Archive | January 2014

Boko Haram; A Misconception of Islam

Before one can begin to take a stand on “Islam” and “Terrorism”, it is significant to understand the enomity of these two divergent terms, albeit we have to agree that these two terms have become inextricably interwoven in this zeitgeist, and the media has contributed enomoursly to the complexity of trying to understand the nature of the problem, but it is only fair for one to understand Islam’s stance on terrorism and inorder to do this one must refer to its original sources, the Quran and Hadiths (the teachings of Prophet Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him) which are explicit in their prohibition of any form of injustice and skull duggery including that of wanton violence which seeks to instill fear, injury or death to (innocent) civilians.

On that account the Quran clearly states in chapter 5 verse 32 that: “We ordained for the Children of Israel (Believers) that if any one slay a person – (unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land) – it would be as if he slayed the whole mankind: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole mankind” , the verse did not specify “Muslim” or “Christian” but Mankind, that is to say Allah (God) does not take delight in transgression against one another irrespective of Religion, Race or Ethnicity. Another verse reveals: “Whether We shall show thee (within thy life-time) part of what we promised them or take to ourselves thy soul (before it is all accomplished), – thy duty is to make (the Message) reach them: it is Our part to call them to account. Q 13:40

But if they turn away, thy duty is only to preach the clear Message. There are several verses that aligns to the above like: Q 88: 21-22, Q 17:54, Q:24:54 and so many others. These verses clearly points out that as a Muslim, it is only your duty to preach and remind and not to compel or coerce anyone to adopt your religion either by violence or by subjecting them to hypocritical kindness.

Another verse goes on to explain that if Allah so wish, He would have made the world one religion, but it is His will for us to be created this way. Q 10: 99-100

The reason for providing the background information here is to enable us come to grip with the sophisticated nature of the problem and understand what we are dealing with, it is also believed that this should help whoever that believes in the synonymity of these two morally opposite concepts to clear up their vague assertions.

First and foremost, it is very necessary to note that Islam is not a religion of sects, it is a religion that seeks to regulate lives from which values can be derived. Islam as a word means “peace” and Muslims are expected to uphold this virtue in all aspects of life, on that note we can clearly assert that the brutal killings and attacks on the lives and properties of innocent people in the northern part of Nigeria under the guise of Islam is unIslamic, unjustifiable, UnGodly and barbaric.

This sect tagged “Boko Haram” which literarily translates into “western education is a sin” have disguised political themes under the auspices of religion, they have come to cause mayhem and shake the very core of our economy and society, perpetrating all sorts of immoral acts claiming a propagandized war against Western Education and Christians of which a meticulous approach of the subject reveals that their cowardly acts are aimed at intimidating, dividing and causing despondency among Nigerians. It makes it very important for us to point out the several incontestable facts that these acts of cruelty is not justified by Islam and neither is it a northern course. One of the prayers of any true Muslim is written in Quran 20 Verse 114:”My Lord! Enrich me with knowledge. How is it that the same religion that ordained us to pray for knowledge counters its own self by telling us “Western Knowledge or Education is a sin”? of course there is an obvious contradiction here. One of the Hadiths of the Holy Prophet states “Wisdom and knowledge are things that the believer lacks. He should take them “wherever” he finds them.”(Tirmidhi, Al-Ilm) futhermore, the pursuit of knowledge and the use of reason, based on sense and observation is made obligatory on all believers because Islam is a religion that encourages research and constant acquisition of knowledge for us to fit into the society. However Islam only limits us on using our acquired knowledge for the good of humanity and to fulfil our salvation to our creator.

If Islam is against acquiring western Knowledge then one should sight examples of foremost Islamic scientists in the 14th century who colored the European civilization at a time when Europe was considered a dark continent: Muhammad Ibn Musa Al-Khwarizmi considered in some cases to be the father of Algebra, Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Kathīr al-Farghānī who was said to be involved in measuring the diameter of the earth, these are few amongst many. To further crown this point, In this zeitgeist one of the most renown Islamic Orator in the world, Doctor Zakir Naik is a surgeon, sighting more examples from the north where this group of people claim to hail from, we have Prof. Attahiru Jega (Political Science), Prof. Ruqayatu Rufai (Education), Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha (pharmacy), Professor Sheikh Dangi (Accounting), Prof. Ango Abdullahi not to mention those in politics: Aminu Tambuwal (Law), Mallam Nasir El-Rufai (Quantity Survey, Law and Public Admin), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu (Law), Sanusi Lamido (Economics), Shamsudeen Usman (Economics) and not forgetting Mrs Aloma Maryam Mukhtar (Law). All these men and women of accolades are popular not for proclaiming Islamic Knowledge alone but for excelling in western education mostly from northern universities and standing in mainstream politics.
Let us also bring to our cognizance that Kaduna State alone houses Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State University, Kaduna State Polytechnic, Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, College of Aviation, National Institute of Transport Technology amongst many and as far as education is concerned , these institutions are renowned for conventional education. If Boko was Haram, then how did all these institutions find their way to the north?.

