The Wrong Stigma

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So a Nigerian is virtually the most talked about person this Christmas… and for the wrongest of reasons. Omar Mutallab’s attempt to blow up a plane through his pants comes as a worst possible time for the image of a country already battered by the stigma of being a home to corrupt leaders, online scammers etc, despite the desires for ‘re branding’. The surprising thing again is the background of the young Omar which, looking a little more closely, is also not too surprising. It is hard to imagine typical Nigerian blowing himself up for anything (how will he get paid?).

That Omar studied in the UK also brings into the limelight the sad fact that the permissive and individualistic western society is pushing a lot of  young Muslim into extremism. Even though Omar had always being very devout from his younger days it seems clear that he got radicalized in University College London.  Not that I am trying to make excuses for Omar but it should be a sobering fact to know that western society breeds those who threaten it.

It is also reported that Mutallab’s father had reported his sons radical tendencies earlier and the Nigerian Security Adviser has queried the intelligence agency on why this information was not acted upon. Don’t expect anything though. It’s under the same agencies watch that the wanted Ribadu flew in and out of the country (besides the President is not yet back for his Hajj). The US embassy in Nigeria is said  also to have been informed about this. Heads may roll there in the coming weeks.

Nigerians complain about being the most harassed set of people at the airports. It can be expected to get worse as we will not be suspected of carrying gunpowder along with cocaine. Someone warned that we should expect ‘gynecological searches’.

Planning to join the horde of Nigerian’s  studying in the UK? The opinion in the US seems to be that UK universites are breeding grounds for terrorists.With expected pressure on the UK  by the US to track down extremists. Expect to be watched suspected and harassed from time to time.

Tis really is the season to not want to be a Nigerian.


3 thoughts on “The Wrong Stigma

  1. This situation is really being given the wrong focus…..the international community probably blaming the situation in Nigeria and their corrupt leaders and Nigerians bemoaning their apparent increase in negative international popularity. Overshadowed by all this is the fact that Omar hails from a wealthy Nigerian family and received the best education money can offer both in Nigeria and abroad and also that his father readily alerted the relevant authorities the moment he suspected his son. This fact establishes the following:
    1. Poverty and corruption are definitely not players in this incident and should not be the focus of the international community
    2. Nigerians are a good people (we have our problems no doubt, but mass killing is not in our nature)

    The above assertions leaves one to ponder why Omar decided to carry out this abominable act and bring such negative popularity to his home country? The answer to that question is simple…..Radical Islam!!!!!!

    I once saw someone say on Facebook after the incident that ISLAM is not a religion of violence…..! At the time, I did not have the time to respond to that comment but I hope the person gets to read my comment here (I hope) so as to get his facts straight!

    Islam is indeed a religion of violence as it commands its faithful to forcefully convert ‘infidels’ to Islam and where such conversion is rebuffed, violence leading to death (Jihad) should be exercised with the promise of virgins in their hypothetical heaven as rewards for such actions…. (Surah 9: Read from beginning to the end of the Holy Quran,)

    With such a charge, how can someone state that ISLAM is not a religion of violence? It is boldly stated in their Holy Book that to carry out Jihad is an act of Faith which leads to great rewards in heaven. How then can we not expect the actions of terrorists around the world who insist they are on Jihad against Western civilization which according to them is corrupting their faithful? How else can we explain Omar’s actions? He comes from a wealthy family with the luxuries of life at his disposal, yet he chooses this unfortunate course believing that by taken the life of other humans, he is doing the will of Allah!

    It is clear (from all acts of terrorism on a global scale, to the occasional tantrums and massacre by Moslems in Northern Nigeria to the recent threats by Boko Harem across Nigeria) that Islam does not mean well for the faithful of other religions (infidels). It is also clear that this growing virus of fanaticism has found a home in Nigera and I must say that I am amazed and impressed by its resilience. Nigerians are generally known as life loving people, so for one of our wealthy sons to take up such a path is scary for believe me, his failure at detonating the explosive cannot be compared to the courage he has given to other poor Moslems who can so easily be geared towards the part of violence and terrorism as we have witnessed in Nigeria over the years!

    The solution?
    My point of view is simple. Cut off the problem from its roots. Terrorism found its roots from Islam. Acts of cowardice of fanatics who believe they are doing the will of Allah. Their claim cannot be disputed for written in their own Holy Book are the direct and unmistakable charge to carry out Jihad as a well meaning Moslem. I also know (from my little knowledge of the Constitution and Human Rights) that a right seizes to be a right when it prevents another citizen to exercise his right/violates the right of another citizen’. This obviously, renders the right of Moslems to practice their radical religion null and void.

    My point of view would obviously be received with nostalgia and rebuff as yet another extremists opinion but then, that has being my story since 2002 when I was dropped as a representative for UNN at the UNIV conference held at Ogun State on World Peace as I was ever willing to speak against the right of Moslems to practice Islam when they violate the right of Christians to practice Christianity freely.

    I charge anyone who reads this to come up with a better way to put to rest this ever growing problem. I especially urge Christians to look into the Omar incident and the recent Boko Harem riots not as lay people who have no concern for the deeper meaning of events but come to understand that a growing disaster is at the corner following all these recent events and the seemingly clinging to power of our Moslem brothers.

  2. Making it sound like a fight between Christians and Muslims is playing into the hands of the extremists.The Omar incident is not the first and one would be tempted to take away the rights of Muslim even it only as long as these things happens. But these things have a way of turning back on you. I remember a statement by St. Thomas Moore in Robert Bolts A man for all seasons where Thomas replied to his son-in-law ready to break the law to catch the devil:
    ‘And when you have broken all the laws and the devil suddenly turns on you…Who then will protect you?’
    Nothing will be gained by violence you may suppress it for a while but at the risk of alienating more of the many (yes many) moderate and reasonable Muslims.

  3. I agree with Ikenna. It should not be reduced to a regiliuos battle.
    This incident is a clear sign of a breakdown of moral values.
    A man who is ready to take his life and that of several other people has got a wrong moral sense. We have neglected the power of parental care in our society.
    Dumping children abroad to study has now becone the order of the day, this is not a show of love, the family needs to be knit together.Well-to-do parents who wish to send thier children abroad to study, should also put in the means to ensure they do not loose the family values, this might mean going to visit them as often as possible.
    Reporting the boy at end of the day to the U.S embassy is (and of course as it happened) no solution. Parents should pick up their responsibility again!
    There is a world of lessons to be learnt from the boy “Omar” one of them is that: “Financial well-being is not everything”.

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