Speaking on Religion, Secularism and Fundamentalism at a panel discussion organised by Workers’ Liberty on 12 February, 2015.
The gruesome murders of Deah Barakat, 23, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and Razan Abu-Salha, 19, all Muslims, in the gun-toting hand of Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, an atheist, is appalling and a tragedy. I cannot begin to imagine what the families of these victims must be going through.
According to the law enforcement official briefed on the investigation, Tuesday’s altercation started after Hicks found a car belonging to one of the victims in what he claimed was his parking space. Then Hicks went to the victim’s condo and shot all three people in a confrontation.
Hicks turned himself in to police Tuesday night and is being held in the Durham County Jail without bond. He is cooperating with investigators, police said Wednesday morning.
Mohammad Abu-Salha The father of the female victims feels differently, he believes it is an hate crime. He stated–
We have no doubt that the way they looked and the way they believed had something to do with this
Karen Hicks, the soon to be ex-wife of Craig Stephen Hicks expressed her shock and sympathy, she however stated–
This incident had nothing to do with religion or the victims’ faith, but in fact was related to the longstanding parking disputes that my husband had with the neighbors
According to Craig Stephen Hicks’ neighbour, Samantha Maness it was an equal opportunity anger situation.
I have seen and heard him be very unfriendly to a lot of people in this community,” Samantha Maness, another resident of the Finley Forest development, told the Times. She said that Hicks displayed an “equal opportunity anger” and that he made “everyone feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
Why are some atheists blaming ‘Extreme Atheism’ for Chapel Hill shootings?
I watched in bewilderment as some atheists assume extreme atheism was to blame for the murders. Some have [Read more…]
Just as I finally summoned enough interest to write about the Baga killings, news came in that Islamists terrorist group, Boko Haram, has struck again, this time in the city of Maiduguri. According to Sahara Reporters–
Top security officials just confirmed to SaharaReporters that Islamist fighters today overwhelmed the 243 battalion of the Nigerian Army stationed at Monguno Barracks. The insurgents killed an undetermined number of soldiers and wounded the brigade commander of the barracks.
Our sources said soldiers who put up resistance to the invading insurgents were killed, adding that many soldiers then ran in different directions. They disclosed that 1,400 soldiers were stationed at the barracks at the time of the attack, adding that military authorities were not aware of their exact whereabouts or how many of them had been killed. “We still don’t know what has happened to them [soldiers], but we know that Boko Haram now controls the barracks and Monguno town,” one officer based in Abuja confirmed.
When the Islamists terrorist group Boko Haram struck in Baga and killed a disputed 2,000 people , it was no longer considered newsworthy, at least not in Nigeria. I must confess that even as a Nigerian, I did not bother to check out the news, deven though the headlines screamed at me. According to CNN –
During the raid that started January 3, hundreds of gunmen seized the town of Baga and neighboring villages, as well as a multinational military base.
Attacks started at dawn and continued throughout last weekend, according to residents.
Though local officials gave conflicting death tolls, they agreed on the massive number of fatalities.
More than 2,000 people were killed in attacks on 16 villages, Bukar said. He could not explain how he arrived at that toll.
But the local district head said hundreds of people had been killed, not thousands. The actual toll will be known after a headcount of households is complete, Hassan said.
Two days after the attack, a man who claimed to be Abubakar Shekau [the leader of Boko Haram] came and addressed us. He said: “Today, where is your government from local to highest level? You are now under our control.” And he preached to us.
After that, Shekau and many of the insurgents left the town in the hands of some Boko Haram members who are from Baga.
These men have taken control of the young women in the town. They rape and abuse our daughters.
In the evening they choose ones who are neither pregnant nor nursing mothers and take them away. They don’t bring them back until the morning. If it is not rape what are they doing to them?
I guess we are now so desensitised to the atrocities of Boko Haram that it seems more murders in the name of Allah is no longer news, at least not when it involves Boko Haram. This might sound callous or insensitive, especially since the Baga killings occurred around the time of Charlie Hebdo killings, which I took the time to write about. So, why this seemingly uncaring attitude towards the Islamists terrorists presently ravaging my birth land (Holy FSM, I can’t even bring myself to call it my homeland anymore)?
I think this ‘What else is new’ attitude towards the misadventures of Boko Haram is indeed sad and scary. When an abnormality becomes the norm, [Read more…]
In the wake of the atrocious murder of Charlie Hedbo’s journalists by Islamist fundamentalists which led to #Jesuischarlie, it is sad that some people have chosen this horrendous time to falsely accuse the magazine of the very thing it stands against; Racism, Sexism, Homophobia and Misogyny.
As Libby Nelson wrote in Charlie Hebdo: its history, humor, and controversies:
Charlie Hebdo is known for its cartoons, which are often raunchy and provocative, whether they depicted the Prophet Mohammed or portrayed the Pope performing holy communion with a condom.
Charlie Hebdo’s editor, Stéphane Charbonnier, who was murdered in the attack, described the newspaper’s positions in 2012 as left-wing, secular, and atheist.