The Governor of Kano, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has recently thrown it to the world that “Boko is not Haram” by introducing a free education project for the people of the state from the primary to tertiary level and it is important to note that this form of education is not only Islamic but conventional having realised that if we don’t educate ourselves, how do we understand that the bloody and tyrannous killings cloaked as Jihad is unIslamic and outdated and now is the era of contemporary Jihad that requires intellects and verbal jousting.

More so, the “heroic” acts of Boko Haram and Shekau will not in anyway contribute to a religion that has already been in existence for centuries and stood through the worst moments, his actions are as hysterical as trying to make an ocean sugary, He is only making the Islamophobia grow stronger amongst the ignorant and It is also glaring that some politicians use this as a bludgeoning point to serve their selfish interests and paint the image of Islam wrongly, while others focus on using terror as a profit making enterprise.

While the Media serves the news to the permeable minds of the ignorant, one cannot debunk the fact that radicalised muslims have been used to perpetrate heinous acts, but from a vantage point, radicalisation is a human thing and not a religious programming as it is often percieved. We can’t keep Judging religions by its followers just like we can’t Judge a car by its driver. If a driver knocks someone down with a car who will you blame, the car or the driver?

Nigerians should also know that these Terrorists view us all as Nigerians and worthy targets and they don’t discriminate. Our divisions will do nothing but reduce our bargaining power for a better country from our leaders because we speak in divided religious and ethnic voices.

At this juncture It is suffice to quote the President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan in which he clearly stated that “Boko Haram killings have no link with religion” on that note we seperate Islam from this cowardly act of destruction.

I’m a Muslim, I’m not a terrorist and I don’t support terrorism.

Amir-Abdurrahman
@ameer_tsidi

The Anti Gay Law and Nigerians.

The concept of Homosexuality is an abomination according to the Holy Books, a taboo in African tradition and also to every extent it is morally wrong but that is not enough reason to hate or condemn anyone for being homosexual. Religiously and morally it is wrong to hate anyone for their choice or opinion in life but with the hate and condemnation homosexuals receive from everywhere especially from Nigerians one would think homosexuality is the only abomination in the eye of God which is not true.

Many of the things we do and see as normal are abomination in the sight of God but the society makes it seem like homosexuals are the greatest sinners in the sight of God, according to Ezekiel 18 v 10 – 13, homosexuals aren’t the only ones committing abominable offences even bankers and almost everyone involved in politics commit abomination but the society sees it as normal.

Instituting laws and tagging them like criminals shouldn’t be a state issue,, what two consenting adults do in private shouldn’t be a problem to the society and shouldn’t be an issue to be discussed in the parliament. Hating and condemning them won’t solve the problem of homosexuality, how do you convince those you’ve shown hatred to repent from their wrongdoings? Besides, making it illegal doesn’t make it go away.

The anti gay law cheapened our democracy and will probably pose more danger to the freedom of Nigerians than any other law in our history because there’s no way to prove anyone is gay and with the law enforcement agencies we have in this country more innocent people will be arrested, black mailed and tortured as gays and soon the law will be used as a weapon to settle personal and political scores.

More ground studies should have been done to itemize other options before laws are passed, that is why in America, not all states have legalised this act. The Okada ban law in Lagos is a clear example that in Nigeria the law enforcers don’t really understand the laws they’re enforcing neither do they know how to interpret laws, A law like this will give rise to many wrongful convictions and vile mob actions.

Homosexuals are our brothers and sisters and should be shown love, if we all claim to love God how come we hate our brothers for their choice in life? 1 John 4: 20 “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen”

Religiously, Homosexuals are like lost souls, they’re in sin but don’t know, to make them realise their mistakes they must be shown love and respect, prayed for and taught to be true to the order of nature,, by doing this we can convince them to forsake their wrong choice and change for good.

Nigeria; A Product Of Our Society

By Amir-Abdulrahman JA
President District 11 Outreach Project (DOP)

Democracy is a fair system in which the people get the leaders they deserve. Nigeria is a perfect example to fit into this description as our political office holders who are ambassadors of our paper-perfected Democracy are perfect reflections of our societal standards and what we stand for as a people. Why call our leaders idiots when we are bigger idiots? Why call them corrupt, when we are like them?

Our failed democracy is nothing but a result of inconsequential decadent hypocrisy and insalubrious sentiments that majority will always bring into everything especially when money is involved to buy our conscience and make us wave our sense of judgement. After the Last Presidential media chat, it became clearer that Nigerians lack the grace and acumen to advocate for change, we are talkers not doers and it is fair for any one to say; we don’t deserve good governance yet and not anytime soon. The incumbent administration is going to be 3 years old in office by 2014 and 5 years in total from the 2 years passed down from the Late Umaru Musa Yar’adua, we don’t need the United Nations, Transparency international or Amnesty International to tell us that in the past 3 years our Nation has been in a state of anomaly and almost heading for doom, a casual perusal and meticulous analysis of the subject will tell us so. In the last decade, N21 Trillion has been said to have fled the shores of Nigeria, the fuel subsidy was a total scam and innovations such as the SURE-P failed before they even got started, the last 3 years has threatened us with insurgency and incessant corruption cases.

