Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Wickedness In The Name of God!

The northern part of Nigeria is boiling again and the reason for this latest boiling is a group of angry, vicious, wretched, tattered and rag-wearing men called the ‘Boko Haram’ who go about looting people’s property, burning down churches and houses and fighting and killing policemen as well as burning the police stations in the name of God.

The epicentre of the latest madness is the Bauchi State of the northern Nigeria. ‘Boko Haram’ literally meaning ‘Western Education Prohibited’ a self-styled ‘Taliban’ intent on imposing Sharia law on all Nigerians widened its offensive couple of days ago in violence that has left over 150 people dead.

The Islamic group opposed to western education launched attacks across four Northern provinces over the last few days and declared its intention to fight to the death. Civilians were pulled from their cars and shot, their corpses then left scattered around the streets, witnesses told the media.

This time around they have a cardinal objective to achieve; to get rid of the western education in the northern part of Nigeria and eventually the whole of Nigeria which they blamed for the numerous ills afflicting the north of the country and ultimately to impose the Sharia law in the whole of the country.

To put this picture in perspective, it is worthwhile drawing a picture of what Nigeria looks like. Nigeria is the most populous black nation on earth with over 145 million people divided along the north and the south.

The north is predominately Islam with two powerful religious heads dictating what goes on not only there but also in the rest of Nigeria. These rulers, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Emir of Gwandu are the most powerful amongst the Muslim faithful in Nigeria and both leaders are descendents of Shehu Usman Dan Fodio who brought the good news of Islam to the north of Nigeria.

As a result of this, both rulers are usually the court of last resort on issues bothering the Muslims of Nigeria. They are highly respected and have the power to ratify the appointment of other rulers of the Muslim communities in Nigeria including the Emir of Kano, Emir of Ilorin, Shehu of Borno and numerous others. Their words and verdict are final and respected as the interpretation of the will of the Allah hence the ease with which they could manipulate and play on the intelligence of the northern masses who are predominately illiterate, poor, nomadic and agrarian.

Right from the day Nigeria got her independence from the United Kingdom, the north with the full support of these two rulers had always wanted to introduce Sharia in the whole of Nigeria despite the fact that Muslims make up only about 50 percent of the entire Nigerian population and are concentrated only in the northern part.

In actual fact in the 1990s during the military junta of General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida there was a well orchestrated and covert guerrilla-like plan to drag Nigeria into the Organisation of the Islamic Countries; however the leaking of the information to the Christian south followed by wide protests led the junta to back off.

Frankly the relationship between the Muslims and Christians in Nigeria has been like this. It is filled with suspicion of each other, tension and amassing of souls and converts by all means. For instance the northern Muslims have killed the southern Christians living up in the north on many occasions for no just reason and the Nigeria/Biafran Civil War of the late 1960s was also as a result of lynching and killing of the Southern Christians in the north especially those of Igbo extraction.

Recently a traditional ruler in one of the northern states resorted to abducting and impregnating young northern and southern Christian girls. His reason was that he is doing it for Allah who is obviously pleased that he is populating the nation with Muslims as well as forcefully making them Muslims. Allah must be happy then!

About ten years ago when Nigeria eventually returned to democracy with a Christian president, almost all the northern states began to introduce Sharia in their states despite the fact that Nigeria is and has been a secular state. The reason behind this was to scuttle the hard earned democracy because a northern Muslim was not elected a president. Well that stupid action backfired because as soon as they began to cut people’s fingers, hands and legs, all the multinationals in the region began to pull out and come down to the south.

This action weakened seriously the already battered economy of the north. However the response of the then President Obasanjo that Shariawill die a natural death came to pass because when it dawned on the northern Muslims that democracy has come to stay they began to chicken away by resorting to other subtle way to scuttle the democracy including rejecting the polio immunisation for their kids and forcing their children to marry early to dent the image of the country. All of them as usual backfired.

