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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.

Our Culture Of Rewarding Madness In Nigeria

Nigeria is a nation where bad deeds are rewarded with applause and high praises, offences and deeds normally punishable in every other parts of the world are often treated with flagrant impunity and rewarded with jumbo contracts, amnesty or scholarships here.

A nation serious about curbing crimes and other vices will make scapegoats of anybody and everybody found wanting, anybody that violate the laws of the land whether written or otherwise. Laws are designed to maintain stability and balance in any society ergo it has to be obeyed and any society where there is a break down of law and other will be in ruins and chaos in no time

Negotiating with law breakers and criminals no matter their intent is an act any serious government should never consider, and in a situation where negotiation is the only possible option it shouldn’t be done in all sincerity because if the terms are fully implemented it will send negative signals; either portraying the administration as weak or the nation as vulnerable to any threats.

When you negotiate with the devil, you’ll always be at its mercy and the devil will always haunt you because instead of crushing it you offered peace to someone who won’t hesitate to crush you at any given opportunity.

We should ask ourselves these questions;

1. The amnesty given to the niger delta militants, did it achieve its aim?

2. Did amnesty solve or postpone the problems in Niger Delta?

3. What will happen when the payment stops?

4. For how long will Nigeria continue to pay for peace?

5. If Boko Haram accepts amnesty, will that stop another terrorist group from rising?

The main point of this article is not to discuss the issues of Boko Haram or Militants, rather it is to draw our attention to the rising culture of rewarding and applauding bad deeds in Nigeria:

The stowaway kid was recently rewarded with a scholarship, is that the right thing to do? If this kid is rewarded for exposing the lapses in our security, why should the 25year old man caught trying to do the same thing be punished? What does that say about us as a nation, if we reward the first offender but punish the 2nd offender of the same offence, where is the consistency in our justice delivery system? a nation that delivers different judgements to two people that committed same offence is seriously not consistent and shows how weak the administration of such nation is, if we don’t deliver justice the way it should be done, there will be increasing cases of law breaking and the reward given to the stowaway kid will surely send a negative message to other kids, they’ll surely grow up with the message that they can break the law and get rewarded and why not, if my mate is rewarded for acting bad why shouldn’t I receive similar reward.

In 3 years Nigerian government has amassed huge cuts on security alone and these are due to the accumulation of simple grass root crimes that were not met with swift and aberrant approach.

The continuous breakdown of law and order in this country is as a result of how we respond to crimes and until we start acting right, there might never be any reward for the huge yearly budgets on security which continuously affect other areas.

Religion: Bane of Our Development

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

Religion as defined by the 8th edition of the oxford dictionary is the belief in the existence of a god or gods, and the activities that are connected with the worship of them, or a particular interest or influence that is very important in our lives. The former definition is a true reflection of what is obtainable in our society today. Let me further emphasize that religion has been the foundation of modern day division amongst humans after slavery and aside racism.
Nigeria is not left out as we happen to be the most religious nation in the world, of that there can be no question, although a vast majority of us lack the mental capacity to comprehend what religion truly means. The Epoch of civilization In Nigeria has produced two major religions, Islam and Christianity with others in existence but in faint forms. In the advent of whatever we have today as religion in which was believed to be the perfect alternative to relinquish us from the slavery of our “cultural barbarism”, NEITHER GOD NOR MAN HAS KNOWN REST. Today Nigeria is faced with a sharp division amongst her people, the different manifestations of this sad situation must be frankly addressed. The most dangerous of these is the widening gap between Christians and Muslims which has been pernicious to our national development overtime.

