I hope you are all having an amazing holiday. I know I have! But I have been saddened by the news I'm sure most of you have heared. Its about the 23 yr old Nigerian boy that attempted the supposed terrorist attack on the plane to the U.S. The story is headline on news all over the BBC, CNN and my trusted Al-Jazeera.
It is such a sad sad situation, and I feel like it could be anyone of us. At first I felt so angry, but now I just feel saddened by the whole situation. This boy is a Kaduna boy, lived around my area, and looks like any normal middle class northern kid. Infact, he is quite priviledged, his dad was a minister, and head of First Bank. He studied Engineering in UCL, and International Business in Dubai. The world was literally at his feet.
According to my mum, his dad married a lady from Yemen, and that was how he was introduced to the country where he later went to study arabic. After which he said he wasnt coming back, and wanted to study Sharia Law, which is when his dad informed the American embassy that he feared his son would do something stupid as he had developed extremist views.
Infact, he is now alledged to have been involved in the whole Boko Haram fiasco in Northern Nigeria earlier this year.
I have tried to rationalise what could have made someone so "normal" decided to take such drastic actions, and I guess we'll never know. I hate him for being selfish and heartless enough to try and attempt(even though it was a pretty weak one) to take the lives of innocent people on xmas day. People who you dont know, and are just trying to enjoy the holidays. I hate him for promoting hate in the name of Islam, the most peaceful religion on earth. I hate him for the untold difficulty he has caused/will cause for airport security and travelling. I hate him for the countless visa refusals that will be given as a result of this. I hate him for ruining the image of Nigeria and adding terrorist to our already terrible tags. But most of all I hate him for bringing shame to his family, and father, whom from all I hear is a gentle person that gave him all the best a child can be given.
To say this year has been hard on Nigeria's image would be the understatement of the century. From the sony advert, to District 9, the various Niger-Delta wahala and kidnappings, Child witches and now as if this wasnt amazing enough, we can now add the "terrorist" label to our glowing c.v. Let us not forget that the average foreigner only knows what they are fed by the various media sources. Where is Mrs Dora and her rebrand of Nigeria???
But the same goes for everyone in one way or the other. Think about it, for me when I think of say Congo for example, the tags "war, cobalt, vast rape and poverty" are what comes to mind. I am sure that there is so much more about Congo I do not know, but these are the most popular news that are reported about them, so it is stuck.
This is a such as sad sad shame........
May 2010 be a much better year for Nigeria.....Amen!
P.s dont forget to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for my upcoming 100th post! Am so excited, it has been an amazing year!
I do agree in the year of 2009 Nigeria's image has been battered. But hey, it happens. All I know is that 2010 better be a good year for us!ReplyDelete
I hope 2010 will be better. Cus dis year we had too much bad publicity and this just broke the camels back. Just when Dora Akunyili, is busy with her re-branding project. This is just a big blow to our image.ReplyDelete
As for the boy, I really wonder what could have prompted him. I guess he believed what we wanted and adopted a culture. He made his decison anyway
I feel you! seems like one bad publicity after the other! I'm not a fan of this year either but hopefully 2010 holds sumtn better.ReplyDelete
I wrote on the issue as well, so check it when u get a chance.
@TNF I totally agree with you! Hopefully it can only get betterReplyDelete
@Ms Dufa, i was just saying that this whole rebrand Nigerian thing is a big joke
@dith will defo check it out
I do pity his family in this situation. It's obvious the boy was very deluded but now his entire family has to carry the stigma of being related to Naija's first 'terrorist'. I hope 2010 turns out to be a good time for that young man's poor family and the country as a whole.ReplyDelete
@ foerce, i think this is an aspect that people are overlooking, a family has just lost a child in the most gruesome way, its so sadReplyDelete
I completely agree with everything you said except for the part about Islam.ReplyDelete
Let's stop kidding ourselves. Islam is not a religion of peace. And considering Mohammed's raids thousands of years ago on innocent non-Muslims minding their business that resulted in the deaths (and conversions) of thousands of non-Muslims, I seriously doubt that Islam has ever been a religion of peace.
Maybe it was a religion of peace for a brief period somewhere in the murky past but it certainly is not a religion of peace today. Today Islam is probably the most violent religion in the world.
That is not to say that Christianity has always been a religion of peace. Thousands if not millions of people have been killed or tortured in the name of Christianity over the last couple of centuries so this is by no means a "my religion is better than your religion" comment.
Today however, Christianity, like almost all the other religions in the world is a relatively peaceful religion. i.e. Bands of Christians don't randomly roam about terrorising non-Christians and harassing them or threatening them with death or daft ideologies or plotting to blow up planes and so on and so forth. This is not to say that Christian groups have not acted violently on occasion (e.g. abortion clinic bombing and clashes in Northern Nigeria) but for the most part, Christian groups do not launch unprovoked attacks on the innocent and unwitting populace.
In the same vein, other religious groups have intermittently been violent for various reasons over the years, whether it's Buddhists or Hindus or Ifa or Odinani.
However, NO OTHER RELIGION in the past 50 years has shown such the kind of pattern of violence and general 'un-peaceful-ness' that Islam has, whether it is bombing innocent people out of the air, or chopping off the limbs of people as punishment far too much for the crime, or stoning women to death for getting pregnant outside marriage while the man involved goes scot free, or lashing girls who were kidnapped and gang-raped for being in the company of non-mahram men (even though they were KIDNAPPED and GANGRAPED by said men).
So, let us call a spade a spade. "Religion of Peace" is a title that Islam would like to have, and even for the most part claims to have, but in actuality? When it comes to the down and dirty reality of things? Nothing could be further from the truth.
Islam is not a religion of peace. Right now, adherents of Islam need to start talking among themselves and working together to see how they can move their religion towards that goal of being a religion of peace.
This whole issue is getting too much attention without anyone thinking of the solutions.ReplyDelete
Compliments of the season dear!
I am just happy that no one was hurt, we'll get over this too just like our previous bad rep. Happy new year in advance dear.ReplyDelete
We definitely suffered this year no be smallReplyDelete
Thank God no one was hurtReplyDelete
Its just so sad
Happy New year in advance
Its not as white and black as you would love to think...take it, you've never been caught up in a religious fight,have you?well, i have, and islam isn't peaceful, not even the lazy types.. but,northerners are good and would have been better without this whole crap.. Don't get me wrong, i'm not segregating but.. hell... it is as it it.i love your sentiments though.. well put.ReplyDelete
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@ sugabelly just because people do things all in the name of Islam does not really mean that they are proclaiming Islam. Unfortunately, Islam has been judged (i must say for far too long) by looking at muslims which most of the time don't even practice it the way its supposed to be. If every time something happens in the news we mention their religion as they do for muslims... you get the picture. Its amazing how short sighted people can be -I bet there were several muslims on that flight and this guy would not have cared a hoot who died. This guy in his attempt to purportedly defend muslims, he has hurt even more muslims.So please.... And about prophet Muhammad's raids thousands of years ago that resulted in people's deaths, you really do need to revisit your history, of course not the one gotten from cnn/daily mail.ReplyDelete
This is not the place and the time for this, please I challenge you to do some research whilst keeping your mind open- go to an Islam awareness week near you...
Oh and Islam is already there; it is the most peaceful religion ever :-p. Now we only pray and look forward to the day where Islam can be judged by looking at muslims.
@ 2 cute for you - there's nothing like lazy muslims lol!
P.S 2cute4u, I can see you are already insiuating that a northerner = a muslimReplyDelete
If only u know...
miss b is right...every religion gets its time in the shackles and I guess its our turn now. These Sharia practices(including stoning and amputation)have been going on far longer than 2001. then no one really gave a hoot, and those who preached showing humanity to 'offenders' did it as slowly as a religion so closely intertwined with culture would allow- causing as few ripples as possible. content with making very little progress at any one time. because they understood that religious leaders doubled as political heads- making it twice as difficult to incite changeReplyDelete
I am certain of two things.
I know Islam is slow to adapt to change and i have made peace with that.
When people take the lives of others- claiming any religion- it disgusts me.
So in this time when the world has a torch lit up for Islam, and most 'westernised' people are screaming for its head. The only thing to do is remember what made me fall in love with islam in the first place(charity, kindness to animals, discipline) and why I am proud to be a Muslim.
sugabelly although you have alot of valid points, you make the mistake that most foreigners do, which is to look at the negative news that the media promote about islam.ReplyDelete
What about the 10 year old Yemen girl last year that got a divorce fo@r the first time and succesfully changed the laws in the country
What about the thousands of girls that are now allowed to go to school in Iran and Iraq.
What about women that risk thier lives everyday to better the lives of women in thier country
What about the american muslim journalist that keeps figting to tell the stories of thier suffering regardless of several arrests
What about muslim men that everyday fight for small but meaningful changes for their people
Why arent these stories heard? Because it is Islam's time to be persecuted, just like it was Christains, Jews and Traditional African religions before us. We will survive it.
"Christianity, like almost all the other religions in the world is a relatively peaceful religion. i.e. Bands of Christians don't randomly roam about terrorising non-Christians and harassing them or threatening them with death or daft ideologies or plotting to blow up planes and so on and so forth"ReplyDelete
I just had to comment on that phrase. Like really??? I guess you have not heared of the inhumane things that people do in the name of "christanity" or other religions
Let me take ur mind to a certain "child witches" problem that is in certain parts of eastern Nigeria where big churches send out leaflets on how to spot "child witches" and the ways to cure them. syptoms could include but are not limited to big yellow eyes, high temperature, fever, and crying at night, all of which could be syptoms of a number of tropical diseases that poor children are prone to.
When these are spoted they must be taken to these "churches" to be "clensed" by "pastors" for ridiculous sums of money. They beat the children, tear them with knives, burn and maime them, and sometimes kill them.
All in the name of what??? yes you said it "christanity".
Let me also refresh your memory about a certain pastor sentenced to death in 2006 because he set 2 children on fire claiming they were possesd by deamons while the mother watched. Their burns were so severe that they eventually died in hospital, all in the name of "christanity"
No one can ever say one religion is less destructive than another, because they are all as bad as each other. Dont get it twisted