Bearing all these in mind, one begins to ask where all these stupidity, idiotic behaviour and wickedness are coming from. Though we may claim not to know where all these are coming from, the fact still remains that Nigeria bargained for it. We are reaping the fruit we planted.

During the colonial era, the British forbade the Christian missionaries from evangelising the north in order to pacify the Muslims and have them under their leadership. That embargo was not also placed on the Muslim missionaries trying to evangelise the south. Therefore the leverage given to the northern Muslims to misbehave dated right from the time of the British colonialism.

Right from the outset, the north never wanted to be part of One Nigeria and that is justified because they do not have anything in common with the rest of the country. The north is more Arabic than the rest of the country and Hausa is basically the official language there and is even used as a medium of instructions even right up to the university level as well as in the government offices quite unlike in the south where English is the everyday language. The north is predominately Islam and the south is predominantly Christian.

It is because of all these big differences that the north never wanted from day one to be part of the common wealth of Nigeria and they have done everything possible to scuttle the unity of the country including fighting, boycotting, killing, collective disobedience and all sorts of things tantamount to secession and treasonable felony.

Since the independence and in every constitutional conference the north has always tried stupidly to introduce the Sharia law for the whole nation despite the fact that we are not all Muslims. The summary of this behaviour is that the northern Muslims have never from day one had respect for other parts of the country and what they believe in. There is nothing like accommodation and tolerance in their dictionary. They have always treated issues that concern them with utmost respect and dignity and that of others with contempt.

Some years back, when Nigeria wanted to host the Miss World pageant, the northern Muslims vehemently resisted it arguing that women walking up and down in bikini contravenes their belief. This argument as stupid and foolish as it was never put into consideration the fact that Nigeria is not a Muslim or theocratic country. When the government threatened to go on with the pageant coupled with negative press reports, they went on rampage burning churches and houses and killing people in the name of Allah.

However, it should also noted that the north should not be blamed exclusively for all these stupidity. I consent it is not their fault entirely. Prior to 1916, the north and the south of Nigeria are two separate entities in terms of government and every other thing. It has been and was like that till Fredrick Lord Lugard came to the scene with his girl friend, Flora Shaw, who would later become his wife.

Tradition had it that one day in 1916, during a very sweaty and sticky orgy with Flora, he asked her what to do with the two entities and replying under the influence of the alcohol-fuelled orgy, Flora told him to amalgamate the two things and call them Nigeria and so it was that the following day Lord Lugard amalgamated the two entities and named them Nigeria as suggested by Flora.

That was the genesis of Nigeria problem. Nigeria was born as a result of an alcohol-fuelled orgy and not because it was destined to be so. There is never a destiny in the two entities being together because as I rightly pointed out ab initio, they never had no nothing in common. Bearing this in mind then, one could understand the reason the north has been foolishly trying to scuttle the commonwealth of Nigeria.

It is against this backdrop that one begins to wonder the wisdom behind the idea of these young men in the north who are so fed up with the western education that they want to go back to Madrasa where they study under the cashew and mango trees. This is not ridiculous. It is a very serious issue.

Islam is guilty of imposing beliefs and way of life on its followers and others. It simply has no respect for boundaries and feelings of others. The trend is not only present in Nigeria but in every place where there is Islam. This is contrary to common sense and democracy bearing in mind that under democracy individuals are assured of the freedom to the right to think, hold opinion and act in their own way. If an individual decides to abandon the western education and end up under the cashew or mango tree as his school, it is a personal decision and that must be respected. However for one person to force another to do that is completely unacceptable under the democracy.

The Nigeria government has got to make hays while the sun shines. These individuals are lawless bunch and should be treated as such. They have the right to their own opinion, religion, way of life and stupidity but to impose same obnoxious and archaic way of life violently on the rest of the people is a message the Nigerian government should let them know is not acceptable under our own democracy.

