Time to act against religious extremists

RELIGION has been taken more or less seriously since creation itself. But there have also developed pockets of atheism all over the world.

The scepticism is based on what is alleged to be the unlikely existence of an all-powerful Being who is in charge of everything in the universe.

All human beings, having been created in His image, are enjoined to obey, worship and give Him his due as their Supreme Creator.

All religions have had their charlatans, their false prophets and the people who prey on the gullible by tricking them into believing they were sent by the One Above to do whatever they are doing — most likely fleecing people of their hard-earned cash for their own selfish gain.

In Africa, we are grappling with the existence of Joseph Kony, a Ugandan who would be really corny if it wasn’t for the bloodshed he has been held responsible for in his country and in the neighbouring states.

Kony is set on creating a country ruled by the Ten Commandments. To achieve his goal, he has used captive children as soldiers and sex slaves.

He has killed many Africans in the region in his campaign.

He has become such a threat the United States has pledged its support for the government of Yoweri Museveni to hunt him down.

If their success with the capture and assassination of Osama Bin Laden is any indication of their modus operandi, then poor Joseph Kony has no chance at all.

As an African, I find his whole campaign evil. At first sight, he sounds as if he is utterly insane. But then did they say that about Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Idi Admin or Joseph Mobutu when they started?

Only after they had butchered hundreds, if not hundreds of thousands of people, did the world wake up to the reality that there was a mad person in their midst.

Recently, there was the case of Muammar Gadaffi. He was eventually cornered by his own people, but only after he had killed thousands of them.

Today, there are sober people who swear Gadaffi was innocent of all the crimes he was “alleged to have committed.

The same is being said of Bashir Al-Assad of Syria.

Not until he has killed half the population of his country are we likely to see any international action against him.

But Kony is of more immediate concern. I have not heard from the African Union on this subject. This could be on the nebulous grounds of “non-interference” in the internal affairs of member-states.

This is probably why the US was brought into the picture.

It’s something of a shame, really, that Africans cannot handle African issues with the decisiveness that Mwalimu Julius Nyerere displayed in another Uganda imbroglio, the crisis brought about by Idi Amin.

The Kony crisis is a spectacular example of how Africans “hooked” on foreign religions can become such rabid worshippers they must make the originators of the faiths wince with anxiety.

African adherents of Islam are butchering their Christian brethren in Nigeria in a campaign they say is designed to turn the whole country to Islam.

Mind you, Christian adherents in some African countries can become so fanatical that the heads of their churches overseas decide they have become so radical they disown them – officially.

This has happened in Zimbabwe.

Religion ought to be taken seriously, yes. But there have been serious questions about the legitimacy of worship.

Today, the world is in so much strife, thousands are being killed in both internecine and state-to-state conflicts, the question asked many years ago ought to be asked today: Is God dead?

The difficulty in understanding people like Kony is that they have departed our world – or what we call our world, the one in which people act on a rational basis, the one in which people determine cause and effect before they act.

This is a world in which there are limits to human behaviour. But when mass murder is committed by human beings against other human beings – for no other reason than that one man has a personal ambition to create his own world — then it is time for the world to act as one.

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