Search This Blog

Translate

Friday, January 17, 2014

THE RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION pt.TWO.


   If I love my neighbour as myself ,which is one of the greatest laws in the Holy Bible. In the Holy Qur'an, ‘PEACE’ is the word. For Christians, Christ used it as a summation for his teachings. If you love me the way you love yourself, you will not kill me. You will see me as an extension of yourself. If you love no one but yourself (selfishness is frowned at by all religions), you will see nothing in killing others.
   All heads of religions (Imams, Priests, and Rabbis etc.) , Should put this in their message, ‘LOVE'. It is infuriating, listening to people call another infidel, and unbeliever. This person believes in God but worships him in a way different from yours. I understand people are scared of what they do not understand. It is human nature but we should learn to be tolerant and respect others' point of view, their way of life. It is the same way you expect others to accept yours' that you should do theirs'. I do not know if I am making any sense. All these religious and tribal killings can be stopped if we learn to tolerate. I do not know how to put this but have you noticed the countries with these wars are developing nations and amongst them, the black nations carry the vote. The developed nations have that tolerance, yes, the discrimination is there but it is hidden. They have found ways to tolerate it.
  Nigeria is guilty of this discrimination. How can they fight this religious segregation when tribal discrimination is a huge cankerworm in the country? During the last presidential elections, Nigerians looked at the candidates from the parties in this manner: the presidential aspirant from the umbrella party is from the south- south and a christain, his running mate from the north and a Muslim. The candidate from broom is from the north and Muslim, his running mate is same. The candidate from pencil is a northerner and Muslim, his running mate from the west and a Christian pastor. This was the way, practically every Nigerian approached it and not who is the best man. The religious crisis in Nigeria has taken a new turn; we are now a terrorist nation with all the suicide bombings. The Boko-Haramites have links with the Al-Qaeda an extremist Muslim group. I believe religion has nothing to do with all these like they say. A group of leaders runs it for their selfish reasons and use others as their pawns by messing with their heads that it is for religion.
   It is a shame that this exists even amongst people of the same religion. The Christians are the greatest pretenders on earth. They act as if they are better than everyone is in that same religion. They all act holier than thou do. Yes, be angry; feel insulted that is my aim. The truth is a bitter pill to swallow. Have you ever sat down to watch Christians of one denomination talk about another? If you have, you would think they were referring to a completely different religion.
   I was seated in a bus, when another bus filled with Christian mothers of the Catholic Church passed and a passenger beside me commented to another,' I hate Catholics. Why would they worship Mary, the mother of Jesus? Their service is very boring. They make their women cover their heads...' He went on and on. You will think I made it up but I did not. I have heard a friend say I do not like the Pentecostal churches they are diabolical. I do not know why any of this should be a reason. Anytime am asked my religion, I state 'Christian' and they ask what denomination, it pisses me off. I always reply, what does my denomination have to do with anything? One day, a particular person pushed and I replied, 'I am a catholic'. You would never believe what he said ‘you people like worshipping Mary. Your pastors do not get married. I don’t like people from the catholic.' He said all this to my face. I was to write for his magazine. Tough luck, I did not get a call back. Let us not delve into the tribal part because I experience that a lot more. You would think the discrimination would stop there. I have a friend; her parents are knights in the Catholic Church. She had been dating a boy from her school for years. He is from another Christian denomination. He went to ask for her hand in marriage. Her parents refused. What was their reason take a wild guess? She tried everything to convince them; threatened to get pregnant, kill herself. Nothing made them change their minds. They broke up because here, your parents’ blessings are important. We all have heard of this, some have experienced it. The young man was a Christian but not of the same sect and that was his only flaw.
   You see pastors, priests and heads of other Christian sects propagating this. They tell their members not to marry outside the church. I understand it is nice to dress up and go to church with your spouse. This church service lasts between an hour and four hours. After the service what next? Is it not the same Bible we use? Yes, there is The King James version and the rest of them but it is the same Bible, the same Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit and God. We celebrate Christmas, the birth of Christ and Easter, his resurrection on the same day all over the world. When Christ said ‘love your neighbour.’ he was not referring to just your church members, he meant every human you meet. Please, people open your minds. If you do not like it, tolerate it.     It is ironic in a way that as I am seated here in my tiny room typing this there are bombings going on all over the world, thanks to religious extremists. It is a particular religion. Are they not ashamed that they are ‘the suicide bombers’, ‘the machete and scimitar carriers’ ‘the butchers’? Other religions do not take the lives of others as they do. If they are not ashamed, I am ashamed for them. Prophet Muhammad was a prophet of peace. Christ preached the same sermon. The prophets in the Old Testament had it in their messages. Please, let us live in peace. Do not forget the golden key, the only thing that can stop these massacres, this useless killings and waste of human lives, ‘LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOUR, THE WAY YOU LOVE YOURSELF AND WANT TO BE LOVED’. Cheers!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

