The Rise And Rise Of Scripture Fundamentalism (2)

Towing the line of his brother fanatics in every religion worldwide, who believes that they have an exclusive right of interpretation over the scriptures-since it must remain a closed text- he says, ‘anybody who is not convinced about this truth should link up with the heavenly information network for understanding: pray that your eye of understanding would be enlightened.’ In conclusion, he reminds us of their notorious ruse: ‘blessed are those whose eyes (can) see.’ Since his followers lacked the critical sense, the ability to ask questions, difficult questions, and since they want their eyes to be blessed, they would force themselves to see something when there is there is nothing to see actually.

The whole newspaper, The Exodus of the Biafran quest, reeks of ethnic inferiority complex, religious bigotry and arrant fundamentalism: connecting Biafran self-determination cause to Zionism to give Biafran Zionism, the story book ‘holy Bible’ is going to be their constitution, their Senate: the elders of Zion; then prayer cards to actualise this dream etc. Certainly, this aberration drew nourishment from the paradigms outlaid in the Bible. Somewhere their Bible says that only 144,000 from the twelve houses of Israel would be saved. Hence fans of what The Exodus represents sat down and started connecting their ancestry to Israel: Iruka is the son of Nwokocha who is the son of Madueke who is the son of Okafor, a grandchild of Joseph and the cousin of Abraham our father in faith and Emelike the elder brother of Adam… Let politics remain impervious to religions jargons and motives. The ultimate consequences of such unholy mixtures are not always palatable. They damage the religion and the politics.

In another vein because of the myth of Israel being the chosen people of God, anything they do has the backing of God or again because their Bible says any nation that fights them, God will fight them, hence everybody and race has to be their friend no matter what they do. So people like Lawrence Summers, president of Harvard University could infer that right now, criticism of Israel is anti-Semitism in ‘effect’ if not in ‘intent’; taken to be a challenge on the existence of the state of Israel. Or that as events now unfold, criticizing America, Israel’s main ally or hating George Bush automatically labels you a terrorist or fuels those who are!! Such labels aim to define the perimeters of the publicly acceptable domain of speech by setting limits on the speakable. The call for boycott of joint research with Israeli academic institutions, cutting cultural ties with them, stoppage of business with companies that sell military hardware to Israel to which Summers devoted his criticism, is quite commendable.

The Western media had been passing out grotesquely prejudiced news to the world about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict because it is dominated by Jewish influence but not the academia and the province of arts that are spearheading the global protest against Israeli barbarism: state terrorism, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, occupation etc. The campaign, which started in European universities, has exploded in strength and has spread to Canadian, Australian and American campuses. It is quite good that the ivory tower reminds itself of its traditional spirit of safeguarding moral principles as an intellectual responsibility. As the Columbia university statement reads: “The decision to launch a divestment campaign comes from our hope that moral pressure from the international community could be an effective means of encouraging political transformation [in Israel and Palestine].”

Monstrous American made tanks and bulldozers have wiped out (still are) houses, agricultural lands, schools, hospitals, mosques, archaeological and cultural heritage sites; families have been destroyed, there is endless poverty and suffering. 65% of Palestinians are unemployed; schools, hospitals, universities, businesses are under military pressure with American tanks placed in the frontage of those remaining. All these, have been universally acknowledged, would be impossible without America’s economic largesse and military aids running to tens of billion of dollars given to Israel annually. There is no reason why this campaign cannot spread to Africa because Africans, in the spirit of solidarity, are active supporters of freedom and human rights of the Palestinians. Moreover, this is one of the campaigns that helped collapse the evil regime of apartheid in South Africa and is drawing inspiration from it.

Infact from the historical characteristics of the Israelites, if the Egyptians had not enslaved them, they would have enslaved the Egyptians and justified why Egypt, a land of skilled and sophisticated people, and a land of ancient technological marvel, must be their annex should they still insisted on going to their promise land. Because they were about the violent expropriations of what is good in the name of their Yahweh.

