Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Muslim Social Media groups are Disgustingly Mischievous

The admins of Muslim social media groups have formed the habit of spreading blatant lies on their pages to evoke irrational behaviours from their followers. They always go overdrive on a campaign of deceit anytime a Muslim `group is fighting against a non-Muslim group, for example Israel and Hamas, Nigerian Army versus boko-haram and at the moment,they are lying about Myanmar (Burma).

Many Nigerian Muslims or Muslims in general without a doubt have the tendency to be very emotional and irrational with issues that relates to their religion. There is no problem for someone to like his or her religion, what brings about confrontation is that they try to evoke religion into every aspect of daily living even as they encounter people of other faiths.

Evidence of emotional and irrationally violent behaviours from Muslims needs not to be explained, especially if you are a non-Muslim who has lived in a predominantly Muslim society or a society that is not yet Muslim enough. In Nigeria for example, we’ve witnessed situations where someone draws a cartoon in Europe and idiots in Nigeria take up machetes and start hacking their compatriots.

We’ve seen in Nigeria where juvenile delinquents who refused to prepare for exams, claimed a school teacher threw out a bag which contained their Quran out of a classroom window. They said her action hurt their feelings, she was set upon and burnt alive by the community.

Time and time again we have this thing called “religious crises” along Nigeria’s fault lines (Plateau, Kaduna, Benue, Niger, Bauchi and Gombe). It is a blood bath between Non-Muslims and Muslim youths and their victims are mostly innocent people who are not from the area or people looking for loved ones trapped in hot neighbourhoods. It usually starts after Friday prayers or sometimes triggered by “Anti-Israel protest” or any form of “anti-western protest”, “ a girl wearing trousers walked in front of Muslims while they were praying”, “ something happened to a copy of Quran” or “a taxi driver forced his way pass illegal barricades raised by Muslims on Fridays”.

When any of these happens, violence starts. Shop keepers, vendors and everyone that is not Muslim or Muslim enough become murder targets. Things have changed over the years though, few decades ago, non-Muslims use to be rounded up in their neighbourhoods, murdered and thrown into their own wells without resistance. In some cases they are beaten and locked in their houses or cars, then set on fire.

Things got better when an atmosphere of mutual fear was established, non-Muslims started fighting back, The cities split into Christian and Muslim neighbourhoods, so it became difficult for Muslim lynch mobs to fill their quota.

During one of the first religious crises in Jos in 2001, I witnessed the rage and hatred in a Muslim youth’s eyes. Mass violence in Jos was usually between fans of Mighty Jet F.C and Plateau United F.C. When trouble starts, opposing fans assault one another, they take to the streets near the stadium, soldiers and police move in, they shoot tear gas to disperse the crowd and everyone goes home.

The day religious crisis started in Jos, that afternoon during Friday prayers, I was with my mother at the Jos main market at the Textile Hall. Suddenly, people started running and screaming that fighting has started in Masalacin Jumaa (Central mosque) while others say they are already fighting in another Sunni Mosque located in Yan taya junction, just meters away from the market.

We rushed to the car and getting there, the parking lot was empty. This was a place that was packed with people, cars and trucks offloading inventory minutes ago. All the shops were closed except for one Igbo man who did not make any attempt to run, when asked by my Mum why his shop was still open, he said “Madam no worry this is Jos, nothing will happen. Na their usual gragra”. We later learnt he was beheaded.

So we entered the car and I Speed off heading towards home. I just got my learners permit that summer during the long holiday as I had just graduated Junior Secondary School JSS 3, I was a speedster. We got to a place called Nassarawa Gwom and there was traffic. People living at the outskets of town (Lamingo road, Angwa Rukuba, Gwom, Tina Junction, British America Junction etc) were rushing home so we were stuck in traffic for about a minute in Muslim dominated area.

While we were there, a boy walked out of a house holding a tyre and a machete, he was about my age, he walked to the middle of the road dropped the tyre and started pointing and making gestures towards our direction. I was scared, my mother cold but what gave be closure was the believe I had in my driving skills and thoughts of running him over if he came closer.

As he was talking and making gestures (Wallahi zamu kace dugan ku - wallahi we will kill all of you), he looked back towards his house stretched out his hands calling for petrol and match. A little boy brought fuel and match and he started making attempts to light the tyre. As he was doing that, a man knocked on the passenger window of the car, he was crying. My mother wound down the window and I screamed at her to wind it back up.

As I reached over to wind it back up, the man said “Madam, please help me, they are going to kill me”. The Hausa boy was actually talking to the man, he was standing beside our car all this while. My mother pushed me away and opened the back door for him to come in. He got in, the road was clear again by this time and we moved.

My mother saved that man’s life, he happened to be a youth cooper serving in Jos and we happened to be living in the same area. I still scream and cringe in guilt today anytime I remember that incident, that corp member would have been killed if not for my mother as I was ready to runover anyone that comes close to the car .

Another thing that stuck with me is the face of that Hausa boy, the rage, anger and bitterness in his countenance as he threatened the youth corper. What makes someone so enraged that he was ready to cause harm to another man? Then, it dawned on me when I started seeing facebook post the current “Rohingya exodus” from Myanmar (Burma) and

Before the advent of social media, this is what they taught Muslims in Mosque and religious gatherings. Blatant lies, cooked up stories that enrages. Religious teachers are supposedly the most enlightened in these Muslim communities, their word is law as they are the ones who their god on speed dial.

There is a political problem Myanmar, the government has refused to recognise Bangladeshi migrants known as “ethnic Rohingya” because they “refused integrate”. The Rohingyas are being discriminated against, there have been religious clashes where Buddhist villages were allegedly attacked by Rohingya Muslims and as expected, the Myanmar government came down very hard on the Rohingyas and in turn, Rohingyas in their country, Bangladesh attack and burn Buddhist temples.

The shameful practice of sharing unrelated gory images to stoke emotional response is highly irresponsible and you people them sharing it on social media. Doctors, lecturers, pilots, students many of them share these images with tags like “oh Allah please help our Muslim brothers in Burma” on an image of a Tibetan mass Buddhist cremation after an earthquake in 2010 or “Oh ya Allah, help Muslim children” on an image of “Holy man” trampling on little babies to rid them of evil spirit.

Most, if not all the images shared about Burma or Rohingya are false. This vitriol overdrive only happens when the other side is not Muslim, you’ll never see things like this when it is Muslim on Muslim violence/ discrimination or when a Muslim group have a upper hand against a non-Muslim group. It’s disgusting.

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