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February 17, 2012
For about 3 weeks or so now, Afghanistan has been on the boil, because certain extracts from the Quran were among several office trash burnt in the normal every day chore of getting rid of paper wastes in the administrative offices of an army barrack. Why this serious oversight was allowed is a matter for conjecture. Those responsible would claim ignorance of the nature of paper wastes ordered to be destroyed. I am not apportioning blame, but I would like to remind all concerned that Moslems have great regard and respect for the Quran. It follows therefore that every reasonable step must be taken never to hurt their sensibilities through acts of thoughtlessness as this. Every divine revelation in a book form deserves great respect whether one belongs to the given religion or not.
Having said this, I hasten to add that we must look beyond the mere act of burning or trashing waste that included extracts of any holy book to find out the actual significance of the written word, claimed to be a divine revelation and which is therefore worthy of our reverence. I quickly lay out a premise that no book holy or not is of any significance unless its audience / adherents have fully absorbed, internalized and live it out for all to see. The book in its tangible form unabsorbed is meaningless. It is only given life when it has been thoroughly absorbed, internalized and lived for everyone to see. So those who reach out to physically defend it and who are yet living very deep in sin can only do more harm than those who they claim have desecrated the holy book.
In one country where after higher education all youths are to compulsorily serve a one year national service, a young Christian girl was posted to a northern state to work as a teacher for the mandatory one year period. In her zeal to serve her nation after the one year period, she agreed with the principal of the school who begged her to stay on until another batch of national service youths was posted to the school. Since the school was grossly understaffed she agreed and stayed on to help out in the promotion examination for that school year. It was a grueling period for her but such was her zeal that she chose to make a sacrifice by staying on to wait for the next batch of youth corpers as they are generally called. During the examinations she noticed several text books in the examination halls. She warned that as from the next day she would not tolerate text books in the exam halls. She went round the school to make this announcement. But come the next day several students were in the hall with text books again. She in indignation went round confiscating all text books and threw them out through the windows. She did not know that one of the books was an extract from one holy book. The disobedient student who owned the book, having nothing in his head to write for the examination shouted that the holy book had been desecrated by the youth corper teacher. Before you could say “God help us” the whole school was in an uproar. Sensing great danger the principal and other teachers who were also Moslems tried to hide the poor teacher and sent for the police to come and maintain law and order. But before the police could come, the Moslem students and their supporters from the town fished the poor girl from the rest room attached to the principal’s office where she was hidden by the principal and her other Moslem teacher colleagues and slaughtered her to appease their God. Her head was used as a trophy in their jubilation. Yes! In this modern world. What manner of book is this? And what manner of God is so appeased?
The Holy Bible has been abused, torn to pieces, burnt and criticized. Jesus Christ has had his name desecrated, scorned and criticized as a common thief and impostor, without death sentences passed on those doing so. The Christian would always pray and evangelize those found to be hostile to The Holy Bible and Jesus Christ. This is because Christians have been encouraged to write scriptures on the tablets of their heart where no one can get at them. The word of God written in our hearts is impossible to destroy. It nourishes the man from inside out, bearing fruits for all to see.
When rioters in Kano (Nigeria) attacked a police station to fish out Mr. Akaluka, (who was once said to have been found with pieces of the Quran) slaughtered and beheaded him, and danced round the city with their grisly trophy of his head, quite a lot of Moslems began to ask a few disturbing questions. But my friend Alhaji Muhammed Baba of blessed memory quietly in the confines of his office explained that nobody could have saved the poor man. Anyone who tried to help would have been seen as abetting the same act of desecration, and so fully deserving of the same treatment.
This same misplaced obedience of religious doctrines is prominently exemplified in the treatment of women caught in adultery. The horrific spectacle of watching the stoning to death of such women alone leaves ashes in the mouth of anyone who has genuine spiritual grace in him. First of all, adultery is never committed by a woman alone. What happens to the man or men? According to tradition of some religions, even if the woman was raped, the same treatment of stoning to death awaits her. “Double calamity” you would say. In a crazy twist recently a young man in one of the Moslem countries in the Middle East was accused of spoiling the fun for others any time there was a grand occasion of stoning to death. According to media reports, the young man is so good at aiming his rocks that he ends the poor victims' suffering promptly. Mercy is not intended here. Others who would have also liked to enjoy themselves leave the execution site angry. Yes. Suggestions are rife that he be made to stone last. You see faith is such an unquestioning phenomenon that even Moslem women at the wrong end of this law are left helpless. So they must pray never to be caught either in fornication or adultery. They must also pray never to be raped. Should this happen, they must be mute or face the added consequence of being stoned to death due to no fault of theirs, if they were to complain or report the matter hoping to get the culprits punished.
When Jesus Christ was presented with a somewhat similar situation, he agreed to mete out punishment according to the Law of Moses, which was to stone the woman to death. The only problem was that he needed one who had not sinned to open the occasion as special guest of honor. There was none worthy of such a distinguished appointment. The hapless woman was set free but warned never to sin again.
So in Afghanistan, hard core sinners looking for a short cut to heaven are rioting, killing and readying to be killed in the erroneous so called defense of their holy book. They have not had time to repent of their sins and turn a new leaf. They are still deep in fornication, adultery, stealing, lying, etc. If after correcting their lives of deep sin they now turn to quarrel with anyone they perceive as desecrators of their holy book, their action would be more meaningful.
Christian Youths must learn to evaluate doctrines as they exist in scriptures under the control and guidance of the Holy Spirit so that interpretation they give such doctrines would lead them to God Almighty. No man who can deliberately slaughter another man for any reason and jubilate in said action can find his way to paradise. Such animalistic hatred and callousness, having nothing to do with spiritual perception, in the guise of religious fervency can only lead downwards, never upwards to God. THOU SHALT NOT KILL. Exodus 20:13, Deut 5:17, Matthew 5:21, Romans 13:9. The often flippantly explained excuse that the killing was justified because the victim desecrated a holy book is absolute nonsense. You defend your holy book first of all be obeying it in its absorption, internalizing and living. Write your holy book on the tablets of your heart where no one can get at it to desecrate it.
MOMOH SANNI YESUFU
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