THE RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION pt1


   It's been years, had to dust this up and bring it back.
The world has so many problems. So many things that are not meant to be issues are. We have fought so many wars, enslaved others for nothing. We are all humans; there is no special right for another because we are the same. So many people will beg to differ and probably send me a letter bomb if they knew where I live. We divide ourselves by so many things: class, race. I am white and you are black. I am rich and you are poor. I am learned and you are not. I am American and you are not, even countries have this within-I am Yoruba and you are not. It exists even amongst people from same religions. They divide themselves for reasons I do not understand. You are catholic, me Pentecostal. Even in the Muslim religion, some Arabs see themselves above other Muslims that they are pure Muslims the people Muhammad brought the message to or you hear ‘I am a Sunni (orthodox) and you are not.’ What’s up with that?
  There are so many things of import that this should not matter but it does. Remember the Holy Crusades? The Jihads? It still does not make sense to me. You would think education would help make people broadminded and tolerant of others but it does not. I have one question; is it not the same God? So, you think the God worshipped by the three major religions in the world; Islam, Judaism and Christianity is not one and the same God. In my book, it is the same God but from different perspective. I do not know how to explain it to you but I will. Ok, look at the fabric cotton, if you see it in Dubai you can’t say it’s not the same thing you saw in Nigeria because the style of cloth it was used to sew in both places are different. We all see the same thing in different ways, according to the way it suits us is the issue. It is the same God addressed in different names and different ways. Allah is the Arabic name for God, is the same God worshipped by the Christians and the Jews.
  I have always been a curious person. When I was younger, I wanted to understand other religions and why I always heard, people mention religions different from theirs’ in disgust. I picked up the Holy Quran; this was the English translated type. As I read on, I had this sense of Déjà vu. I picked up my Holy Bible I took to Sunday school every Sunday and it tallied albeit some names were not the same, it was obviously their version in the language used to write The Holy Quran. Little adjustments too in stories. For Christians, angels are higher than men are and man is with original sin from birth. For them, the Muslims, there is no original sin and men are considered higher than angels are. Funny enough, we believe in the same things: Angels, day of judgement, heaven, paradise and hell. Even the Jews themselves believe in the afterlife. What is the difference now, Islam sees the Christian Bible ,The Hebrew Bible and the Quran as Holy books but the first two scriptures in the Christian Bible have been altered making the Quran the only perfect source.
  Again, Christianity sees Jesus as the son of God, Islam says no, that he is just a prophet like Moses; the Jews say the same thing. That is our only difference; we all have faith in the same God. Therefore, Islam preaches Monotheism-there is only one all-powerful, all- knowing God and He created the whole Universe. Yes, we believe that too but with his son in addition plus the Holy Spirit. Yes, the Arabs whom Islam is their religion descend from Ishmael, the half brother of Isaac from whom Christians and Jews descend. We all are from Abraham’s great lineage our religions come from there.
  So why the religious discrimination everywhere? Especially from our Muslim brothers. They say those ones are not learned but it is not true they all have the same outlook. Everyone is an infidel if he is not Muslim and it is a Jihad. Do you know what Jihad means? They say it means holy war but it really means, struggle or to exhaust one’s effort in order to please God. The effort to be exhausted does not mean killing your fellow humans. It means your personal life and your relationship with your neighbour. If Prophet Muhammad was here, he will be grossly disappointed. I wish he were still at Medina to see this. He has dropped the message and it is now interpreted anyhow one deems fit to suit his purpose.
 
This is a passage from Prophet Muhammad’s teachings:
‘We believe in God, and what hath been sent down to thee, and what was sent down to Abraham, and Ishmael, and Isaac, and the prophets from their Lord-we make no distinction between any of them-and to Him are we resigned, and whoso desireth other than Resignation (Islam) for a religion it shall certainly not be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the losers.’

  The Christians have something similar, so do the Jews. Please look at that passage once more, Isaac (Christianity and Judaism) the brother of Ishmael (Islam) no distinction is made between him and his brother Ishmael. 'Whomever those not accept Islam will be a loser in the life to come'  i.e. the day of judgement. Where did they get the idea of butchering non-Muslims? This simple message has become so twisted and volatile. I do not mean to castigate any one by bringing this up today. If you belong to a religion, research, read deeper. Don’t take what you are being fed as it, people even Priests, Imams , Rabbis and so on can twist the words the way they understand according to their prejudices’ ,whims and caprices. Yes, Sabbath is Saturday but Christians changed it to Sunday because Christ rose on that day, the Jews have never been able to let go of that.
   Maybe, no religious discrimination would be there if we understood our religions and others. I love to read up on religions, went through Confucianism, Buddhism and Islam at the early stages of puberty, and got introduced to the Grail message of Abd-ru-shin quite recently. I have their books. It doesn’t mean i belong no where. I am a christain. I believe in getting to know about other religions before i open my mouth. Should what religion one belongs to really matter?
  Nigeria is a typical example of a country torn apart by religion. You are a Muslim, I am a Christian. It is all stale news. Where should I start from, the riots in Jos, Kaduna, Kano etc? The bomb blasts in Bornu and the state of emergency states? Is it the Al-Qaeda (extremist group) and the ones who say they are Boko-Haramites? The term ‘riot’ does not justify it ‘massacre’ is the right word.
  I wish people were more objective about it, open. I do not care your religion; all I care about is you, who you are. How that religion makes you who you are? Are you a good person or not? That should be all that matters. The religious discrimination has been so absorbed in here; it is like the air we breathe. It is one of the things that never lets us move forward as a people, a nation, and a continent. The first question we ask here is 'what tribe? 'Followed by what religion? My religion, defines a little part of who I am but it does not define me, there are so many facets to me. If we understand and love each other and we recognise how precious life is and that person could be me, why would I raise a machete, a gun against another and take his life, all because of his religion? TO BE CONTINUED....

Featured Post

YOU ARE NOT WORTH IT

    I was with a friend who uttered the words ‘Frances, nobody is worth it.’ I looked at this my friend that I had tried to show ‘you ar...