Gazans Return to Rubbled Gaza

Joyous Gazans cheerfully celebrating return to Gaza on the announce of an unlimited ceasefire by Israel and Hamas. The truce initiated by Egypt has eased the blockade on Gaza, opened borders for aid and lifts the restriction of fishing activities off the coast, as some fishing boats have been seen sailing those restricted areas to resume business today. Also children have resumed playing in the surfs alongside the fishing activities.

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The ceasefire has ended the vicious attacks on Gaza which has killed over two thousand people within a period of 50 days.

Normal life activities is quite evident in Gaza as structures damaged by Israeli airstrikes are already being attended to. Gazans also attest to the fact that they have not heard any shelling from Israel or any rockets being fired from Gaza after the ceasefire.


Hamas however, has declared the ceasefire as “Victory for Resistance”, contrary to Israeli’s stance, claiming that Hamas has finally agreed to the offer it had repeatedly refused.

Some world authorities are however skeptical of the truce and some consider it as an opportunity not a certainty.

Both sides have however agreed to return to Cairo for further talks.

#KakandaTemple ~ The Hysteria of a Malfunctioning Robot: A Response to Muhammad Mahmud’s Misinterpretation of Texts


Dear Mahmud,

I think you have just made it into the Guinness Book of Records as “the most sophisticated illiterate ever identified in the history of public discourse”. For this, I ought to have sent you a private mail congratulating you for this ignoble accomplishment. However, I feel that your education should be done in public and to the records of especially the social group whose emotions you have appealed to. Before we get into this response to yours, I strongly advise that you start with the prelims–go and read my earlier essay, “Scholars of Misinterpretation, Misquotation and Blackmail” (Blueprint, August 9, 2013). It will prove to be foundational since it was aimed at reactionaries like you, even if slightly more distinguished, who approach texts with the sole aim of misunderstanding them. It will, at least, enable you read what I have written below as opposed to reading what you think I must have written.

Now, I will list below your more intriguing distortions and then provide the actual statements set out in my piece “A Letter to that Nigerian-Palestinian”, which was a wake-up call to that citizen whose empathy has not roused him to stand in solidarity with the victims of tragedies going on in his house, but is now involved in the pro-Palestine campaign:

First, I wrote my letter to “that Nigerian-Palestinian”, did you notice the particular definite article used–that? Go back and read the title and note my refusal to pluralise the definite article. To pluralise, to use “the” for example, would mean generalising and you ought to know that that was deliberate, but your emotions seem to have dispossessed you of the elementary grammar chanted by kids–Singular and Plural. But then, that’s of lesser importance.

Of that Nigerian-Palestinian’s hypocrisy, I wrote: “You see, it’s not the way you internationalise your empathy that disturbs me, it’s this seeming pretence that all is well in your backyard while you weep over the blazing fire in faraway Gaza.” In self-defence, and stubborn exhibition of your trademark ignorance, you wrote: “You assume that my call for the world to stop the genocide in Gaza is a direct contradiction of my efforts, which you seem not to be aware of, to stop atrocities in my country.” Further, you state that “(w)e have been more than half as passionate about our problems than the happenings in Gaza.” Dear Mahmud, thank you very much for being just a little above HALF as passionate about Nigerian happenings as compared to Gaza’s. Surely, since you have not pretended that all is well in Nigeria, since you have even gone further to feel half as passionate about local happenings, you cannot yet be that Nigerian-Palestinian my letter is addressed to, can you? Did you miss the simple logic of this, Muhammad Mahmud? You also mentioned Pakistanis as examples of grieving people who stand up for Gaza, without acknowledging that they are not like “that Nigerian-Palestinian”, for they have never stopped fighting for the redemption of their country, and their famous daughter, Malala, who came to Nigeria as an NGO owner, even took a bullet to protect her country from the pervasive ideology of some psychopathic members of our “brotherhood of faith”.

