When humans put their beliefs before their humanity

faith

A few specific incidents recently, the general occurrence of which has been going on for a long time, has left me in no doubt that we humans value our ideological beliefs more than we value human life.

I take it for granted that everyone is capable of kindness, love, compassion and goodwill towards other human beings. But it plagues me that humans can and will without hesitation abandon all of this when certain of our beliefs are challenged.

And it seems to me the most culpable belief that humans will defend, with total disregard to cost and consequence, is religious in nature. And the greatest cost is life off course.

Boko Haram (figuratively meaning “Western education is sin”) is an Islamic terrorist organization which has been laying siege to Northeastern Nigeria since 2002, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 10 000 people (quite possibly much more). At the most basic level, they kill innocent people to further their insane religious ideology. Recently they kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls whom they still hold captive, although reports indicate some have been sold into slavery or as child brides.

The fate of these schoolgirls is still uncertain, while the politicians vacillate. Which off course is quite normal for politicians. Political chicanery easily has the same disastrous effect as religious ideology, and indeed, when the State and Organized Religion conspire together, it usually ends in tragedy.

Take Sudan for instance. It is one of a growing number of countries (especially in Africa and the Middle East) that have no qualms about persecuting and even killing its citizens, to satisfy (invariably misunderstood) religious edicts. In Uganda, you will face imprisonment or even death for being of the “wrong” sexual orientation. Wrong is decided through belief, inspired by archaic religious text.  In both countries the politicians have no problem agitating its citizens who harbor demented religious beliefs, into tormenting, even killing those who even vaguely seem at odds with said beliefs.

Only recently Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, a pregnant Sudanese women who has just given birth in prison, was sentenced to death (but not before receiving a 100 lashes as well) for apostasy. Her crime was to fall in love with a Christian man. It is an exercise in futility pointing out to these demented ideologues that a benevolent God would not take kindly to such an insane act of pettiness. They would probably stone you to death.

Which was exactly the fate of Farzana Iqbal of Pakistan. Farzana whilst also pregnant, was stoned to death by members of her own family, including her own father for marrying the man she loved rather than the one her family had chosen for her. Honour killings are the direct result of ideological beliefs, most likely rooted in culture and religion. And that opens up another can of worms…

Culture and tradition can be as bad as religious beliefs, and quite often is. It is quite sad that in the modern scientific world, archaic cultural beliefs can still hold sway over abundant evidence to the contrary. In some societies, any or all activity that is at odds with cultural norm, can get you hurt or killed.

What will these purveyors of insane belief systems do if they eventually manage to wipe the rest of us off the face of the earth (not likely, but worth considering)? Will they then turn on each other? Will the purveyors of the surviving (insane) belief system then sit back and twiddle their thumbs, waiting for the rapture (or similar curious belief)?

Will the God that you believe in, accept them into heaven ( or similar curious belief)? Do you still think such a God is good?

Duvalier laughed…but I rolled on the floor

As soon as I caught a glimpse of this news piece, I nearly bust a gut laughing:

Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier laughed at the notion he was a tyrant and claimed in a television interview on Tuesday that he had introduced democracy to his troubled homeland.

“I was the first person to start a process as such in Haiti, a democratic process, it was me who started it,” Duvalier said in an interview conducted by Alicia Ortega and broadcast by the Spanish-language Univision network.

Yes, you started it all right – your country’s slide into decay.

This lunatic’s delusions about democracy may actually be catching: the African Union (AU) has a really crackpot idea about what peace means .  They have called for Sudan’s tyrant-in-chief al-Bashir, to be exempted from prosecution by the Haig for crimes against humanity because he apparently played a role in sustaining peace and allowing a referendum to take place, as if that was something extraordinary for a leader to be doing. Pretty soon all tyrants will be claiming indemnity for such piffling considerations.

Whatever next? The ANC claiming that this sick system of nepotism, kleptomania and deceit we have in South Africa is a democracy too!

The despot circus endorses a new ring-leader

While the people of Egypt were fighting for their freedom, while the people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly in favor of freedom from tyranny, while a democratically elected leader tried desperately to get the incumbent scoundrel to step down and hand over power, while an already deposed dictator fled from the wrath of the people he abused, and while fresh rebellion elsewhere was in the air, the established despots and wanna-be tyrants of Africa who make up the African Union (AU), voted in a new chairman.

And not surprisingly they endorsed a veteran with 30 years of ignominious rule adorning his résumé. All hail  Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the pride of Equatorial Guinea, proud ally of the oil-obsessed USA, and now ring-leader of Africa’s despot circus.

Forgive me for thinking that the evolution of man started, and then stopped abruptly in Africa too.

South Sudan freedom…so close

The secession vote is going well in South Sudan; it looks inevitable that they will soon be free to form a new country with a new leader.

My only fear is that the people cruelly become the victims of yet another despotic regime. It’s happened so many times before, it’s become quite routine for Africa.

They all seem to start out as liberators…let’s hope for the best.

An open letter to Helen of Tafelberg

Dear Helen,

Southern Sudan will start voting tomorrow in a historic referendum that will enable them to secede to form a new country. In so doing they will at last escape the tyranny of that madman al-Bashir, and the Arabic Islamic North.

You and I, both live in a country being slowly ruined by several madmen who occupy the seat of power. I therefore seek desperately to move somewhere where my taxes wont find its way into the back-pockets of these despots-in-the-making, but into filling those potholes I routinely drive into on my daily commute, among other more pressing things like education systems that produce graduates who can score more than 30%, and a police service that can actually see their toes while standing upright. I dread the future that the products of this education system will undoubtedly create once they start working, and I sure as hell don’t want to live in constant fear of criminals who actually can see their toes.

I need security, and many others like me just want to be able to live in peace, and not worry about that next pothole that will ruin our cars, or that car-jacker who will ruin our relationship with our insurance companies.

I believe you can help us. Secession is going to be all the rage in 2011; I can feel it in my bones. Wink! Wink! Nudge! Nudge!

The Kingdom of the Cape sounds so much better than the land-locked one run by that despotic, polygamist, reed-dancing pervert. I would be honoured to be a citizen of another country and not have to cross an ocean to be there. And you would make such a good President…or even queen.

Please let me know if you will be interested in creating the push for independence; I will start getting my papers in order for emigration.

All hail al-Bashir…or not

Fresh from his gigantic failure to mediate in the Ivory Coast Presidential crisis, former South African President and notorious AIDS-denialist Thabo Mbeki, today hailed the apparent statesmanship of International Criminal Court fugitive and notorius alleged humans-rights abuser, al-Bashir, President of Sudan.

Now isn’t that wonderful? One fucked-up, has-been politician paying tribute to another, who admittedly isn’t quite finished yet with fucking things up. The stuff of dreams…

And then there’s US Senator John Kerry who also joined the tribute chorus. Politicians! Can’t resist climbing on that old bandwagon, can they? Off course we all know that the Senator is probably licking his lips at the thought of all that oil in South Sudan that may become available to the good old US of A.

And what about our human rights basher (al-Bashir – his name’s kind of apt, don’t you think)? It’s only a matter of time before he starts persecuting any Christians still left behind in predominantly Islamic North Sudan after a potentially successful secession vote. He’s just licking his lips too…