E O EkeSunday, January 12, 2014
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igerians should worry about the emergency of a political party dominated by those who believe in the transformation of societies through religion. We need to be very concerned, that people who see nothing wrong in the imposition of Sharia law in a part of a country, with a secular constitution, are scheming to gain political power at the centre. We cannot ignore their contempt for the constitution and the fact that they put their religion over and above the constitution and the rule of law. Nigerians should study carefully the evolution of Egyptian brotherhood and why Egyptians revolted against Morsi. It is like mixing petrol with fire for a political party with religious agenda to gain power in a secular democracy. Turkey is immersed in a struggle for its soul between secularists and Islamists. They have serious reasons to be very concerned, having seen what Islam has done to Syria, Libya, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt etc.

For the past few years, I have waxed lyrical about the dangers of religion (Christianity and Islam inclusive) in the way it practiced in Nigeria, how it alters the mind of people with dogmas that borders on the absurd and why mixing it with politics is insanity. Therefore, I am concerned at the increasing segregation of Nigerian politicians along religious fault lines. Until Nigerians as a people wake up to the fact that religion, particularly, one that claims to have the ‘truth’, believes God dictated its holy book, believes that all other people and religion are wrong about God and sees its mission as world domination is intolerant; Nigeria will go the way of many other countries Islam has destroyed. Islam is an ancient religion that has no room for compromise, change, plurality of views or redefinition of its dogmas in light of new knowledge, as Christianity has demonstrated it can. Islam often brings out the worst of humanity in some of its believers. We have Osama Bin Laden, A’Qeada, El Shabab, and Nigerian Boko Haram as present examples. We have studied the role of Islam (religion) in their emergency and continued existence; what we found out is an indictment on the religion which cannot be ignored by rational minds.

‘Moderate Muslims’ do not gain power in Islamic countries and do not campaign for the rights of non-Muslims as Christians do in secular democracies. This is the crux of the matter. There are no moderate Muslims protesting against the persecution of Christians in Islamic countries. They keep silent when non-Muslims are persecuted and or prosecuted on trump up charges. They see nothing wrong in the use of political power by their extremist brothers to enforce religious beliefs and dogmas. They keep silent while Islam perpetrates injustice in the name of God. If they attempt to speak up, they are told they are not true Muslims, or become targets. To be safe in Islamic country, one has to keep silent in the face of evil. On the contrary, Muslims are safe and flourish in secular democracies dominated by Christians, while Christians are endangered species in democracies and theocracies dominated by Muslims.

In secular democracies, Muslims have equal rights with every other person. In Muslim dominated countries, Christians and other no-Muslims are second class citizens, and overtly and covertly persecuted, oppressed and discriminated against with an active policy to convert them, eliminate them or drive them away. The way the Coptic orthodox Christians are treated in Egypt in particular and non-Muslims in Middle East in general, are two examples. In secular democracies, Muslims are free to build Mosques schools and pursue their beliefs within the law. If anyone criticises their excesses and intolerance they claim the person is Islamophobic. They use the same tactics used by homosexuals to push their views because their liberty is protected by the law and they refuse to support giving the same rights to non-Muslims in Islamic countries. In Muslim dominated countries, Churches are a rarity and constantly under attack and Christianity always go into decline as a result of persecution and Christians often compelled to flee for their lives.

Muslim dominated countries frequently use the archaic blasphemy law, which the Jews used to eliminate Jesus to target Christians and destroy them. Their strong belief that it is their duty to punish those who they believe insults God, is at the heart of their intolerance. They are oblivious of the fact that God is quite capable of dealing with those who insult him and has not contracted this responsibility to any religion, prophet, church or preacher. Religion commits its worst atrocities by invoking blasphemy laws, which is why blasphemy laws do not exist in secular democracies. No one who is different can be safe in a Country where blasphemy laws exist. It is a strong feature of the Sharia. The abuse of blasphemy laws is a common feature in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Malaysia and several Muslim dominated countries. The victims are almost always non-Muslims.

In Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Libya, Algeria Sudan, Malaysia etc., Christianity is regarded as an enemy and the policy is to ensure the domination by Muslims and discrimination of non-Muslims on the excuse that if they want a good life, they have a choice to convert. Herein lays the intolerance and insensitivity of Islam, its justification of discrimination and persecution of people who are different and lack of respect for their liberty and fundamental human rights. The history of Islam shows that in Muslim dominated countries, no other religion flourishes and all other religions go into decline and eventually disappear. The irony of the attitude of Islam is that once it eliminates other religions from its domain, it turns on itself in a sectarian struggle for supremacy because it is genetically incapable of understanding and tolerating differences. You cannot have a Sunni and Shia Mosque on the street in Islamic countries, just as you cannot have a protestant and Catholic Church on the same street in Northern Ireland. In Iraq, Islam has virtually wiped out Christianity and is now engaged in a deadly sectarian war between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims. They simply fight and do not stop to ask why they are fighting, even long after the reason for the war has disappeared. The same Islamic sectarian war or conflict between Sunni and Shia Muslims is raging in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Bahrain, Pakistan to mention but four countries.

Christians have been living in the Middle East for thousands of years. It is the home of Christianity. Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea according to the Bible. In countries where there were once thousands or millions of Christians, there are now only a few frightened ones, who have decided not to flee. They live under serious discrimination and oppression. The systematic elimination of other religions appears to be an accepted tenet of the Islamic religion. The fact is that Christianity and other religions eventually disappears in Muslim dominated countries and no Muslim dominated country, gives equal opportunity and access to other religions which Islam enjoys in western democracies.

My fear for Nigeria, is that if political power at the centre, falls in into the hands of those who believe in the transformation of societies through religion as history shows Muslims do; Such a political party would legitimise intolerance, discrimination and inequality in the name of religion, and Nigeria will begin a gradual slide into anarchy because of the attempt to impose Islamic faith covertly and overtly on all. What is happening in northern Nigeria would become a common feature in the whole country and we will be presented with the Egyptian dilemma.

How can I trust those who took Nigeria into OIC, and still justify it, to guide Nigeria into a secular democracy? It would be unsafe to trust the future of Nigeria in the hands of those who introduced Sharia laws in northern Nigeria. I cannot find any reason at the moment to trust them. This is simply a rational position. It would be simply naïve to do so, or to believe that people can change their deeply held religious beliefs to appease those they believe are in the wrong; especially when they believe that their religion is superior to all other religions. Since the introduction of Sharia laws in northern Nigeria, several churches has been burnt down and none of them has been rebuilt. There has been a systematic cleansing of non-Muslims from some regions. The whole of the northern Nigeria is pursuing an Islamic agenda that discriminates against none Muslims. Islamic police has been established and they attempt to enforce Islamic laws on non-Muslims, and Northern non-Muslim minorities are endangered. The introduction of Islamic law, in northern Nigeria, emboldened and enabled Boko Haram to emerge and now, it is leading the Jihad to enable Muslim politicians gain political power and then, they would negotiated with them by making concessions which would give Nigeria more Islamic flavour.

Wise Christians are leaving northern Nigeria and it would seem the wise thing to do under the circumstance, as Islamisation can only get worse and Islam does not tolerate diversity or plurality of views. Sharia does not respect whatever it does not like, approve, understand, condemns or simply do not know. It can only tolerate them for a time because of economic interest, or weakness, until it gains the power and means to impose its will. This is why enlightened minds see Islam as a primitive religion (this is not an insult, but simply descriptive), a danger to secular societies and democracies, a threat to Liberty, tolerance, equality and peaceful coexistence. When something refuses to change, opposes change and fails to learn, ascribes to itself absolute knowledge on the mysterious, it is ancient and anti-enlightenment.

Supporters of APC may dismiss this concern as scare mongering and argue that APC has no Islamic agenda, and that they do not believe it will happen in Nigeria. But that is the problem; they apply belief in issue of probability. Considering the evidence and the past behaviours of the people involved in APC, it is more likely that they would, rather than not have and Islamic agenda for Nigeria. The presence of non-Muslims in APC does not affect this. There were non-Muslim in Nigerian government when a Muslim head of state dragged Nigeria into OIC. Nigerians continues to bury their heads in the sand about the reasons why Ebitu Ukiwe left the government of Ibrahim Babangida. Moreover, it was exactly the same thing Muslim brotherhood said in Egypt before it gained power. More important, Islam approves of the use of subterfuge to achieve religious objectives and if deceiving the people to gain power would enable it achieve Islamisation, it would use it and the Quran approves of it. No lover of democracy, freedom, equality, justice, and civil values can trust people with Islamic agenda in power in a secular democracy, and feel safe and secure. There is no antecedent to it in history.

The danger of religion destroying Nigeria is real and APC must come clean about its Islamic agenda for Nigeria. The men who took Nigeria into OIC and introduce Sharia laws in northern Nigeria are in Charge of the party, and Nigerians need to know what they have in store for the country. APC should now publish in details, its vision for Nigeria, so that Nigerians can hold it to account, when it deviates from them; should it succeed in pricing power away from PDP in 2015.

E O Eke is qualified in medicine. At various times he has been a General medical practitioner, Medical missionary, Medical Director and senior medical officer of health in Nigeria. He specializes in child, Adolescent and adult psychiatry and lives in England with his family. His interest is in health, religion philosophy and politics. He cares for body and mind.