The Two Face Monster!

 

the battle

I love this wise statement from Mahatma Gandhi, ”My religion is based on truth and non-violence. Truth is my God. Non-violence is the means of realising Him.” Gandhi extol the virtues of peace and truth, something I think the world lacks today. A friend of mine said recently that religion has shed more blood in human history and that was why he’s an atheist. Grudgingly, I agreed. People kill in the name of a god they have never seen, they destroy and slaughter without remorse and it made me think, shouldn’t religion be a personal thing? A private belief? A right for one to believe whatever one chooses to believe, without fear for one’s life?

But I guess, I’m wrong!

The recent campaign of hell unleashed on Christians and other sects like Yazidis by ISIS in Iraq is not something we can conveniently ignore any longer. Everyone has the right to live but things are not as easy as they seem, or are they?

America is a country which prides herself as a Christian nation. When our Prime Minister, David Cameron stated that Britain is a Christian nation, all hell broke loose! Many were quick to state the opposite, while others were quick to say exactly the same thing. I believe Britain is a Christian nation, and anyone who has a problem with that should go and study history. A nation, or people has the right to call or align herself to certain beliefs or way of life. It’s simple, that’s just ‘free will.’

By now, readers and friends of this blog know when I’m trying to approach a sensitive topic, and I’d wrestled with this for over a week now, so the only sane thing to do  is to write it down for, maybe posterity.

I am a Christian, and proud to be so. I would not apologise to anyone for that, because I have a right, and the will, to be a Christ follower. That shouldn’t be a problem, should it? But yeah, it could be a problem if I live in the northern part of Nigeria, or in Iraq, Syria, or Turkey. Islam claims to be a religion of peace, yet Christians are murdered in that part of the world. In Nigeria alone, Boko Haram has murdered more than 12,000 people, majority of them Christians, women, and children!

Let’s go back in history a bit. Let me use Turkey as an example. The country used to be a 100% Christian population before Mehmed II and his marauding soldiers came and destroy Constantinople and turned all their churches into mosques around fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. You may think that’s centuries ago but in 1895, during the ”Hamidian  massacres”  almost 300,000 Armenians were killed by the Ottoman empire who had ruled over them for more than six hundred years. In 1909, more than 30,000 Armenians were again murdered, their blood darkened the streets unchecked. Between 1914 to 1922, more 850,000 Armenians were murdered. Anyone in doubt can check this link for full details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide

Writing in the late 1890s after a visit to the Ottoman Empire, the British ethnographer William Ramsay described the conditions of Armenian life as follows:

”We must, however, go back to an older time, if we want to appreciate what uncontrolled Turkish rule meant, alike to Armenians and to Greeks. It did not mean religious persecution; it meant unutterable contempt … They were dogs and pigs; and their nature was to be Christians, to be spat upon, if their shadow darkened a Turk, to be outraged, to be the mats on which he wiped the mud from his feet. Conceive the inevitable result of centuries of slavery, of subjection to insult and scorn, centuries in which nothing that belonged to the Armenian, neither his property, his house, his life, his person, nor his family, was sacred or safe from violence – capricious, unprovoked violence – to resist which by violence meant death!”

Anyone who says Islam is a religion of peace should go to Borno state in Nigeria, or better still, just type Boko Haram in YouTube and you would see all their gory acts explicitly displayed. If you live in Europe or other parts of the world like I do, don’t think  for a moment that we’re immune from such horrible and cowardly acts, it played out on our streets in London when a soldier was slaughtered like a common ram. True, some Muslims are saddened by the atrocities committed by this terrorists, but the fact remains that Islam seems to seamlessly perpetuate violence where all non-Muslims are considered ‘infidels’ and ripe for the edge of their swords or guns as the case may be.

Islamist terrorists would stop at nothing to maim and kill if given the chance but what do we do? Nothing! As a Christian, and a woman who believes in free will as God Himself does, everyone have a right to worship whomever they wanted, and if you don’t believe in a God seated in heaven, by all means, you’re right to have your opinion. But to impose the will of a certain religion on people, that’s just wrong.

Children as little as five were beheaded in Nigeria, Syria and Iraq. Women were stoned to death or had their throats slits. Christians were rounded up and shot or forced to convert to Islam and then still, they were beheaded. This is not the fifteenth century but it’s happening now. And my fear is that, if this two-faced monster is not curtailed, they could overrun everywhere. People of all faiths should stand up to this threat. Yesterday I read in the newspaper that British grown terrorists were seen distributing leaflets urging Muslims to join their unholy war in Iraq.

This is the Twenty-First century, and by God, Islamist terrorists would fail in their quest to kill and maim the innocent. I’ll be praying, and I hope the US, UK, Europe and other people intent on protecting the sanctity of human life would rise to this threat and quench this rampaging two-faced beast in the name of religion. I believe in peace with all people of all race, colour and way of life, but there would always be those who loves death, as Osama Bin Laden once said, ”Americans love life but we love death.” I pray that humanity would conquer this monsters.

To all my friends worldwide, have a great weekend.

Much love, always!

They Shall Not Age…

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Seventy years ago, Allied troops landed in Normandy, trying to recapture France from the Nazis. It was emotional watching real footage of the historic event and Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For The Fallen’ came to mind. I watched open-mouthed as those young soldiers fought bravely and died so we could be free. I wish history would not repeat itself… There shouldn’t be any more wars, or murders or shedding of innocent blood. How I wish the world is a paradise!

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With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

For The Fallen By Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

For The Fallen was first published in the Times on September 21 1914. Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) wrote it while working at the British Museum, and did not go to the western front until 1916, as a Red Cross orderly. The poem’s fourth verse is now used all over the world during services of remembrance, and is inscribed on countless war monuments.

NP: This was originally published by ‘The Guardian’ Friday 14 November 2008.

Have a peaceful weekend my friends!

Much love, always.

Seyi David.

Memories Of Time Past!

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(Photo credit: Flickr)

The lashes fell on my skin, burrowing holes through it

My hands gripped the tree as blood flowed freely.

The ground soaked and groaned.

My tears mingled with blood as hope fled.

 A quick gaze upwards and the sky mocked me.

What sins have I committed?

What atrocities would call for such retribution?

Then like a glimpse in the night,

I saw a new world.

Different from my present.

Free from pain of the field and labouring for the proud.

A spasm, a breeze, a sound.

And mercy reclaimed my soul in a faint.

………………..

On Saturday, I went to watch the acclaimed drama, ’12 Years A Slave,’ directed by Steve McQueen. I wished I hadn’t watch the film, it was brutal. I ran out twice, it was very difficult to watch. As a writer, I’ve got a hyper imagination, and as the lashes landed on Patti’s (played by Nyong’o) bare skin, I flinched, I saw myself tied to the tree in her place, my cries of mercy rending the air. The horrors of slavery would live forever, and it’s even inconceivable that over 21 million people are still enslaved today!!!

I know we live in a very complex world but one by one, day by day, we can make a change, reclaiming sanity on our streets and nations. Thank God slavery is officially abolished. Thank God Hitler is dead but changing our world is everyone’s responsibility. A change to obliterate slavery, poverty, racism, murder… All sorts of evil lurking beneath the soul of men.

I WILL do my part. Will you?

Much love, always!

Seyi David