Friday, 17 June 2016 15:01

Religion Is a Dangerous Thing in the Hands of Some People

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To many people, including you and this writer, one of the most troubling aspects of religion is its belief in religion and not in God. The church or mosque is more concerned with organization and indoctrination than it is interested in providing training leading to the understanding of God and our purpose on earth.  A city is more likely to be engulfed in a terrorist attack and the entire population destroyed and houses firebombed when the Quran is burnt or Prophet Mohammed depicted on paper than when you throw my Christian Bible into my fireplace.

More people are likely to be executed or beheaded when you insult the image of Mohammed by depicting in on a piece of paper or badmouthing the Prophet than would be killed if you call Jesus a bastard or some other ugly name. There is a big difference between Chineke (Igbo for God) and Akwukwo Nso (the Holy bible) on one hand and a Muslim's Allah and Quaran on the other hand.

But we hold our Akwukwo Nso and Chineke as central to our faith in that, while the former tells us about the latter, it is He the latter that we worship. Put in other words, the Bible is the my Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.  Jesu (Jesus) is the Person, the central character, the Protagonist, of whom the events narrated in Akwukwo Nso are all about.

As the Good Shepherd,  Jesu, also known as  Jehovah, nwa (Son of) Chineke,  leads the way to heaven as the final resting place for saved souls, He is the Key that opens the gates of Heaven.  He has already proclaimed: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." What more do we need? He is the Uncreated Creator, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End; He knows the beginning from the end and the end from beginning. Doesn't He know all things before they happen? He personally authored my Bible through the writings and testimonies of persons He personally chose and ordained.

Having said all this, we would be fools (with capital F) if we worship the Book, and not the Author. You would be a bigger fool if you murder a man simply because he insults your Bible. In fact, the Bible is a worthless document if I fail to adhere to the teachings contained therein, or fail to understand the Person it is all about. All I need my Bible to do for me is this: First is to point out He who my Creator is. Second is to provide me with the framework or a path to understand the character of who I worship.

It is safe to posit that the purpose of a document I consider to be a holy book is to provide information or knowledge about my Maker as accurately as is possible, and the knowledge I gain about God is kept hidden in my heart and soul. Therefore, although you can take my Bible away for 1000 years, yet you'll not be able to touch my faith in or my knowledge concerning  He who I believe is my God. He is my Maker.  The knowledge I gain from knowing God through reflection and perusal of the holy book will stay in and with me for as long as I live.

Two Muslim brothers massacred 12 people in France because of a cartoonist's depiction of prophet Mohammed.  In Niger, a poor African desert country which is thousands of miles away from France, my well-meaning but misinformed  fellow African brothers  rose up as one man to riot, destroying what little they have to sell and live by. Why? They did so because someone tells them: The French people are insulting Allah by drawing the pictures of Muhammad. Read it here in black and white, and see my brothers standing on the dry, sandy, waterless, desolate dessert area that is extremely unstable for farming or to raise cattle. http://news.yahoo.com/niger-protesters-burn-churches-second-day-charlie-riots-143432674.html

That Muslims are more likely to be abusive and violator of basic human rights than other religious groups is apparent as one considers happenings from around the world. Looking at events taking place in Nigeria and other Muslim nations, a  Muslim is likely to stand out as the champion of rape, slavery, beheadings, forced marriages, and terrorism. Remember that boko haram criminals abducted over 200 schoolgirls from their classrooms and nothing has been heard of their whereabouts several months after their abduction. We are beginning to hear of one or two escapees two years after the heinous crime.

What is the most troubling aspect of Islamism is its misogyny or hatred of women and persons who adhere to other religions. An underage Muslim girl can be so abused she is forced to commit murder or suicide by strapping a bomb across her breasts. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2884103/Nigeria-child-bride-confessed-killing-husband-police.html. Read more of the harrowing story: http://news.yahoo.com/women-excised-public-life-abused-063315706.html.

Because my black African  brothers are being exploited and marginalized when they are forced to swallow morsels of undigested  religion as a fish swallows a bait along with the sharp hook,  the result is economic and moral strangulation and destruction of a person's will. Here is the tragedy: a book written to make my life livable and loveable is now threatening to destroy my life.

It is time we made a few demands on radical Islam in the attempt to modernize the religion that has nearly 1.5 billion adherents worldwide. First, Islam ought to provide a codicil or addendum  to the Qumran, that would include modern interpretation of the holy book that excludes terrorism, constant wars, beheadings, rapes and  inter-tribal skirmishes  which are all designed to grab headlines in world news  to justify confiscating land of another and/or the  establishment of  caliphates in someone else's backyard.

Secondly, Islam should emphasize education of men and women and the raising of our children to function comfortably in both Muslim and non-Muslim communities. The immigrants arriving in America from many Muslim countries from West Africa are at a disadvantage in that they are unable to read or write in English or to complete applications for employment. They can barely interview successfully for menial jobs at airports, and only God knows how they will be able to provide for their dependents.

The third point is that Islam may find ways to teach acceptance and respect for those considered "infidels" as well as tolerance for other religions, and to exclude religious ethnocentric arrogance which breeds the mine-is-the-only-religion –and-yours-is-blaspheme" jihadist attitudes

Fourthly, Nigerian Muslims should practice animal husbandry by using suitable enclosures rather than driving their cattle over arable lands to eat up gardens and vegetable beds of others. Because many Muslim adults are  emigrating  to the West (America, Great Britain, France and other nations), and because these immigrants seem to have tremendous difficulties  adjusting to and accessing their new environments, Islam ought to enable immigrant children to acquire Western education that would place them in better stead in host countries than becoming unemployed or unemployable.

Additionally, there should be serious attempts made to discourage the exploitation of women through multiplicity of wives and denial of opportunities for education to women in occupations designed for males only, such as the science, engineering, and mathematics fields (SEM). Another point is that Muslims should discourage the exploitation of the black African populations through recruitment in religious enslavement and war mongering  that sends black African populations to desolate places where there is little or no rainfall to support human habitation.

Finally but not the  least, Muslims ought to endeavor  to  Improve the quality of life for inhabitants of their home countries, particularly in such challenging environments as Chad, and Niger, to name only a few.

Prepared by Dr. James C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For other essays, see: jamesagazies.blogspot.com

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James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment.