Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Battle Between Two Opinions

Quoting Vicky Somniso-Abraham, Special to ASSIST News Service, RANDBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (ANS) – the “mere mention of the northeast in Nigeria evokes thoughts of terror, abductions, and merciless killings. The northeast is regarded as a troubled region, however those who are familiar with the state reflect positively on the peace that prevailed in the area prior to the genesis of the two Islamic groups, the Maitatsine and Boko Haram.Before the uprising of the Maitatsine in the 1980s which left at least 5000 dead and later the Boko Haram which left over 12 000 dead, the northeast was regarded as a peaceful region. However today it has become a bloodbath for Christians and those who oppose the group”.

Somniso-Abraham describes the journey of fifty-year old Pastor Amakom Hyacinth Peregrine an Igbo man grew up in the Kano State and later moved to the Kaduna State where the Boko Haram has currently gone on rampage, kidnapping and killing innocent lives daily. Peregrine who currently lives in one of the upper class market suburbs in Randburg, South Africa sits on a couch at a lounge in his newly found home. He reflects positively on his beautiful childhood memories on a state that has now become a center of attraction worldwide due to the ongoing bloody massacre. "Everything was very peaceful, perfect and beautiful. You'd feel at home. We played soccer and hockey with homemade sticks," he says recalling his childhood memories.”

Peregrine, now a pastor at one of the Nigerians churches situated in Randburg, South Africa, admits "I wish that place could have remained that way, I would go back there. But I do not plan to go there until there is peace," says distraught Peregrine. Back then he says the Muslims and the Christians were united. "The relationship between us Christians and Muslims was cordial. The Muslims were my best friends, I would visit them at their homes and they would do the same."

He describes how things changed “when the leader of the Maitatsine group, Mohammed Marwa robbed the northerners off their peace. Marwa was known as Maitatsine and his group was named after him.  He was a preacher with a following of 3000. Similar to the Boko Haram, he opposed "secular authority and usage of technology". Ironically, he "rejected Prophet Muhammed".

"In the early 80s we heard people shouting Allah ha Akbar (god is great). They arrived and killed people in the north and nobody knew where they were coming from. They were killing the non-Muslims and Christians helter-skelter. Thousands of people were murdered. Some people ran away from the region for their safety." Christian groups were formed whereby young men including Peregrine were offered training in order to protect themselves and their community. They were also taught how to make homemade weapons …”

During the fights, Maitaitsine was killed apparently by the police and that marked the demise of the group. People believe that the formation of Boko Haram was motivated by the Maitaitsine group. "But the group is only wreaking havoc now. We don't know what is going on. They are against modern technology yet they use the same technology to record themselves. How can you say you don't want western method while you are using their devices?"

I have quoted at length to attempt to repeat a couple of points made by Somniso-Abraham and those she quotes. I would say it this way:
1) These terrorist forces currently battling our world culture are NOT WHO/WHAT THEY SAY THEY ARE: they are civil libertarians carrying their [v]ideological views to the extreme. Civil libertarians are self-oriented at their core; thus, a-theistic (humanistic) in recognizing no powers beyond our humanity, and their self-orientation is purely selfish as contrasted with respecting the rights of people who differ from them.
2) The fact that they use modern technology to gain their right to oppose contemporary culture is RATIONAL PROOF THAT THEY ARE NOT AGAINST CONTEMPORARY CULTURE; THEY MERELY DEMAND TO DO AS THEY PLEASE (civil libertarianism at its ultimate extreme).

These two points are issues for serious minded Christians and Muslims alike to ponder. Libertarianism is a highly popular politic in current American conservative Christian politics (Ron Paul et al) that some "rationalize" as being a "Christian" principle. These people need to deal with the a-theism (humanistism) of their libertarian roots and the core conflict between a-theism and the theism of Jesus that teaches mutual submission and loving one’s neighbor as one’s self … under God.

When Duke University announces it will now ring the Muslim prayer hours, it is acknowledging what Pastor Peregrine recalls from a different context in Northeast Nigeria when Muslims and Christians lived peacefully with one another, before the “libertarian days of the terrorist extremists.”

Global Muslims are still deciding the course of true Islam. They can choose to serve God (Allah) and acknowledge him as Sovereign Creator of all humanity, or they can compromise their "religion" and downsize it to the humanism of civil libertarianism (a-theism) and continue their pursuit of terrorism and committing religious genocide in the name of [ir]religious fanaticism. Here I reference my beloved ethics professor, D. S. Warner Monroe who defined a fanatic as simply “a man with a fan in his attic.”

Elijah of the Old Testament was not very far afield when he challenged the 450 Prophets of Baal (cf I Kings 18): “He came unto all the people, and said, ‘How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him …” (v. 21, KJV). 
From and Warner’s World 
I suggest … that how we answer Elijah’s question, as Christians, Muslims, and otherwise,

will determine the direction of our current battle for human survival.   

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