I’ll admit, when the fighting in Iraq restarted anew, I didn’t really pay it much attention. After all, right here in my own country Nigeria, Boko Haram was and is still on the rampage. More than enough to worry myself about.
But the last one month, nay the last few weeks have, along with the rest of the world, tore at my emotions.
(During this course of this article, my emotions may get the best of me. I apologise in advance.)
There is something about us humans that enables us descend below the levels of beasts and exact the most horrifying of acts on our fellow Human Beings. Not on animals, not on monsters. But on fellow flesh and blood human beings. It’s even more baffling when it’s done in the name of god.
I came across news reports a few days ago of the grotesque acts of murder of members of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) perpetuated against christians. There are pictures and video clips of these animals beheading christian children and placing their heads on stakes, raping and killing women and hanging their husbands. And if you think I’m outraged because these were Christians, they executed captured iraqi soldiers in cold blood; just lined them up, took pictures of them begging for their lives – some of them in civilian clothing – and just shot them. THEN took another round of pictures and boldly advertised all over the internet! These murderous pathetic primordial life forms kill their fellow iraqis and fellow Muslims for the simple reason that they belong to a different sect.
This isn’t war, for those of us who want to equate this with the Israel/Hamas conflict; that is war with unfortunate and avoidable collateral damage. THIS is genocide! Plain and simple. How do you just enter into two countries and annex sections of those countries and create a separate caliphate? And then search out the christian communities; peaceful people who haven’t done you any wrong, and systematically slaughter them like you’re wiping out rats? If that wasn’t so bad, they’re meting out the same treatment to fellow muslims!
Back home they are slowly taking over the north, uprooting people from their homes and planting their Islamic flags, wiping out villages, burning down churches, kidnapping little girls, setting off bombs left right and center, executing assassinations with impunity, all in the name of Allah. News of bomb explosions aren’t even as shocking anymore. We’ve become inured to it. In fact everyone in Nigeria is a lot more preoccupied with NOT dying from Ebola than a Boko Haram bomb blast.
I need someone to explain to me why wanton bloodshed and religion are such good bedfellows. In this case if you don’t denounce whatever faith you have and accept Islam, you’ll be killed. Eradicating the whole principle of free will. In fact in many cases, they are killed either way. How can you convince a set of people that incinerating, beheading, raping, maiming innocent civilians is the one way to get into paradise or to show how much you love your god? What kind of bloody paradise is that? A paradise full of psychopathic homicidal suicidal maniacs? Who all have blood running down their hands? What kind of bloodthirsty vampiric god oversees such a paradise? I want to have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with such a god. Such a god doesn’t strike me as anything other than an incoherent mad beast frothing in the mouth with a drooling desire for bloodshed. Simple.
Christian means “like christ” or “christ like”. So as a true Christian, you are expected to be like Christ; act like Him, talk like Him, relate with others like Him. If I apply the same reasoning to this brand of islam and it’s followers, I don’t need to spell it out, you get the idea. If you’re a Muslim, and I’ve pissed you off, I’m sorry but these practitioners of this brand of islam don’t exactly paint your religion in the best light. You know, it’s things like these that make it easy for me to understand a lot of people’s aversion to religion. And for those of us who will say “if there is a God, why does He allow this to happen?” He gave us free will, what we decide to do to each other with that free will is all on us.
A word to the Christians in the south of Nigeria, we’re too comfortable. We’ve somehow been able to delude ourselves that this Boko Haram threat is restricted to the north even when we have been teased with “trial” bomb blasts here and there down south. It’s only a matter of time, our government cannot protect us and wishful thinking isn’t going to stop them from eventually getting down here.
Let me say this, as disturbing and frightening as this all is, it’s not surprising. Jesus in Matthew 24:3-14 warned us about this. The torture and murder of Christians for their faith, kingdoms going to war, natural disasters etc. But He left us with hope as we know that as these things happen and INCREASE in frequency, they are indicators of His imminent return.
Ariel Ugorji identifies himself as a mild insomniac, geek, nerd, an audiophile, an avid music lover, Liverpool Fan and an unashamed Christian; with more often than not a completely different point of view on the world and a love for sensible arguments. He Resides in Warri, Nigeria; the land of the sharp and the brave.
To view more of his write ups, please visit his BLOG. You can also share your views with him on twitter @arielugorji.
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