Scapegoating: the current vogue

My father-in-law is Zulu or as they are called when they are Zimbabwean settlers Ndebele. He was telling me the other day about Mugabe’s Korea-trained soldiers (the Sixth Brigade) and how a few years ago, hundreds of young Zulu men were rounded up and shot by them. There was a lot of unhappiness amongst the Zulu and when Mugabe was back for ‘re-election’ campaigning, he was asked directly and he prevaricated but no apology was made. The Zulus are sitting there with resentment and as the years tick by with no justice, the anger and resentment builds.

Now imagine that Mugabe was a Muslim and the Zulus were Christian immigrants. If Mugabe had killed so many hundreds of Christians, he would have been branded an ‘islamist terrorist’. What that term means I have no idea. Except it has the word Islam in it to further demonise all of millions of Muslims all round the world who are no more terrorist than you and I. All those Muslims who are living peacefully with their non-Muslim neighbours.

I, as a Muslim, have non-Muslim family and friends who I love as much as I love my Muslim blood relatives. My in-laws are all Christian and I love them regardless. Even if every time I go to their homes they pray for me ‘in the name of Jesus’ which to me is like a big ***k y** and your beliefs. Some of those Christian friends and now family despite knowing me and claiming to love me still think that all of us Muslims are murderers and would murder them in their sleep given the chance. That I would take up the arms I do not believe in and kill them just because they are not Muslim. Fills my heart with disappointment but what can one do?

My sister’s current BBM status says ‘expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed’. So now I expect no less from the non-Muslims I meet who ask me if they came to Nigeria, would they be killed? Does anyone out there know anything of history and demographics anymore? Last time I checked, Nigeria was not a Muslim country and has never been. The places where I have invited people to (Abuja, Kaduna and Adamawa) probably have at least 50% Muslims and Christians, never mind that in Yola town, the majority may be Muslim and even that I am not wholly convinced. Never mind that all those things that are seen as Islamic are actually part of the Fabric of Yola – where every indigenous girl regardless of faith is expected to wear a scarf once she has reached puberty and not sleep around with every Tom, Dick or Harry who cares to ask. Where if your neighbour has a car and your mother falls ill in the middle of the night, you are welcome to knock on your neighbour’s door and ask them for a ride to the hospital. Where if your child is hungry, you can knock on a neighbour’s door and they would share of their lunch or dinner. Where my marriage has been celebrated in every home I know despite the fact that my husband is from a non-Fulani non-Muslim background. Where everyone is saying they will start saving now so that they can come all the way to England to meet my husband because he hasn’t yet made the trip to Yola. Where every time I am greeted, they pray for me and my husband, bless my marriage and pray for us to have plenty of healthy children. These are the people that are terrorists. These are the people who want all non-Muslims dead.

My people who are not allowed to complain about the atrocities that plagues them all because they happen to be Muslim. When the girls in Chibouk were abducted, people said they are all Christian (which is not true). My mother and her people (civil groups and human rights activists), many of them Muslim like my mother organised rallies and demonstrations in Yola and Abuja to get the world’s attention on the issue and demand for those girls to be brought back. One of my so-called friends on Facebook then posted on her wall that we Nigerians were making too much noise. Why are we going on about these girls? Like so many ignorant people have asked and I said to her as I say to every other ignoramus who thinks they should ask us to be silent: ‘why shouldn’t we?’ If my mama and her people did not shout so loudly, they would have been accused of complicity as with Boko Haram even though they have been shouting about Boko Haram for years. If these nearly 300 girls abducted had been white British or American children, no one would have dared to complain about people wanting them back. This same ‘Facebook friend’ of mine who is the mother to 2 children would make more noise had her 2 girls been abducted too. But no, it is okay for her and so many others to tell us not to make so much noise.

To anyone who thinks that, I say I do not need friends like you. I do not even want friends like you. So unfriend me on Facebook, take me off your BBM, delete my phone numbers from your phones and leave me alone. Go and spread all you negativity and hatred somewhere else. Go and pick on someone else who needs or wants you. Me, I will be just fine with the friends and family who love and understand that I am just like you. I do not want to kill anyone. I do not want them to kill me. I want to have children and I want them to be free to worship or not as they please. Without being victimised for it. After all, it is one of the basic human rights. Freedom to worship!

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