Over the years, religion has been a tool for political manipulations and indirect slavery. Our political elites use the propagandized form of religion to fragment the nation so as to continuously protect their political influences and build their power bases. This singular act has led to many forms of abysmal fanatism and has blindfolded us from seeing the wrongs in the actions of those on our teams. In recent times, we have being faced with several cases of crisis and blood sheds due to this division as the camaraderie that once existed between both parties is gradually effacing ergo arms and swords are being used in-lieu of proper conversations. Despite the heinous acts of brutal killings and destruction of properties, no one has being brought to face the law, evidently the perpetrators of these skull duggery are shielded by “super powers” in our political domain.
It is very comfortable to say religion as a subject has caused us more destructions than good. If we look meticulously at the chronicles of our nation we will realise that Nigeria has lost more to religious crisis than to any other form of crisis in her history, an example of a few among many is the Shariah crisis in Kaduna, and the crisis in Sagamu where innocent people were brutally murdered and properties were destroyed. A more recent case was the story in Kaduna after the presidential election of 2011 where PDP emerged the winner. Initially it started as a protest against the results of the elections after one of the contestants was believed to have ultered a belligerent statement on television, with time it generated into a clash between PDP and CPC thugs and transciently into a clash between Christians and Muslims where Churches were destroyed in Northern Kaduna while Mosques were destroyed in Southern Kaduna as vendatta leaving so many innocent people dead and some roasted like yam tubers.

However some regions suffer more than others. Development in the North is hindered as a result of this division which continously mitigates crisis.

The Northern region is known for the poorest infrastructures and unempowered people, most of their blithe leaders embark on pseudo projects that are fraught with corruption and nepotism knowing fully well that they can’t be questioned by their bigoted and shallow minded masses who have being locked in illiteracy and spiritual shallowness. Imagine a case of a governor being praised for sending almost 50 people on pilgrimage in a state that lacks portable drinking water. Kaduna as an example is verbally divided into Southern Kaduna (Mostly occupied by Christians) and Northern Kaduna (Mostly occupied by Muslims), a shocking scenario revealed when Governor Patrick Yakowa died, there were cases of jubiliations in mostly northern part of Kaduna dominated by Muslims because he was a Christian. How grim can this get? The crisis pattern however involves the destruction of churches in northern kaduna and destruction of mosques in southern kaduna.
Recently, more priority is being given to defence, as the administration amass huge amounts funding the military anti-terrorism war due to the case of the militants uprising in the north. A dreadful terrorist group who are believed to be against western education has held the region to ransome. Since 2010, the economic activities of the north has been crippled as a result of the situation. More lives are being lost and more people are fleeing the state to look for peaceful dwellings. The last 2years has being the nadir of this dreaded insurgence as several churches, mosques, schools and homes have being destroyed and innocent people brutally murdered.

The youths are further brainwashed with twisted religious texts and recruited as thugs to carry out heinous crimes against their own people who are on the opposite sides (other religions).

Lately, religion is no longer about preaching peace and morality, two virtues that are so much needed in a perilous time like this, it has become a game of lords, a big business, in which on one side we have perverted hypocrites concealing the truths to gain political immunity and earn their ungodly share of the national cake while on the other side we have a group that believes in propagating enemity between religions and further spread terror and violence. Sadly, majority of Nigerians are unaware that these vile unconscionable Mallams and Pastors who continously push their extremist followers are shielded by armed thugs. The question is: how many of their children or family members have being killed so far in any of these crisis?.

An act of “worship” doesn’t involve acquiring material wealth at the detriment of others as or creating enemity amongst people but vice versa. I heard a preacher telling his congregation that the Muslim “Allah” is different from the Christian”God”, how grim and hypocritical? that is how the animus keeps spreading by the same people who are suppose to preach peace and unity. In reality, we all serve one God, the only difference between us is our methods. The more we are advancing, the more these divisions are repackaged and rebranded to suit our orientations, Sadly, even the educated fall for these traps. Today a vast majority of Nigerians feel Christians and Muslims are enemies by virtue of our primordial acqauintances, In reality, this is not so. These clashes have left us with putrid nightmares, injuries and pains with no side being able to vanquish the other, it is pellucid and important for us to see that there is no war between Christians and Muslims and whatever we see and experience is painted by some vile religious leaders who head our religious houses under the detailed instructions of their dare-devils at the top.