The incumbent administration has failed in totality to address the major areas creating inferno and chaos in the Nation, instead they have exhibited great parochialism by playing politics while burning issues loom and threaten the sovereignty and unity of the Nation, yet we have people who are ready to fight you just for pointing out several incontestable fact that the PDP and the present administration has derailed the Nation 16 years backwards even if records show that I voted for the same people I criticise, their loyalists will accuse you of being blinded by religious sentiments. This is totally abysmal and uncivilized, to say I can’t spell out the ills of my government because I don’t share the same religious beliefs as majority of them.

If Nelson Rohlil-Ahla Mandela was a Nigerian, Nigerians will play tribalism and regionalism even when the state of the Nation is at stake, who cares? Nigerians are entertained by politics of backwardness and slavery, that is why despite the heinous atrocities of Late Gen. Sani Abacha against Nigerians and Nigeria, he is still being worshipped and praised by a vast majority of people in the North Like wise Lieutenant Col. Odimegwu Ojukwu in the East. In this zetgeist it is saddening that our politics is still being fraught with sentiments instead of important National issues, this is why our kingdom keeps crumbling and falling.

Nigeria is still one of the very few countries in Africa where political officers campaign with feeble projects such as bridge and road construction, portable water and Health care facilities after all we are educated illiterates who do not understand what “basic social amenities” means. Our politicians care about the hungry when they are voters and only care about the naked when they are women. We sell our votes for items as small as pack of maggi, bag of rice and in most cases for nickel and dime oblivious that selling our votes out is selling the future and our coming generation to continous slavery. Our politicians continue to offer such items because of the certainty that we are like them, we are what they are and what differentiates us from them is just time. while other Nations are moving to 2014 next year, Nigeria Is just stepping into 1961. This is hysterical but true.

The recent open letter of former Head of State General Olusegun Obasanjo to Dr Goodluck Jonathan has nothing to do with Nigerians, we are just being overtly partisan over paper-transactions (fraught with intentional and political innuendos) between a former president who ran a Nation of gorilla warfare and Lion-ist modus operandi and a serving one that runs a government of the elites and commitees where corruption is the currency for trade. Instead of dwelling on how to reclaim our Nation from these people in 2015, who have not even an infinitesimal idea of what the masses are going through. We stay analysing and looking for ways to take sides with them. It is disheartening that Nigerians are pleading with Obasanjo to help us stop President Jonathan from his 2015 ambition, this is to tell you that our powers as voters is zilch and has no effect on our democracy, we don’t need OBJ to act for us, if majority are dissatisified by his (GEJ) leadership, our votes should speak for us in unison. Allowing the same people interfere for us insinuates that Our fate, freedom and rights are being compromised, yet we are positioned to observe while we sing praises of them because they are from the same region as us.

One day at a gathering in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, a friend of mine told me that after he saw the natural resources possessed by Nigeria and our history of bad governance, that it is appropriate to say, Nigeria is not a Nation where heroes can be made, and it is going to take time for us to realise that we have the power to be better than the United States and China. Yes! Nigeria can’t possibly make heroes because the youths are bothered more by relationship status than the state of their Nation, we are obsessed with trivialities and enslaved by materialism that greatness has lost its adequacy in our hearts.

How can you demand for your rights when you live wrongly, a revolution starts with individuals doing the right thing. God did not send a prophet to lead the egyptians, they recognised their common enemy and proceeded. Muyideen Mustapha the 23 years old boy that passed away during the fuel subsidy protest in Kwara has been forgotten, his name blown with the dust on streets and sadly no place in history for him. Is it not true that we are not a Nation of heroes?

While we anticipate 2015, we should go back and look at the journey from 2011 till date, majority elected Mr President, he clearly represents us, so when we rain abuses and curses on him we should remember he is a product of our own system, the same society that made us, shaped him and we must learn to appreciate that fact.

The change we anticipate in this Nation, the utopia we dream of will only be a product of our individual-patriotism. Let us know our places, we should know that this is NIGERIA and we are Nigerians. Let us not seek the APC answer or PDP answer, let us not seek, the North, the South, West or East answer, Let us not seek the Christian or Muslim answer, let us seek for the right answer, Let us not seek to fix the blames of the past, let us accept our own individual responsibilities as citizens of tomorrow for the future. NIgeria belongs to us all and the earlier we put aside our prejudices, sentiments and bigotry aside, the better for us all. We can blame our pasts leaders for our present state, but we should be ready to blame ourselves for the failures of tomorrow. We must put aside our religious and ethnic sentiments and move forward without regression, although success may not be guaranteed but we must advance towards the path that will positively reshape Nigeria in the future and anything short of this is inadequate.

The next general elections in 2015 is just 16months away and to get it right then we must start doing the right things now, ask the right questions, stop being blind loyalists and act right, the enlightened ones should let the less enlightened know the dangers and consequences of selling votes and helping politicians rig elections, because if we don’t do these, Nigeria might get worse with each elections.

GOD BLESS NIGERIA