By Abdulrahman Abu Hamisu
12 MAY 2013
Ordinarily, the piece written by Father (Professor) Omonokhua, which was published on page 52 of Sunday Trust of April 28, 2013 ought not to have elicited any reply, if not for his standing fact on its head to malign Islam. From the start, the title of the piece tends to convey to intending reader that Father Omonokhua intend to trace the history and development of the ideology of terrorists. This impression was made obvious by the quote from the two holy books - Bible and the Qur'an. Using these quotations as guide, one thought he was going to show how these verses assist Christians and Muslims to develop their terrorist ideologies.
This, he did not do.
His second bet was to locate the ideology of terrorists within their social milieu. After this, he should have gone ahead to show how terrorists form their world view based on their scriptural verses, how these verses assist them to choose their cause of action and how they use their religious to appeal to their members as weapon of indoctrination as well as canvassing support for the cause they believed to be right. This he equally did not do instead he went ahead to attack Islam and some Muslims he considered as terrorists. This he did by ignoring the terrorists produced by the Judeo-Christian unleashed ethno-nationalist/separatist movements.
In a very clever way, Father Omonokhua muddled up issues while raising rhetorical questions laced with the name of MEND to give not-so-careful reader the feel of balanced analysis. Beneath this lies the real motive of the piece; to portray Muslims as terrorists, period. Else, there is no basis lumping together Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Sayyid Qutb with Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mullah Umar or Boko Haram if not to rehash Anglo-America stereotypical equation of Islam with terrorism based on the now discredited 9/11 terrorists attack which enabled America to kindle global imperialist war that seeks to protect western imperialism in line with the recommendations of Samuel Huntington and his team as contained in The Clash of Civilizations.
In the fashion of leaders and some scholars of the west, Omonokhua went ahead to hold Qur'anic verses responsible for the radical teachings and resistance of people like Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, Sayyid Qutb, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mullah Umar and Boko Haram instead of their environment in order to give them and some insurgent groups which name sounds remotely Arabic the face of Islamic terrorists and terror organization. What a clever way to portray Muslims and Islam in the lens of the West for the purpose finding common enemy in Muslims and Islam? It is not that one is making excuses for the verses he so cited but they are clear as they are self explanatory. But he decided to twist them and make amenable to the individuals he mentioned.
According to the study undertaken by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism otherwise called Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism in the United States cited in a Global Research article found that: Between 1970 and 2011, 32 percent of the perpetrator groups were motivated by ethno-nationalist/separatist agenda, 28 percent were motivated by single issues, such as animal rights or opposition to war, and seven percent were motivated by religious beliefs. In addition, 11 percent of the perpetrator groups were classified as extreme right-wing, and 22 percent were categorized as extreme left-wing.
In another development, Princeton University's Loon Watch compiled a Chart from the FBI data showing perpetrators of terrorism from 1980 to 2005. On that Chart, Latinos commit 42% terrorism, Communists 5%, Islamic Extremists 6%, Jewish Extremists 7%, Extreme Left Wing Groups 24% and others 16% respectively. It is also clear from this statistics that Muslims are in the minority when it comes to the issue of terrorism. The same source found that instead of Muslims as the terrorists, they are the target of terror worldwide.
In dealing with MEND, Niger-Delta Volunteer Force, OPC, MOSSOB and Boko Haram in the light of the above evidence therefore it will be reasonable to suggest that government focuses more on the reasons that led to their emergence and not whether the names of the movement sound Islamic or Christian. If there are no grievances with channel of redress closed insurgences would not have emerged, if they did not emerge, no individual or group of people can use or manipulate religion or any other ideology for that matter.
Unless we want to deceive ourselves, it is a known fact that corruption, injustice, unemployment and leadership failure account for the present state of insecurity from North to South. Though the language, methods and ideologies of the insurgents may defer, their goal is the same: to have an ideal society where justice and fairness drive governance for the greater good of the people. In this context therefore, there are no Christian or Muslim terrorists in the struggle for good governance but insurgences that are determined to change what they perceive to be unjust in their various regions using the language that the locals understand to mobilize them to rebellion.
Abu Hamisu, public affairs commentator, wrote from Behind UBE Primary School, Gwagwalada, Abuja.