promise utopian world to the depressed masses through sharia. It is this same observation that could explain the clinging of Northern politicians in Nigeria to the sharia issue to ensure acceptability and popularity; this the author aptly describes as ‘making political capital out of religion’. The book concludes with the observation that ‘-----the sharia issue is a mere symptom of a more fundamental problem’. The fundamental problem in my opinion would be the ethnic issue in Nigerian polity.