Superiority, at whatever cost, at others expense, pursued with religious zeal is a mode of thought that the scriptures have bequeathed as a legacy because people have deemed them as error-free hence everything therein deserves irrevocable submission of loyalty and faith. It has consolidated itself in an ideology that partly sustained Nazism where the Jews were the victims, now they have become the subjects meting the same on the Palestinians. It is this same ideology that is updated in the works of US policy intellectuals like Fouad Ajami, Bernard Lewis, Samuel Huntington, Charles Krauthammer etc. It is this same ideology that is at the heart of the western foreign policies in the Middle East, policies whose knowledge of Arab civilization is scarcely authentic and heavily defective. Just as a scarecrow is assembled from bric-a-brac and made to stand for man, so is the western knowledge of the Arabs and other races were assembled from the bric-a-brac of what they feel and made to stand for the Arabs and others.

In his book Clash Of Civilizations, Harvard professor, Samuel Huntington peddled this same ideology that looks like a fungus spoilt soup of okro that refuses to draw: there is a chosen, superior civilization (the west), further clashes with other non-western, particularly Arabic civilization would always abound. His book then offers itself as an oracle on what the West must do to continue wining. (Wahala wa o!) If others are not ready to comply with the west, they must be denied the right to exist through means like the war on terror. The west must be the producer of civilization; others must become a prisoner of it. The equality of all civilizations is an inalienable social right of nature. And this ought to be the basis for coexistence amongst all peoples and civilizations. Every progressive civilization has been a fusion. No culture or civilization is born to exist by itself. A civilization that now barricades itself is a Yahweh of soviet power that must fail. Throughout history, talk of the pure race, and ‘my better’ civilization has only led to mass murder and savagery. We should not forget the perspectives of Auschwitz. The pure has never existed. Every culture learns from another in order to be internally transformed for the better. To become whole, everybody, every civilization needs the other. To believe otherwise makes one falls into an immense procession of fanatics now headed by George Bush that already includes Maitasine, Bernard Lewis, Bin Laden, Donald Rumsfeld, Ariel Sharon, Condolezza Rice, ayatollah Khomeni, Ben Ukegbe, the Talibans and other modern incarnates of Old Testament characters.

Do we need a clash? Must the biblical history be always about clash? Why must some want to dominate others? Why should human and diplomatic relations not be about wearing wedding gloves instead of boxing gloves? Is it that since soviet communism has collapsed then another enemy has to be invented in the Arabs or Islamic ‘fundamentalism’? President Ronald Regan in 1985 after meeting with the heavily bearded, heavily turbaned Afghanis, leaders of the Mujaheddin, in the White House, brought them to the luscious lawns of the Rose Garden. Standing “shoulder to shoulder” with them, Regan told the eager bank of international cameras and microphones, ‘these GENTLEMEN are the MORAL EQUIVALENTS of America’s FOUNDING FATHERS.’ (My emphasis. Read this repeatedly, in the light of US war on terror on whom? Secondly, to know why the US would continue to be fanatical and belligerent since we now have clues to its founding fathers’ minds!) On the local level, would the religious relevance of the bible or even modern Christianity fall down when there is no enemy to fight, that one has to be invented always? In professional life, why must people invent enemies in their colleagues through spurious competition and be invoking all the noxious aspects of the bible in order to place themselves on OT war footing and see themselves spiritual consequently?

In the final analysis, the belief that anything is true if it is found in the scriptures should begin to fade out. The scriptures should be revised to be an open text for spiritual renewal and moral growth only. It is disturbing when they are seen as sacrosanct untouchables free from the stains of errors. With the combination of uncritical citation and endless repetition, cynic passages are used to justify whatever power is in power simply because a person, a race, or a civilization is riding on the back of the tiger. The time will soon come, surely, when it find itself in the belly of the tiger. Scripture fundamentalism panders to the base interests of a person or civilisation. It leads to bad doctrines that whistle around like evil spirits. Bad doctrines lead to bad conduct; bad conduct leads to an inverted civilization at everyone’s peril.

One thought on “The Rise And Rise Of Scripture Fundamentalism (2)

  • Great writeup; incisive and educative. But mind you, the Igbo people (Biafrans) do not feel an iota of inferiority complex! Or do you mean superiority complex? For starters, I do not know any tribe/tribes superior to the Igbo people.

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