Friday, May 17, 2013

This is how the story ends

Focused military action has been ordered on Boko Haram strongholds. It's the only responsible thing to do, after the extended campaign of death and destruction attributed to the group.

Hopefully, in this time of battle, many of the "jihad-fighters" and only few of the innocent will lose their lives. Hopefully too, some rebuilding and reconciliation can resume afterwards, resulting in a better life for Nigeria's northerners, southerners, and all people of all faiths. Aaamin.

I will take an extended, maybe infinitely long, break from posting on this blog. 
Please see previous posts in the Boko Halal universe.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Prayer formulas in Christianity and Islam

Lamb of God
Agnus Dei
qui tollis peccata mundi
miserere nobis.
...dona nobis pacem.

Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world
have mercy on us.
...grant us peace.

  بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم 
In the name of Allah, the most beneficient, the most merciful

الْحَمْدُ للّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين
al-Hamdu-lillahi rabbi-l-3amin
Praise be to Allah the lord of all the world

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Who sent you all to fight for Islam?

Somebody made a video that has offended many Muslims who have now taken to the streets, rioting, in several countries.  I haven't seen the video.  Perhaps I should. 

I know and love many Muslims and even Islamic culture.  But something is wrong here: stop bloody fighting for God.  Let God fight for itself.  Or Himself.  Seriously.
Amid cultural clash, Louvre honours Islamic art
 If there are serious opinions as to why it's necessary to violently defend Allah or The Prophet from the ignorant or unbelieving, kindly share them.  Otherwise, this life we've been given, let us spend it in study, in peace, in friendship, kindness, and constructive pursuits.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Billboards for Peace at Ramadan

Arabel sponsored peace messages around Lagos State since the start of the Ramadan month.
Inter-religious peace and harmony
 In the main image of their billboards, two Nigerian religious leaders, an Imam and a Cardinal, share a brotherly embrace.  The greeting says: "Together, evolving towards a state of Peace & Harmony.  Ramadan Kareem." 
Detail: Cardinal Okogie and Chief Imam
Back of the sign, photographed in Lagos State by Tosin Otitoju
 At the back, it says, "Make peace between one another: enmity and malice tear up heavenly rewards by the roots."
I took these photographs around Kollington bus stop (Lagos - Abeokuta expressway, near Alakuko)

Many legitimate religious leaders in Nigeria have spoken up against the activities of Boko Haram and emphasized the friendliness between Christians and Moslems.

For example, from NAN is this photo of the Chief Imam with the President of CAN.
It is labelled: Chief Imam of Abuja National Mosque, Ustaz Musa Mohammed (L), with the President, Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor at a Memorial Ceremony for Victims of the UN House bomb attack in Abuja on Thursday 15th September, 2011.  

 NAN also has a photo of Catholic clergy breaking the Muslim fast with Moslem colleagues in Abuja, Nigeria (details):
Ramadan Kareem, and Happy Eid in advance to all. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Get down and dirty with God

Interviewer: In Aleph, you also say that instead of fighting for God, we should fight against God.

Paolo Coelho: Sometimes yes.

Interviewer: Can you elaborate?
Paolo Coelho:
Fighting for God we see now: Christian fundamentalism, Islamic fundamentalism… They give their lives because the message is a powerful one: you are martyr. I’m a Catholic so I know what I’m talking about, because my Church was founded on the blood of the martyrs.

People start justifying their lives because they need raison d’etre – they need a reason to live. They are trying to convince themselves about their faith.

Fighting against God: it is everywhere in the Bible. Even Jesus – fought against God. When He says, ‘God, why did you forsake me?’ on the cross, or when He asks “Take this cup away from me”.

Then you have this intense relationship with God that is not a relationship of submission. 
However, if you accept everything, if you do not ask why or how, you are not living, just obeying a set of rules. Like a lamb.

Images: Jacob Wrestling With An Angel, by Eugene DeLaCroix (1861), Gustave Doré, James J. Tissot, and scultpture by Jacob Epstein.  For more depictions, see google images: wrestled with angel

Monday, February 13, 2012

Boko Haram leaders are confused

In Nigeria, suspected Christmas Day bomber and dozens of key Boko Haram people remain in custody.
According to The Nation newspaper's reports: 
“One of the strange that contrary to their posturing, most of them are not well-versed in Quranic memorisation and recitation or deep knowledge of Quran. Some have smattering knowledge of Quran...Most of them also could not give cogent reasons for doing what they are doing. And they said the fear of arrest made them to cause more havoc.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Some are smug and some are afraid

The words of Orhan Pamuk, Nobel laureate from Turkey (where East meets West, I suppose, although East meets West inside Nigeria too, through the religions) :

What literature needs most to tell and investigate today are humanity's basic fears: the fear of being left outside, and the fear of counting for nothing, and the feelings of worthlessness that come with such fears; the collective humiliations, vulnerabilities, slights, grievances, sensitivities, and imagined insults, and the nationalist boasts and inflations that are their next of kin ...

Whenever I am confronted by such sentiments, and by the irrational, overstated language in which they are usually expressed, I know they touch on a darkness inside me. We have often witnessed peoples, societies and nations outside the Western world–and I can identify with them easily–succumbing to fears that sometimes lead them to commit stupidities, all because of their fears of humiliation and their sensitivities.

I also know that in the West–a world with which I can identify with the same ease–nations and peoples taking an excessive pride in their wealth, and in their having brought us the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and Modernism, have, from time to time, succumbed to a self-satisfaction that is almost as stupid.

Orhan Pamuk, Nobel Lecture (translation by Maureen Freely)