It is painful that these young men should be going about and making trouble in the name of Allah. Part of the blame is frankly speaking on their leaders and dirty illiterate Imams who have from the foundation of this country fomented trouble and violence in the name of religion and God. It is therefore quite understandable that these young men are playing and dancing to the tunes of their masters and that is why the Federal Governmet of Nigeria should go after their masters to nip the problem on the bud.

This could not be very easy bearing in mind the fear the government has developed over a long period of time on issues bothering on the north and Islam. The Federal Government has spent more time trying to pacify a group that does not want to be pacified. And the fact that the present Nigerian President is a Muslim may not help the issue since they are birds of feathers that flock together. A kettle cannot morally call a pot black. The north and Islam have for a long time been treated with kid’s gloves hence the ample opportunity they have to be messing up. I therefore think it is the right time to frankly tell the north to let the whole nation know their agenda.

The government should stop treating the north with kid’s glove because they are drawing us back and wasting our resources on issues that are not important to the building and development of the nation. They should be frank with the north and northern Muslims. The rest of us are beginning to see Islam as compatible with violence and they should be aware of this fact.

We should not be afraid to say the truth as it is. We do not understand the northern Muslims with their hidden agenda anymore and they need to come clean for us to move or mar this nation together. Being afraid of the northern Muslims serves nobody no good. In actual fact it strengthens the north and weakens the south and all of us. We should not be afraid to associate Islam with violence if that is what it seems to us from the behaviour of its adherents. The truth should be told no matter whose Ox is gored.

No religion has got a monopoly over violence and no man has got this monopoly of violence alone. Man and religion by nature could be violent and the history of both religion and man has taught us this over and over again. Therefore for the Muslim north to always vent their anger and frustration on the lives and properties of the northern Christian minorities and the southern Christians is not acceptable at all. That message must be made clear to them.

No one can claim to be a believer in a God and yet in the name of same God sheds blood, steal and loot properties. God is not compatible with violence and stealing and His name is peace. Therefore for any religion to claim monopoly over violence in the name of God is idiotic, ridiculous and very stupid and this is what every one of us should fight against. The northern Muslims have been doing this for a long time and it is high time we all join hands and tell them that enough is enough.

4 comments:

  1. Very interestinh article. Even though after reading it, i can't help but notice your bias against the north. I am muslim and i am from the north and i am not against western education. Seeing as your well educated you should have know the religion of Islam is not violent. The word Islam means peace. It angers me as well to see people kill other human beings for the sake of nothing. We preach justice and equality in Islam and this people have gone out of Islam. But to say that Islam is a violent religion is wrong and ignorant.

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  2. Hi Ilias, I must admit that one thing I failed to point out is the fact is that over 70 million Muslims in Nigeria could not be wrong at the same time and there is no way all of them could be the same or be like the 'Boko Haram'. I must therefore beg that you accept my apology for this and if you have been following my article lately, you would notice that this is the second time, I really put my emotion on an issue like this. The first was my response to the President of the Gambia who called for the beheading of gays and lesbians in the name of God. I accept am biased in the article, however my biased stance is borne out of disgust for the length these guys can go in the name of religion and out of ignorance and brain washing. I cannot claim to be ignorant of Islam. I think am well versed in Islam but the fact is that the picture and news we are getting out of the religion lately is not what we get from other religions. For instance Islam means Peace and Total submission to the Will of the Almighty Allah but where is that Peace and Submission in Killing others, looting their properties and arson and even rigging elections like in Iran and even Nigeria, population census manipulation, suicide bombing, fatwas, cutting of hands and likes of them. This is not what we expect from a religion and any religion with any of this qualities must begin to ask themselves a very big question. How my brother, the onus is still on young people like you to educate your folks on the fact that we are no more in the middle or stone ages. Am sure we are now in July 2009 and they should get that fact. Religion is Peace and Peace is God and anything beyond that is satanic. Thanks again though for your nice comments and be aware that I learnt lessons from it and corrected myself.

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