Nigerians should know that, this division is the style of the oppressors, be it the government or be it the predominant group. They oppress, and then use religion as a means to control the masses, divide them and lead them to submission and defeat.

It is time for Nigerians to understand that these ungodly religious leaders are fundamental parts of the plutocracy in our government. They get fat largesse from these people at the top who continously use them as tools to create religious propagandas. Let me bring to our cognizance that these religious leaders that preach divisions and violence hardly lose any member of their families to the outcome of these crises, their families are abroad enjoying the benevolence of their ill gotten wealth or moving in convoys of armed men.

It is obvious that both sides (Christians and Muslims) cannot wipe out each other, the best is for us to create an enabling environment where both sides will coexist peacefully. We must avoid being too keen to instructions from some of these preachers and learn to sieve some of these twisted exegesis.
We must understand that religion is as corruptible a human activity as any other. Its frontliners aren’t really saints, they are human beings and they do what human beings do- lie, cheat, steal from their members, overstate their importance and degenerate opposing views unfairly.

This division is obstructing our development as a nation and our empowerment as a people. We must understand that lack of unity will only make us suffer more as we have being suffering in the past. No nation has ever achieved greatness in division but as a single unit hence for us to achieve anything as a great Nation, we must learn to function as a single impregnable unit where the perfidious feelings will be washed away or be prepared to lose Nigeria forever. GOD BLESS NIGERIA!!!

The writer is on twitter @ameer_tsidi
elevendistrict5@gmail.com

Honesty – The Real Key To A Better World

A little lie, just a little white lie to cover up but once it comes out it must be nurtured like flower, consistently maintained over a long period of time, though most times its just to get out of a situation but as times goes on it becomes an habit, an headache and it can come back to haunt the liar because within a second of inconsistency the table can turn around and the deceit of the liar will be clearly exposed.

Lying is a form of dishonesty and it breeds many other evil practises like Greed and covetousness which further leads to corruption and other vices.

Greed is the major reason for corruption and corruption is one of the main problem of the world today, every nation of the world is feeling the effect of corruption, though it is low in some nation while in others it is a wide spread disaster, nations sponsor war in other nations not because it loves or hate the nation where the war is taking place but because of its own greed, what it stand to benefit while the country is not settled.

There is wide spread corruption the world over today because people are getting greedier with each rising of the sun, widespread malpractices in education, businesses are collapsing, economies are in deficits, people no longer trust each other and the lust for power by all means further relegate honesty to the background.

A recently released publication shows the nations with the highest rate of examination malpractices, a certain west African nation is top of the list, this shows how much greed has eaten deep into the society that even the level of cheating on the part of students has risen to a disturbing state, student now prefer to cheat, buy results or use mercenary during examinations, than to read hard to achieve their desired grades, this is the same practises they bring into the society after school because its hard for those that practise such thing to stop it when they eventually leave school: some will go into business, some get employed while some will go into politics.

If the history of the corrupt people in the world today is traced, its will likely reveal that most of them were involved in different kinds of malpractices in school which has now become parts of them.

In business and politics today honest people are hard to find in the world, but without honesty corruption will soon become deadlier than any natural disaster known to man today, people keep creating means to feed their greed and they don’t care if people live or die in the process as long as they satisfy their greed nothing else matters.

The only way to save the world is for people to start striving to develop qualities that will stand them out in life, exemplary character that will make them work hard instead of looking for short cuts to success.

Honesty is a virtue. If all people become honest, then our society will be an ideal society. An honest behaviour means a behaviour which is free from cheat and deceit. Honesty is based on being truthful. It is free from all kinds of evil motive; greed, cheating, and all other vices that is hurting our world today.