Below are 5 different crowds that are getting it wrong and why.
1- The “Charlie Hebdo is racist and sexist” crowd
The context of Charlie Hebdo’s Parodies/cartoons is easily understood by the French but not easily understood by outsiders, unless they are conversant with French politics. Some of these cartoons can be viewed and understood under the piece What are some of Charlie Hebdo’s most famous cartoons?
At first glance, these cartoons might appear racist, sexist, and ill-thought-out, but after reading the contexts, this is usually not the case.
So, “What was the context of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon depicting Boko Haram sex slaves as welfare queens?”
This is what Libby Nelson has to say:
Charlie Hebdo covers often combined two unrelated stories to make a satirical point. In the context of the magazine’s leftist politics, this seems to be about spoofing not Nigerian trafficking victims, but French welfare critics, who have argued that France should cut welfare programs to prevent immigrant women from exploiting them. The cover, in this view, seems to say, “Hey, welfare critics, you’re so heartless that you probably think that even Nigerian sexual slavery victims are money-grubbing ‘welfare queens.
Islamist barbarians have struck again, as 3 gunmen went on a killing spree, murdering 10 journalists, 2 police officers and injuring 7 people in the name of Allah.
Gunmen have attacked the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people and injuring seven in an apparent Islamist attack.
At least two masked attackers opened fire with assault rifles in the office and exchanged shots with police in the street outside before escaping by car.
The gunmen shouted “we have avenged the Prophet Muhammad”, witnesses say
Barbaric, primitive religious fanatics and those so-called moderates, who feign disgust at these atrocities but still spew passages from their Holy books to justify atrocities, need brain transplants!
This is another blatant attack on Freedom of Expression by these barbaric religious fanatics.
It was also reported that 2 of the cartoonists killed had personal body guards because there has been ongoing life threatening messages from Islamists who feel offended by the cartoons the Newspaper published.
Imagine what it is like to be under constant fear for your life for exercising your Freedom of Expression.
I am so tired of hearing the rhetoric that people should not upset the religious community. Why should we care that religious people are [Read more…]
Who votes for a man who truncates democracy?
Who votes for a man who has repeatedly shown his disdain for the rule of law?
Who votes for a man with a record of appalling human rights violations?
Who votes for a man who advocates for Sharia law in a supposedly secular society?
Who votes for a man who cares not that lives, especially young lives, were lost because he lost an election?
Who in their right mind endorse such a despotic being as a presidential candidate?
How could a decent person openly campaign for votes for this despot?
What type of self-acclaimed progressive party fields such a candidate?
I was flabbergasted when General Muhammadu Buhari, a 72 year old ex-military despot and Sharia law fanatic was adopted as the [Read more…]
A perfect New Year resolution would be to do away with God and all its attendant delusions. Most importantly, it would mean you no longer give a stamp of approval to all the ills, harms and atrocities perpetrated in the name of God under the umbrella of Religion as commanded in the Hoy book, be it the Bible, Quran or any other deluded book, aka the Word of God.
In recent years, we have seen how much harm and havoc God delusion can bring to humanity. It is not just about hearing old stories about how God sanctioned and even commanded slavery, genocides, plagues, jihads, stoning to death of non-virgin wives and gays, we cannot in good conscience, continue to say “Oh that was days of old”.
In recent years:
No religion deserves respect from me. However, when in this modern age, a particular religion is always grabbing the headlines when its adherents kidnap and open fire on innocent people in shopping malls and cafes while screaming, “There is no other God but Allah”, and murder children for simply daring to seek an education, I can say, Islam deserves nothing but contempt. My heart bleeds for all the innocent lives lost in the latest atrocities committed in the name of religion and a mythical skydaddy.
No lie or myths sold as truth deserves respect and all religions are myths and lies. However, when lies are used as brainwashing tool to harm innocent people and cause havoc in the society, that lie deserves nothing but contempt and condemnation from decent people.
Child marriages, subjugation of women, persecution of LGBTs, stoning of women found guilty of adultery, public flogging as punishment for drinking alcohol, cutting off hands as punishment for stealing, jungle justice, Jihads, Fatwas and beheading for blasphemy are just a few things of my least favourite things about Islam and its holy book, Quran.
What do we expect from followers of the Abrahamic God who took pride in ordering the execution of children? Genocides were a thing Skydaddy was proud of, and some of his delusional adherents are still proud to follow his sadistic orders. [Read more…]
In my part of the world, every advice seems to be followed by some supposedly wise sayings. African societies have rich collections of very good proverbs, but those proverbs are being relegated to the background in favour of some suspiciously evangelical ‘wise’ sayings.
These supposedly ‘wise’ sayings do get on my nerves. Some of these sayings are so common that I am beginning to think perhaps people just say those things from force of habit, without actually thinking them through.
In particular, I hate ‘wise’ sayings that attach a reason to why we need to help others. For example:
Do we really need a reason before we extend a helping hand to someone in need? [Read more…]
When President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, was presented with a private jet for his birthday on the 40th anniversary of his ministry, he probably did not envision it was going to be his waterloo.
