Handing Back the Initiative to Shekau, By Nasiru Suwaid
“Jonathan wants to turn this evil group Boko Haram into freedom fighters, otherwise what is it that other nations cannot do which Israel can do? What added values does he dream of achieving while stirring the sensibilities of a segment of the country.”
-Dr. Ahmed Abubakar Gumi, A modernist Islamic scholar and a cleric.
As a Nigerian, nothing fascinates me more about the western world, than the term anti Semitism, not in the fact that I question its existence or even support it but due to the confusion it breeds in me, as a student of scriptural learning and biblical knowledge, because, most of the literature of the monolithic Abrahamic faiths, especially that of Islam and Christianity, had portrayed the Jews as the chosen people: smart, inventive, entrepreneurial and successful, surely, eliciting the liking of some and envy of many. However, discrimination is not a burden usually associated with exceptional achievers, rather, it is a fate that befalls the downtrodden, those in bottom of the economic ladder of development, who are the poor, the outcast, the slaves and the less intelligent race, if the discredited proclamations of the supremacist movements and groups were to be ever believed, as if the Intelligent Quotient of an individual, could defend solely on their skin color or the lineal heritage of where he or she came from.
Now, tackling the above definitions from whatever angle, an average Jew does not fit into them, which surely confirms that there are other reasons, than that which have been proclaimed as the causal factor for the entrenchment of anti Semitism in Europe and the Americas. In other words, it had to be the detailed period heralding the demise of Jesus Christ as related in the Synoptic Gospels, which was dramatically depicted in the Hollywood blockbuster, The Passion of Christ as directed by Mel Gibson, which was the story about the arrest, trial, conviction and crucifixion of the founder of the Christendom, who had to endure gross injustice, savage beatings and the most inhuman of deaths by a Jewish tribal mob. When the film project was undertaken and indeed when it came out, the fear was openly expressed and indeed it came to pass, that it had stoked a passion of ill will against the often victimized people, whom biblical historical scripture had blamed for the fate which had befallen a genuine man of peace, despite the fact, the United States of America had claimed to have built a highly tolerant and civilized society, which is the number one ally of the State of Israel and its perpetually threatened people.
Thus, when in the beginning of the week, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the Nigerian president, on behalf of his nation and offered to join in the military rescue operation, while pledging to help in the fight against terrorism, a need for tact and circumspection immediately arose, as to how to deal with an offer for help, which could make a bad situation worse, by widening a wedge of disconnect between a highly suspicious and distrusting population with their government. Unfortunately, the security and media aides of the president failed him woefully, when his official spokesperson Dr. Reuben Abati gleefully announced to the world, Nigeria’s engagement with the State of Israel. The fact that essentially, the conflict is a religious one or to put more succinctly, the group perpetuating it is doing so under of the banner and canopy of Islam, never seem to matter to them, the fact that any mention of Israel, just as it did in America and Europe, with decades and centuries of enlightenment, cooperation and cohabitation, it still evoked a passion of suspicion, revilement and rejection.
So it is in Nigeria, if not even more, because unlike the countries in the western world and apart from a privileged few, who had of lived outside the shores of the country, thus privileged to have seen, touched and had a relationship with a Jew, the greatest majority of the citizenry in Northern Nigeria, only knew of the country and its citizens from the indoctrinating teachings of the clerics and of course, religious texts and scripture, which has related what the people had done to the chosen prophets of God. It is important to note that the countries of Western Europe and America are less Godly, less religious and much an open society than ours, yet are still having problem comprehending their relationship with the Jews and the Jewish State, talk less of a country like Nigeria, which was once proclaimed as the most religious nation on earth, thus having every hue and type of preachers of hate and conflict, because it would be the height of falsity to claim only Shekau preaches as such, as there are many others like him, who although are not taking weapons against the state but spew as much anti Semitism to their followership.
Observing Nigeria from the sociological setting, the society places great importance to the preachers and this does not discriminate between the highly educated and the stark illiterate or between the rich and poor, because, if the person occupying highest office in land, could stoop so low as to kneel down before a cleric in front of hundreds of thousands of worshippers, so that he would be blessed, as it happened to President Goodluck Jonathan when he visited Pastor Enoch Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God in one of his crusades, what says of the relationship of the poor peasant, the ordinary folk, the less educated citizen and the indoctrinated fanatic with their clerics. Now, for an Islamic scholar who is struggling to preach against Abubakar Shekau and his Boko Haram devilish ideology and who had spent a lifetime of sermons, vilifying the conception of the state of Israel, requiring them to mount the stage on the side of a sworn enemy is a virtual impossibility. In fact, they would be so inconsistently un-credible as to confer incredible legitimacy, to the warped and destructive ideology of hate being propagated by the murderous group, if Israel wishes to help, let it be accepted and used clandestinely.
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