Can extremism be eliminated by a barrel of a gun?

January 14, 2015 § Leave a comment

I Was keenly following what was happening in France last week. This is the summary of my views:

We think by eliminating extremists we will have dealt with extremism. We are wrong, extremism and extremists are not the same. All minds which think they can silence those opposed to their belief or ideology they subscribe to, by eliminating them are drastically wrong. God created us to coexist with our diversity.

The world was able to come out of the most threatening political ideology polarity – the Cold War with little scars. I remember the once famous words from Ronald Reagan, ‘Mr Gorberchev tear down the wall’.

It seems our world has to have these ideological polars at any time ‘t’. This ‘Religio-politio-ideological’ challenge has come to fill the gap left by the Cold War. But as we endure it longer it seems it’s gonna leave us with a lot of blood stains. Osama is now history and many more considered ring leaders of extremism and terrorism yet we seem far away from winning this war against extremism.

On the release of the new satirical magazine after the blood week in Paris where 20 humans were violently killed the Prime Minister of France said, ‘we are fighting extremists not Islam’. What did he mean in essence? That by eliminating extremists we (they) will have dealt with extremism? By every single extremist killed how many other innocent/other people are killed?

The fundamental question here is, what is the alternative approach to quelling extremism amongst religious institutions?

America became a land of refuge to those considered heretics in the Christian dark ages. The Roman Catholic church killed over 50 million people it believed to be heretics during its Papacy rule in the then civilized world. At the end of 18th century France rebelled against religion and burnt all religious literatures including the Bible. It banned all religious practices by then. They went as far as detaining The Rome pontiff, Papal Pius VI. Yet to date we still have millions of ardent Christians and Muslims in France.

Extremism is a product of religious doctrines taught in a way beyond what God would require men and women to do. It is a human addition over and above what God requires. Usually they are introduced to safeguard people from breaking the law or the ordinances of God, they are initially regarded as a buffer zone. But humans are subjective beings and over time tradition takes precedence and believers are heavy laden with requirements from their leaders more than from God. With all due respect from my western friends can this be won by B52 Bombers?

We need to constructively engage. There are things we know yet we don’t understand them. Being a Christian or a Muslim is more than just bearing names reflecting our religious backgrounds. For a long time now many so called world elites are atheists. To them no any religious belief makes sense to them. Some are have even become leaders of these nations at the very pinnacle of religio-conflicts. How do we expect them to come up with a viable alternative to overcoming religious extremism? For example both religious supreme books Bible and Quran for Christians and Muslims forbid and abhor same sex sexual relationships, yet we have presidents and head of states promoting gayism and lesbianism practices and rights. How does that win respect to religious leaders and the believers in general? Two different worlds in one! God will judge us justly. As somewhere it is written, every human conduct done secretly or openly shall be brought to justice it goes even to the extent of our thoughts, as usually before we do anything we start it in our minds first!

God is merciful, the same people we kill are the same people God wants to convert and save, vengeance is upon Him. Let’s tell where our brothers and sister have erred yet with respect and humility. We may win them to God, who knows!

Religious extremism can’t be won by a barrel of the gun neither can those who are extreme win their opposers by AK 47.

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Should the church clear itself over escrow money scandal?

January 4, 2015 § Leave a comment

It is really heart breaking to see a fellow Tanzania playing an advocacy role for the individuals behind the escrow account scandal, it is chilling! The church leaders who received the escrow money did not only wrong God but showed a bad example to the people they purport to lead them to heaven.

These are blind leaders trying to lead the blind followers and for such Jesus said they will all (the leaders and those whom are led) fall in the ditch. By the ditch Jesus meant hell. There is no recompense for the bishops who are involved in the escrow scandal but to repent and return the money.

Zacchaeus (in Luke 19) one of the richest man in Jesus’ time had accumulated his wealth fraudulently. After his encounter with Jesus he did not only repent but also repaid those whom he has fraudulently taken money from. He did not only pay what he took but did it 5 times more. Repentance only in matters such as this is not enough, it has to go along with some reformation. In this sense returning the money with some interest!

According to The Citizens, a daily English paper in Tanzania, published on 3rd Jan 2015 (http://www.thecitizen.co.tz/News/Nzigilwa–Yes–I-accepted-escrow-cash-and-this-is-why/-/1840392/2575890/-/sm7f0p/-/index.html), Bishop Nzigilwa claimed he had no any wrong doing in receiving the cash from the minority Shareholder of IPTL as the money was given for the church. The question we are asking is the same we asked Prof Anna Tibaijuka, why was the money paid to the Bishop’s personal account? We know Roman Catholic Church is one of the most firmly established religious institution in the world with proper governance structures in place. Donations by church members or any other institution given for the advancement of church businesses would go through the proper church accounting system. We would expect therefore the secretary or treasurer of the church, Parish or Diocese where the bishop is shepherding to give a statement and not the bishop himself.

The public has taken note of the scandal which to a large extent has marred the church, an institution which has always played a significant role in rebuking corruption in our society and promoting good governance. It is high time now the church hierarchy give a statement over the matter or take the Biblical disciplinary measures against the erring leaders. In my little knowledge of scriptures the measures would include asking them to quickly return the money. The church standards are placed higher than the secular institutions and to whom much is given much will be required.

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