Honesty is one of the good qualities, The students should try to become honest in their day-to-day life. Because the students are the future of the country. Hence, they are expected to build an honest society for themselves and to leave a tradition of honesty for their future generation.

If also practised in politics there will be a huge reduction in election malpractices and there sure will be no reason for a win by all means mentality and if practised in businesses what happened to the likes of Enron, Worldcom, Arthur Anderson, Xerox and other businesses that collapsed due to lies, greed and corruption will be a thing of the past.

Timely Message For The Wise


There is so much wrong doing in our society today, people live and act like they know what will become of them tomorrow, they live a foolish life.
I though about this and I came up with this write up, hope it helps us think about our action and our lives, only if we are wise.

If you are wise;
You will not only think about yourself but about people around you.
You will know that your wealth counts for nothing if you are surrounded by hungry people.
You will know that life’s accomplishments is not measured by what you achieved but by what you contribute.

If you are wise;
You will get to know the meaning of perpetual succession.
That the office you hold now was held by someone before you.
That you need to live like your death comes tomorrow.

If you are wise;
You will know the world does not revolve around you.
That you control the world today doesn’t make you a god
You will learn to live simple and act simple

If only you are wise;
You will learn to control your mouth
That you are a spokesman today does not mean you should talk to the citizen any how
That you are not the first neither will you be the last spokesman

If you are wise ;
You will know that the wealth you gather today will outlive you
That you will take nothing to grave
That people will only remember you for the good things you did and will always curse you for your bad deeds

If you are very wise;
You will not sell your vote for food and money
That once you sell it your unborn generations will suffer for it
And the future you sold in less than 4minutes will take you 4year to have a chance correct it

If only you are very wise,
You will forget yourself into greatness.
Forget your rights, but remember your responsibilities.
Forget your inconveniences, but remember your blessings.

If only you are wise;
You will forget your greed and remember the needy
Forget your own accomplishments, but remember your debts to others.
Forget your privileges, but remember your obligations.

If only you are really wise;
You will follow the examples of great people and contribute into the lives of others
Empty your days of the search for security and fill them with a passion for service.
Empty your hours of the ambition for recognition; fill them with the aspiration for achievement.

If truly you are wise;
You will remember these truths: ‘A person must soon forget himself to be long remembered”
‘He must empty himself in order to discover a fuller self”
‘He must lose himself to find himself”

So if you are wise;
You will forget yourself into greatness.
Forget your greed
And always contribute into the lives of others

But only if you are wise will you do wise things
If only you are wise

Make a Change

A change starting with me, a change starting with you. A change we can believe in.

Making a change is not a matter of being rich or being popular, you and I don’t have to be influential neither do we have to be in a position of power to change the world.

Making a change is a decision that comes from within our hearts, that we are willing to change ourselves first and then influencing on Nigeria and then the world at large.

We don’t need to have everything to make a change in our society and make our presence felt
positively, we can make positive contribution by starting small.

Nobody can do everything that will change the world and make it a better place, but everyone can
contribute something to make it better by first changing himself/herself by always thinking positive and not looking forward to what the world can do for him/her but what he/she can do
to heal the world.

A change capable of changing the old rules That change will modify our messed up world, If we believe in it and start acting On the little we can afford to impact in it.

Changing the world is our real chance to grow, our chance to right all wrongs: Willingness to make a change is not a trait that people are born with, rather It is something that is learned and developed over time. It is also dependent upon the individual
and situation.

You don’t have to be a Pastor/Muslim Cleric to teach people to always do the right things and think positive.

Making a change starts from doing things within your power and making sure it is felt.

To put the world right in order, we must first put Our nation in order; to put our nation in order, we
must first put our family in order; to put the family in order, we must change our personal lives positively; we must set our hearts right. You must be the change you wish to see in the
world.

That change is Our ability to stand united and face our problems, change is our opportunity to prove critics wrong.

That change is our legend for unborn generations
That change is us
Together we’ll better our world
Together we can,
Yes we can
You and Me