Friday, 16 May 2014

Boko Haram, Homophobia: They have same roots, hate and prejudice!

Recently, I was accused of being out of touch with reality for mixing and comparing the fear and plight of Nigerians due to the terror of Boko Haram with the plight of homosexuals in Nigeria due to the recently passed Nigerian anti-gay law. But am sorry, if you cannot see the connection I can see it clearly and my point is that what Boko Haram is doing today in Nigeria is terrorism just as what Nigeria is doing to Nigerian homosexuals is also called terrorism. Nigeria is inflicting a brutal act of terror on Nigerian homosexuals and Boko Haram is doing exactly same thing to all of us and we must condemn both. They are both acts of terrorism.

The activities of Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have same thing in common; terrifying the weak and the helpless. Boko Haram wants all of us to abandon western education and become Muslims or we shall all die. Their mission is not different from that of Nigeria Government headed by President Jonathan Goodluck: become straight or you end up in jail for 14 years. Do you not see the connection there? I can see it clearly.

To homosexuals in Nigeria, the Nigerian anti-gay law terrifies, dehumanises and puts them in daily and constant danger and fear of their lives and that is exactly how the terror of Boko Haram makes the rest of us feel. They are using numerous tactics including kidnapping, looting and suicide bombing to make us agree with them and be what they want us to be and not what we want to be. They want to reap us apart and strike ruthlessly at the core of our fundamental human right to freedom of choice, association, life and being who we are and not what others want us to be. But we should not allow them just as we should not allow the Nigerian Government to send our brothers and sisters to jail for committing no crime but being who they are.

I invite every well-meaning Nigerian to join me in condemning Boko Haram as well as the Government of Jonathan Goodluck who set this motion of hatred in progress. This is the right thing to do for you cannot condemn one terror leaving the other. You cannot condemn Boko Haram and yet continue to condone the persecution, imprisonment, lynching, victimisation, blackmailing and all sorts of terror against homosexuals in Nigeria. It does not work that way. You cannot have it both ways. If a Muslim wants freedom of religion, he must also grant that freedom to Jews and Christians and to everyone else, no matter how repugnant their belief maybe to him. If Boko Haram wants to abolish the western education in Nigeria and make all of us Muslims, fine but then they must allow the people to exercise that choice. They can always group as a political party and then give the people the opportunity to decide for themselves.

What Boko Haram is trying to achieve is impossible and that is to make every single Nigerian a Muslim, establish a Muslim caliphate and abolish our western system of education. It might also interest you to know that that is exactly also the mission of Nigerian Government of President Jonathan Goodluck: to forcefully ‘convert’ all Nigerian homosexuals into being straight. This is ridiculous! I am convinced some people are born gay but even if they are not, what is wrong with that freedom of ‘choice’? What is wrong with the ‘choice’ you made to become a Muslim, a Roman Catholic, an Anglican, an America, British, black or white or even an atheist?

Democracy is not about domination. It is all about majority for the protection of the minority. A man is strong and his strength comes out fully when he uses that strength to defend the weak, the poor, the helpless, and the minorities and in fact, whoever is in need of that help. That is exactly the reason the West has been saying 'Hey, you are getting it wrong! Do not victimise your brethren for what they do not choose to be. They are your brothers and sisters and blood'. But then most Nigerians including the Nigerian government of Goodluck Jonathan turned around to accuse the West of meddling in Nigeria affairs. This same people would shamefully turnaround and invite same West to help them fight Boko Haram! These people, do they not have a sense of shame at all?

I do not agree that the West is meddling in our affair. They are telling us the right thing. These people are smart. Ever wondered the reason the West is highly organised and today a dream of every single African to visit and live in? Ever wondered why these people were able to invent aeroplane, computers, trains, cars, television, underground travelling system, iPhone and loads of other sophisticated technologies? Ever wondered the reason the West is against the victimisation and persecution of homosexuals? They have invested millions, times, manpower and efforts before coming to that conclusion and we must respect them for that and accept that we got it wrong. There is nothing wrong in saying that someone is more brilliant than you are. In fact, it is a virtue to acknowledge that and that is exactly what Nigeria needs today. We must be humble enough to accept that we got it wrong and are still getting it wrong before it is too late. We cannot do without the West and their hugely relevant and important guidance and advice.

But then, if you cannot accept what the West is telling you about homosexuality and even telling the West to their face to shove their aid up their ass, how on earth could you still turn around all of a sudden to ask same West for help to fight Boko Haram? Has someone sold her shame in the market or is someone not thinking before talking. You cannot have it both ways.

In fact, whatever Nigeria thinks about her internal affairs and sovereignty, sadly globalisation has made the whole world look like one little village and what happens in Nigeria today is not just a Nigerian affair but a world affair. The West is therefore justified in guiding Nigeria to the right path and Nigeria in the spirit of humility and humanity must accept this guidance. The whole world cannot and should not keep quiet while Nigeria is busy persecuting her own minorities. But why on earth do you think that the West would ever leave Nigeria to turn into another Gambia under a lunatic? Nigeria should learn that hate does not pay; it actually breeds more hate and we should not allow this cycle to continue ad infinitum.

Elie Wiesel, a Nobel Laureate could not have said it better: “We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must-at that moment-become the centre of the universe”.

The situation in Nigeria is calling for an urgent action and response. Nigerian homosexuals are living in fear of their lives for being in the minority. But so are also the rest of us due to the menace of Boko Haram. But I must add that Nigerian government including the government of Jonathan Goodluck should be blamed for all these mess. By their actions and policies, they instilled in the mind of ordinary Nigerians the ugly concept of hatred and persecution of the minorities. Today we are reaping the bitter fruit.

Nigeria fired the first shot and once you fire the first shot of hatred you cannot stop it. It must complete its target. Nigerians hate homosexuals and I have issue with that and Boko Haram hate all of us and I do have issue with that too. Therefore, the solution lies in one concept: equality for all and the protection of the right of all without discrimination.