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Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Killing For Their God


Since the Boko Haram insurgents started their onslaught on the Nigerian state and peoples in 2009, every single act of carnage they have carried out has always left me asking the same question: “Which god will approve of this in its name?” Members of the terror group claim they are killing in the name of Allah, their god, and that this god asked them to do so, in order to establish its laws in place of those of the Nigerian state; so they continue to kidnap, maim, and murder their fellow human beings en masse at the behest of this god. These same terrorists are also willing to die, or so they claim, for this god (although several videos have shown them running for dear life when the guns of Nigeria’s armed forces are turned on them) and they call it martyrdom, which has its rewards in paradise.

Killings in the name of religion or a deity, is about as old as religion itself. The bible and the koran expressly approve the killing of apostates. While I have wondered why these terrorists are able to kill for their religion and their god, I have also often wondered if I could take the life of another human being. I did not have to think long and hard to come up with an answer. If I determined that someone wanted to kill my child at all costs, and this left me with the choice of having to live with the death of either my child or the would be killer, I would rather live with the fact that I killed someone in defence of my child’s life. In this case, the need to protect my child would have superseded the fact that I consider human life to be sacred. It would be quite difficult to find that person who also would not kill another in self defence, or more appropriately, to save their own life.

Those, including the Boko Haram terrorists, who claim to kill for their god or in its name, cannot, in my opinion, be grouped into the above categories. I only wanted to establish that even the best of us, all compassion, decorum, and morality be damned, could be pushed to do that which we abhor under certain circumstances. Boko Haram members, and their ilk all over the world, kill because this is what they have been asked to do by the koran which they claim contains the actual words of their god in writing. These words were not written by 'divinely' inspired writers like the bible was; they were written by this god itself, hence the sanctity accorded to the injunction to kill in its name. It can be clearly seen that the reason Boko Haram insurgents have continued to kill innocent Nigerians is because they believe it is right to do so; they have been mandated to do so, and they are doing it. They have not stopped to think this through; they are doing it because their god says it should be done.

Taking another human being’s life may never be justifiable and in some cases, it is inevitable, but when a group of persons kill others just because they have been asked to do so by a book purportedly written by some deity, then that belief system has to be thoroughly examined. There are at least 1.6 billion muslims in the world, and the koran is the basis of their belief. We are indeed lucky that a great majority of these muslims have chosen to cherry-pick their ‘holy book’ and spared the world total chaos. This group calls themselves "conservative" or "moderate" muslims. This is nonsense as far as I am concerned. They read the same koran that their "extremist" brethren read, and any talk of a misinterpretation of their scriptures by the latter group is an attempt to cover up the fact that they find much of their scripture disturbing, but are unable to do anything about it. Hiding under any label that tries to obscure the fact that those who actually do exactly what the koran says are in fact true muslims will only show that 'moderate' muslims are in fact hypocrites. They do not follow their 'holy' book, which they claim contains the divine words of their god, to the letter; and then they condemn those who do, and try to dissociate themselves from those we should consider the true followers of islam, for their strict adherence to the koran. It is the same thing Christians do when they are pointed towards the barbarisms embedded in the old testament of the bible. They are quick to jump in to say that "it is the old testament" and the 'old ways', something Jesus came to rectify in the new testament, but these same people quickly point to the exploits of their god in the lives of numerous old testament characters, especially its kings and prophets.

I have had enough of cherry-picking religious people claiming to represent their religion. Many islamic based terror groups around the world are doing exactly what the koran asked them to do. Usman dan Fodio spread islam, across what is northern Nigeria today, with the blade of his sword and the blood of innocent men, women, and children. He was carrying out the work of his god as outlined in the koran. This is the very same thing muslim terror groups are doing today. Let no one who has chosen to cherry-pick the koran say that those who are doing exactly as it says are extremists or terrorists, or that they are not affiliated with islam.