This piece is elicited by the string of tweets going on recently on the Twitter space about a boy who purportedly left Islam to become an atheist. He goes with the Twitter handle @mubarakbala and claims to be from Kano. His Twitter profile then reads ex-Muslim. Why an ex-Muslim? Why not just ‘I am an atheist’?
An Ex-Muslim can be a Christian, an Atheist, a Hindu or Buddhist. Is he ashamed of his new faith? When someone leaves other religions to Islam, s/he does not say I am an ex that. S/he says I am a Muslim. And I think this also applies to other faiths, probably, except this new form of atheism.
Then I decided to go through his timeline. As expected, his ex-Muslim tag fetched him a lot of the backing he desired. There was deluge of messages of support for his newfound freedom of belief. Many people, especially the non-Muslim, tweeted on his right to believe whatever he wants to believe in. They were outdoing one another to get this ex-Muslim out of a psychiatric bed to which his relation has confined him as a befitting place. But, I was able to discern the hypocrisy which defines Nigerians as being religious people and human right champions. Annoyingly, prevalent among the so-called enlightened youth. I found out that the support he enjoys for his freedom of belief was because he was an ex-Muslim-whatever that means-not because he actually enjoys any sort of freedom of worship.
Nigeria is a religious space, you know. So, when the congregation of one religion depreciates, the other gets happier. This is just the mentality here, no matter how we pretend that one people’s religion is accommodating while the other is intolerant.
I was able to see further the Nigerian human right activists in their true nature as just religious people behind the mask of civil society groups. I even saw a write-up on the situation ex-Muslims face in Africa by one Leo Igwe. But it is understandable why Nigerian pseudo human right activists would be in the active mode when the issue at hand goes against Islam and Muslims, but become silent when crimes are perpetrated by a particular religion or region.
I recall I couldn’t count the number of lawyers jostling to represent Muhammed Masaba in his 86 wives saga, as they were so many. However, I vividly remember that only one insignificant lawyer took up the case of the little girl who was slapped by a prominent pastor for claiming to be a witch for Jesus. Does that little girl not deserve freedom of belief? Why have our human right activists not fought for the daughter of a pastor who converted to Islam in Niger state to let her be? Is she not entitled to freedom of religion which we so much sought for ex-Muslims? She was kidnapped by the Emir, they say.
What of the pervasive cases of children being violated in churches across eastern Nigeria under the label of witchcraft? Yeah, only Almajirai in the North is a problem. What about the rampant cases of baby factories in Christian populated southern Nigeria? Okay, it is only child marriage an issue worthy of signing phantom petition for. What of the little girls who are picked from southern Nigeria villages to be used as housemaids in Christian households of Lagos, Ibadan or Enugu, but are chained to pillars, tortured and burnt with pressing iron. You know they are actually bewitching the children of their aunties/madams and therefore the pastor ordered that they be exorcised. It is okay for some people to commit crime because of their region and religion. Hypocrisy! Hypocrisy!! Hypocrisy!!!
Now coming to the topic of atheism, is atheism actually a lack of belief? It is not. It is essentially a belief in nothing, but nature. It is the belief that God is non-existent. Atheists believe there is no life after death. Things by themselves happen by nature. May Mubarak and other atheists be guided.
Well, the way I have come to decipher atheists is that they are misled by ‘freedom’which in essence is their belief. Atheists suffer from freedom of thinking. While you have freedom to think, you should also have freedom to think rationally. This is what an atheist lacks. The problem of atheists is that they think they have a limitless knowledge of universe or nature. This is where most people don’t get it. Human knowledge is very limited. The limitation of human knowledge makes him discover things from time to time. If human being has complete knowledge, there would not have been need for researching. Man should have just made a list of future knowledge, discoveries, advances and the end of them.
Atheists are misled in the belief that they possess a comprehensive knowledge, and through their adding together of events of the universe they conclude that God does not exist. But one can easily see through the shallowness of atheists’ intelligence by their analysis of events. They question why there is hunger, oppression, inequality etc., if God exists. Indirectly, they accuse God of injustice and unkindness, if really He exists.
For instance, in @mubarakbala’s timeline, an evidence of his non-existence of God is the picture of a crawling, close-to-skeleton man devastated by hunger. I believe @mubarakbala eats at least twice a day and yet a man walks around without a meal but he does not deem it fit to get him a ration of his meal and still he accuses God of lack of generosity. He wears nice shirt as I can deduct from his profile picture. I guess he has more than one of that shirt. Yet, many children walk about in Kano in tatters. Did nature not teach him to be kinder than God by sharing his nice shirts with those children? Or free-thinking does not enjoin sympathy, kindness and justice.
The very nature of the confusion we have in the world today is what strengthens my belief in God and the hereafter. Someone, greater than all of us, must ask that pastor why he slapped that little girl. So, you mean if Shekau the Boko Haram leader dies today, he will not account for his many atrocities against innocent people. You must be kidding. Then if such is the case, nature does not worth believing in because it makes people not to answer for their crimes. God may decide to forgive as well. The atheist would say injustice. Why does the atheist see anything wrong when s/he wrongs someone and the person decides to forgive?
Freethinkers may wonder what sort of punishment would God hands down to some criminals that will commensurate with their crime. As much as we may think any punishment is lenient, yet someone who commits multiple murders will not want to go to jail for 50 years or be killed. Is a 50-year jail sentence or his being killed equal to a single murder?
Atheists think nothing must be left to God to decide and everything must be open to them like black and white. Yet they never question their examiner at school, a fellow human being, why s/he decides to ask some questions but leaves others out in a test. These are very basic things that atheists have been unable to understand, yet they think they possess knowledge of creations.
In conclusion, the very problems of human, which the atheist uses as testimony of non-existence of God, are human being themselves. Humankind accuses God for what it has brought upon itself. The atheist opined that if God exist, He should not have made the opposite of whatever we consider as being good. Then the essence of the Day of Judgment would be negated.What use is the court or justice department when everyone obeys the law? Whereas humanity has blamed God for destruction of wars, it has not blamed God for technology which give birth to the former. Have the atheists question nature why it created them, unless they also believe there is nothing call ‘purpose’. Then nature must be stupid for creating for no purpose.
Ramadan Mubarak to all my readers.
A.S.M Jimoh (firstname.lastname@example.org)