Avoiding the ISIS Episode in Nigeria and in Other African StatesLatest News, Prof.R.A Ipinyomi Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
By Prof. R.A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria
The ongoing civil war in Syria has turned several pages of different stories recently. In the middle of a civil war there was an election that overwhelming re-elected a belligerent incumbent President Assad and giving him several additional years to continue what his opponents describe as authoritarian and dictatorial regime. The opponents are still sweating it out in refuge camps in other lands and dilapidated buildings in what were once beautiful cities of Syria. The former beautiful cities of Syria are now ghosts of their past looks. More recently there is a big movement sweeping from Syria into northern Iraq attempting to create an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as a result of the civil war in Syria. Hitherto all efforts by the West led by America is to crush Al-Qaeda but information now has it that the new ISIS is a more formidable force than Al-Qaeda that two US regimes are yet to crush.
The intended Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is to create a Caliphate and to topple the Shiite led government of a democratically elected Prime Minister Al Maliki. The ISIS movement also proposes a Caliphate that has no boundaries and that its authorities will extend to anywhere there is a Muslim population. We are not aware if international intelligent agencies are aware of the grand plans of ISIS or even the ongoing civil war in Syria but we are aware that the western worlds and its allies need to do more than merely protecting their economic interests in the Middle East. What we are saying is that Al-Qaeda is only a subset of ISIS just as Boko Haram is also a mere subset of Al-Qaeda. Dealing with economic interests alone (where President Obama has scored high marks for his country) is no longer enough. We need to develop a military approach and much more importantly to be able to read the time we are in. In particular the Third World War might have been several years ongoing and we all remain complacent and indifferent because we have been unable to understand the signs and times. Another way to put the same picture is in our inability to be vigilant enough to properly guide and guard our freedom and independence. The end result would be the loss of our liberty, dignity and pride. We may become victims of political and religious bigots or terrorists of all shades from both external and internal sources.
We have been warning our readers quite often to be aware of two classes of insurgencies namely physical and spiritual classes of insurgencies. The security agents and the military of a nation may handle some physical insurgencies. On the other hand philosophers and religious leaders are the sources of insurgencies of the mind fueled by large unemployed youth and drained minds. A popular example is the encountered between Eve and Satan on whether all foods are permitted or that some should be avoided. Satan worked his way through and won Eve to his side. Many philosophers are in the mission of Satan today attempting to make us swing side from truth to falsehood, from light to darkness and from honest work to stealing and killing. Fixing up an unstable mind is always an inside job and we need a fixed mind because our destiny is tied to it. So it is with the food we eat, the bodies in which we live, the business in which we work, and the community in which we live. Nobody can come from the outside, stay outside, and make real, lasting, beneficial change. We need to be concerned about the happenings in the neighbourhoods and in our nations because our futures depend on them.
In reality either the incoming ISIS or its heralded branches like Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram or the East African brands of the same fascist groups, all of them seem to be fighting the wrong battles in our lives. Our societies are evil anywhere one may turn to justify a corrective revolution; but these organizations only add to our injuries. There are great levels of poor governance, high level of corruption, idolatry, visible injustice, intolerable rate of unemployment, series of every level of inequalities. Recently some companies have not allowed their employees to join the ongoing Ramada believing that it would reduce factory production and profits. A resistant movement of the Boko Haram Islamic sect should step up and attempt to correct the evils in the society rather than being part of the evil that steals and sells girls. Instead what we have is that a man purporting to be the leader of the Sunni extremist called Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has declared an Islamic state in territory it now controls in Iraq and Syria. He has made what would be his first public appearance, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq’s second-largest city, according to a video posted online Saturday 5 July 2014. The appearance of Al-Baghdadi in Mosul, a city of between 2 and 3 million people that the militants seized in June 2014, came five days after his group declared the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in the territories it seized in Iraq and Syria. The group proclaimed al-Baghdadi the leader of its state and demanded that all Muslims pledge allegiance to him. It is the same script here in Nigeria where Boko Haram sees no reason why the spate of their insurgencies should abate.
The spiritual terrorism has created a deeply secular society where cultism, same sex marriages, consumption of any grade of alcohols and gins, night clubbing and any free acts can find acceptable expression. This secular freedom advocacy has also led to the establishment of various institutions by same group to mold young minds but government either looking the other direction or focusing on very little other things while the entire society rots. In the secular world spiritual terrorism is about the effect of fear-based religion on people’s lives. The apostles of such school teach negative conception of God using metaphor like eternal hell-fire, amputations of arms and limbs, and making themselves semi-gods before other listeners. The doctrine of eternal punishment in literal fire is at the heart of many forms of spiritual abuse and all forms of spiritual terrorism. Everyone ought to grasp the liberating truth that people are totally free to live their lives but are also totally accountable, at the end of life, for how they have lived their lives. God is compassionate and will ultimately bring about perfect justice for all without violating anyone’s free will. Our freedom is therefore with responsibility and no teaching should violate this conditional freedom. Spiritual abuse has the potential to affect every segment of our society and every area of our lives. Similarly those who believe that we should teach our children nothing or those who believe that the children should follow the parents’ beliefs may be wrong. A government that allows every shade of teaching “in the name of preaching” may also be contributing to this terrorism and leading to the emergence of extremists, fascists and others who prey on the ignorant society. While the government may not be involved in the regulation of what a religion teaches registered bodies like Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, Muslim Association of Nigeria MAN, should be tasked to call their membership to order from time to time. Parents also have a role on the activities of the children and wards in the society. A group like ISIS may not have seen the dangerous path where it is leading the global society but the rest of us cannot all be fooled at the same time. As much as possible all new international boundaries should henceforth be the result of the United Nations debates and dialogues.
Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi
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