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s private jet was seized in South Africa on the allegation that it was used to convey $9.3 million cash allegedly meant for the purchase of arms and ammunition. South African immigration officials discovered the undeclared money. Two yet to be identified Nigerians and an Israeli were said to be aboard the jet. According to latest reports, the private jet has been released after Nigerian officials entered into diplomatic dialogue with the South African Officials, but the $9.3m is still confiscated by South African government.
Funny enough, Nigeria’s government has moved in to defend the embattled Pastor. Government spokespersons have claimed that the money [Read more…]
Kate Harris interviews Yemisi Ilesanmi
Published in Workers Liberty’s Solidarity Newspaper
How did you get to where you are today as an LGBT activist and out bisexual woman?
It has been an interesting, tasking, journey towards self-awareness. It is also a journey that has involved studying society and finding my place in it. It is a continuous journey and one where I have to constantly remind myself that I have a right to be who I am in a world that is desperate to make me into what they would rather I be.
I started being politically and socially aware of my human rights at an early age. I was born in Nigeria in the mid-70s and grew up in a society that was marred with constant military coup d’états. There was no stable democracy. It was confusing because people took to the streets to celebrate successful coup d’états. I wondered why it was a good thing for the military to forcefully overthrow elected officials. But the people’s response was that the elected officials were corrupt. However, after having a taste of what military dictatorship means, people stopped celebrating coups. This started the difficult journey towards demanding and organising for a civilian regime where they would have a say in electing their own political leaders. [Read more…]
Mubarak Bala, a Nigerian and an atheist is being held hostage in a psychiatry ward at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria on the orders of his father Bala Mohammed. Mubarak’s father is a prominent weekly columnist who writes a Saturday column for Daily Trust, a National Newspaper. Bala Mohammed committed his son to a psychiatric unit when his son expressed non belief in God and renounced Islam.
I gathered from reliable sources, including sources from within the Daily Trust Newspaper, that the extremism of Mubarak’s father’s was becoming apparent and some staff members were concerned about the appalling way he was treating his son whose public declaration of atheism and renunciation of Islam on social media seems to have attracted attention in Kano.
My source was shocked when a contact that is very close to the Publisher of Daily Trust said they were aware of the case and have been aware of Bala Mohamed’s growing extremism and the appalling way he committed his son to a psychiatry ward for renouncing Islam. However the paper refused to carry the story because of the controversy it would generate and a fear of reprisal. [Read more…]
I have so far refrained from writing about the Nigerian ‘missing girls’ for some reasons. Firstly, I wouldn’t want to cause any more pain to families of the missing girls, if indeed there are missing girls.
I got a glimpse of just how much Nigerians love conspiracy theories when Lee Rigby was hatched to death on the street of London by Nigerian/British born Islamist fanatics, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale. Many Nigerians went into conspiracy frenzy on social networks. They claimed it was all a set up and made the murderers out to be victims of a twisted immigration plot! Surprisingly, many of the conspiracy theorists were self-identified skeptics and freethinkers. I got fed up of their conspiracy theories showing on my newsfeeds that I reached for the block button. One thing I emphasized was how much pain their insensitive posts were causing the bereaved family. So, let’s get this out of the way, I loathe conspiracy theories, not just because they are mostly misguided but because they do tend to cause pains to the victims and their families. [Read more…]
Below is another senseless message from one of the many wilfully ignorant Nigerian Christians who have made it their duty to force down their blue-eyed blonde Jew saviour called Jesus, down my throat. I posted on my Facebook wall excerpts from my blogpost ‘Because you are a decent person does not mean your religion is not harmful: My 24 hour ordeal with religion‘ and this person decided to respond by sharing the post on his wall and tagging me with the following response:
Yemisi, History is all planned out. Everything is in stages. When God’s time came to move The Gospel around the world, He made Constantine, emperor of Rome, embrace and adopt Christianity. Then Europe went on exploration of foreign lands – Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, England, etc. The Gospel spread, although so did atrocities, pillaging, etc. God is in charge. He has planned out history. What would the world have been had Christianity not outlawed human sacrifice and all forms of idolatry. Yemisi would have been a helpless woman only good as pleasure object of some king, chief or egoistic male chauvinist. Thank God for Christianity, Yemisi. Jesus reigns!…
The scripture says when the last trumpet blows, Jesus would come back and his beloveths would rise up. Eek, I keep seeing zombies, not funny. This event would officially be the Zombie apocalypse. The dead would resurrect and those that are not dead would float away into heaven, they call it ascending, I call it levitation magic at its best! The scripture also says that the beloveths would no longer be flesh but spirits. One little detail, if they are no longer flesh but spirits, how are they gonna recognize themselves? I imagine that conversation amongst my resurrected Naija brethrens would go thus:
“Oh bro, you too make am to heaven?”
“Yes o sis, na so I see am o! By fire by thunder, I held tight to angel Michael’s robe and got a free ride to heaven. Naija no dey carry last, no dulling!” [Read more…]