Pro-Gaza Protest: An Epiphanic Display Of Intellectual Roboticism And Religious Gullibility By Rahaman Abiola Toheeb
Prior to this time, there has been a chronic syndrome of religion working in tandem with unabated gullibility. And for someone who has been following the recent global evolution vis-à-vis its religious ambience, there is no need to dispute the assumption that what we call religion and gullibility are inseparable duo.
Taking a close review that has an historical nexus, religion, an avenue for spiritual proximity and direct intercourse with the Supreme Being seems to have been horribly subjected to manifold rapes from the time immemorial by those we do vest its absolute credence and unmitigated reliance upon. This is solely owned to the fact that most of our clerics with their untainted raiment, Sheikhs and Alfas with mighty beard are commonly fond of using the platform of religion to display different forms of spiritual dramas, so as to lead people astray. They sometimes use religious serfdom to subjugate the congregation’s inner faculty of reasoning under their religious fallacy; deceit and personal assumption that sometimes lack
In corroboration to this, these religious cum intellectual goliaths always shield themselves away from the general truth and underlying scriptural truism by taking their anus off the sight of the onlookers, and finding all dupable means of prevent their moral immodesty and religious bankruptcy from being exposed to their gullible copycats and disciples.
I agree with the thematic pre-occupation of ubiquitous religious hypocrisy portrayed by American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne and Modernist writer Graham Greene in their books Scarlet Letter, and The Power and the Glory respectively. Giving an insightful look on the portrayal of Whiskey Priest by Graham Greene, there shouldn’t be a need to draw a line of contention on the hypothesis called religion, being a way used to create illusory fantasies for the easily tricked masses.
Apparently, religion has been a tool for psychological exploitation especially among the so called global youths- religious fundamentalists and gimmicks. It’s an avenue through which many religious leaders or individuals get people easily ensnared then ride on their intellect for personal wish.
Coincidentally, with the present political statistics in Nigeria, one can claim that the major factor behind Nigerian political goliaths using religious avenue to tame the sense of Godliness and religious sanity of the congregation in either churches or mosques is to cast religious sympathy and canvass more people to their camp. And the recent visit of president Goodluck Jonathan to most of the mammoth churches with innumerable worshippers across the nation purposely to flaunt his submissiveness to his gullible pros and in-active minds, thinking that their president is the messiah, is a glaring manifestation of religion being a pivotal instrument for propelling
the machinery of gullibility.
Few months back, precisely after the a deadly violent clash which led to untimely death of many between Nigerian army and the Shiates in Zaria who took on to the street for a pro-Gaza protest, I posted on my facebook timeline that those Shiates led to the field of protest and rifles exchange with heavily armed Nigerian soldiers by their religious trendsetters and architects were so gullible to have done so; and that they were programmed robots who could not have an introspection before fell on the spell of their leaders.
In the process, some online buddies who had a diverse look of the matter disputed my assertion and detached religious plethora of these Shiates from gullibility and intellectual robotism. Well, I had known already that such assumption would be subjected to different opinions and tongue-wagging, because what we call religion is one of the discourses that generate ripple of controversy and bone of contention from the inception. Besides, as intellectuals we can’t always put all our eggs in the same basket.
Notwithstanding, there is a need to clarify some certain areas of disaccord and intellectual variances. My incessant grouse about these people, which compels me to write this article is not because they took on the street, embarked on protest in solidarity support of Muslim brotherhood for the people of Gaza who were being plagued by mayhem hypocritically engineered by Israel then, but what inspired such a protest. The question we must ask ourselves is that: under what aegis did these people channel their protest? Religion of course! If not for religion, perhaps patriotism and national duty, I believe firmly that these kind of people would have showed lackadaisical attitude and leveled all forms of indifference. And this would be because seventy per cent of Nigerians are already mesmerized by the spell of pessimism that Nigeria can no longer hold peacefully as a nation considering the present re-surface of security challenges borne
out of the incessant display of insurgence by the dreaded Boko haram sect.
Although we were later made to realize that the protest was coincidental with the annual celebration of the Shiates in Zaria, and that they just used the avenue of the annual jamboree to stage their sympathetic grievance and brotherhood empathy for the jack-booted people of Palestine, we should not forget at the same time that these aggrieved and protesting pro-Gaza Shiates are Nigerians who are absolutely aware of the recent Nigerian situation coupled with the national security threat, the abduction of more than two hundred innocent school girls and the #BringBackOurGirls campaign for the quick release of these abducted Chibok girls.
They are unarguably aware of different campaigns and protests againstthe mammoth beast of corruption that has dabbled into Nigerian political streamline and its crawling economy, but didn’t stage a protest in support of either the #BrinBackOurGirls campaign or against
the myriad surfaces of mal-administration in the nation’s politics, and the perpetual exercise of power-drivenness by some Nigerian political Machiavellians.
I think something is wrong somewhere. And that something is nothing other than the pervading religious gullibility working in hand with intellectual robotism. Because I wonder why such a protest or whatsoever we may call it be organized when Nigeria has its own plight and bile which we Nigerians are still non-chalant to. I don’t say we should not flaunt our abhorrence to any form of external attack against people of our faith but there should be a way to curb our
plethora of emotion and excessiveness of action. Up till now, many still don’t believe that the #BrinBackOurGirls group led be ObyEzekwezili is not a political protest sponsored by some top members of opposition party, or a coup against the present administration of president Jonathan, or an avenue for the public opportunists and political brigands to showcase their feeble patriotism.
As the ghosts of those killed with the rifles of Nigerian soldiers still continue to wander around for revenge, I condole with the family of Al-Zakzakky once again for the deliberate murder of his sons by callous minds under the auspice of protection or self-defence, though my irreversible stance still remain that religion is a perfect channel for every phase of gullibility. This is because one would ask the question why are people so easily ensnared by religion or why would the followers of Al-Zakzakky be ignorantly led into a clash with Nigerian army who didn’t think twice before opening bullets upon unarmed citizens?
Similarly, we should not forget that Boko haram, As-Shabaab or Al-Qaida in the Islamic moghreb emerged under the aegis of religion. Those acclaimed Muslim suicide bombers, rebels and ruffians, slaughterers and snipers who are now setting the tandem of earth on the track of perennial unrest were sermoned and spoon fed with phantasmagoric reward of paradise awaiting them for mission successfully carried out blindly under the the umbrella of religion.
Widows and young teenagers used by Boko Haram these days for suicide mission are not only lured with monetary reward but also the lengthy chronicle of surrealism called blissful paradise awaiting those who die on the cause of said ‘jihad.’
We should also note that AbdulMutallab, a young Nigerian arrested with explosives by U.S some years back claimed to have been beclouded and tricked into the mission ignorantly through his fanatical embrace of religionism and mis-interpretation of Islamic philosophy and its jurisprudence. If all or some of the Shiites in Zaria could also be tricked down to the field of protest by their religious leaders and made to engage well armed Nigerian soldiers in rifles exchange because of mayhem in Palestine, then we are breeding new Boko Haram under the
shield of Islam. And if the aftermath of what happened in Zaria becomes a beast and burden upon our breasts as it happened during the initial emergence of Boko Haram under the leadership of Muhammed Yusuf, Nigeria will soon witness the emergence of another malice
perpetrated under religion and intellectual robotism.
For me, what tames people’s religious consciousness and conscience most is religion, considering the amazing rate through which people are being psychologically exploited under its guise.
Rahaman Abiola Toheeb, a public critic and observer is the president, Association of Nigerian Authors, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife.
He tweets via @DonRabtob.
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