Second, in your bid to rebel against being referred to as “humanist”, you exhibit a fifty kobo sophistry, claiming “I am not a humanist. I am a Muslim whose religion… revere(s) and sanctif(ies) every soul, be it that of human or animal,” ignorant that humanism is a term for all acts of kindness done either as Muslim or non-Muslim. Islam extols humanism, so all the good things you have done to those “souls, human or animal”, as you are enjoined to as a Muslim is humanism within an Islamic framework. If you understand my explanation, can you now see why the sophistry of your submission is off-putting? Your allegiance to a “Brotherhood of Faith”, admitted by your own mouth, is humanism within an Islamic framework, yet you failed to grasp this simple relationship. How did you fail to grasp this, dear Muhammad Mahmud? Was it in your hurry to write a response to my letter? Or are you simply exhibiting the symptoms of that intellectual shallowness, often seen among your members of social group, those set of persons who have seen Islam as an ideology that must be exclusively opposite to other social ideologies?

My third note identifies your intellectual insularity: it is your tragic deconstruction of the simple word “antisemitism”. I had warned against antisemitism, especially from those shallow-minded fellows who co-opt the entire Jewry as foot-soldiers of Zionism, disrespecting the Jews who have stood up against the genocide in Gaza in the process. In your words: “It looks more likely that you are more in need to read more than me. You need to understand that the Palestines (sic) are also Semites.” Haba! Antisemitism doesn’t mean “anti-semites” or “the hatred of Semites”, it’s not a term for racial, but sociological, labeling. It means, as you would have seen if you had bothered to check it up, “prejudice, hatred of, or discrimination against JEWS as a national, ethnic, religious or racial group.” Obviously, with this embarrassing gaffe, you’re more in need of one book above all and should you send me your postal address, I shall buy you one–a dictionary. But this gaffe is typical of you and your ilk and in the case that you do not understand how you came to such an embarrassing error, let me explain your process to you simply. You activated the literalist mindset which you adopt in interpreting religious texts, in your understanding of common “antisemitism”. Do you see the ruin of herd-type methodology?

But your literalist bias does more damage to your reputation than the serious one of ignorant understanding of simple words. You go on to make this dangerous confession, but as if it was an accusation: “If you have been reading and understanding the Qur’an, you wouldn’t have wasted time trying to exonerate some Jews from the horrors of Zionists. I don’t think there are a people so accused in detail, in the Qur’an, like the Jews.”

This is the difference between you and me, my ability to recognise contexts in reading the Qur’an. Your declaration here brings to mind a debate I had with a Christian some years ago. It was on a verse in the Qur’an, a verse that has become an anthem sung by terrorists who bask in the hallucinations of Jihad:

“(Q9:29) Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”

My Christian friend shared in a crime with the terrorists–a destructive intellectualisation of ignorance. Deliberate or otherwise, ignoring context in the interpretation of a verse from either the Qur’an or the Bible is equally an act of terrorism, perhaps deadlier, for the mental mischief is the very inspiration for actual terrorist activities. I started with the popular events that preceded the revelation of the verse; one was an order by the ruler of Persia directing his commander stationed in Yemen to kill the Prophet. In another swish of hostilities, the Prophet’s messenger to a tribe of the Roman Empire, Al-Harith bin Umayr Al-Azdi, was tied up and beheaded; a diplomatic botch-up that led to the Battle of Mu’tah, in which the Muslims were defeated. But, the hostilities continued. Return to Sayyid Sabiq’s Fiqhu as-Sunnah, Vol. 3, p. 80, for an elaborate commentary on this!

This verse and the others in which the Jews are mentioned, are not justifications of antisemitism, as you have interpreted them. They were directives for the Prophet of Islam to protect the Muslim nation from a particular tribe of Jews. Similar verses are also found in the Bible with defend-your-ambience undertones. In one, Jesus Christ says:

“But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me. (Luke 19:27) – King James Version (KJV)”

In the other, God Himself instructed Saul through Prophet Samuel:

“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass. (1 Samuel 15:3) – King James Version (KJV)”

I restate, ignoring the historical context that necessitated the verses above is terrorism. You see, insurgency as the one unleashed by Boko Haram is born by deliberate distortion of what Jihad, the Islamic precept, entails. It’s a perverted attempt to cleanse, to fight for Allah who has clearly declared hell for such criminal engagements, repeatedly in the Qur’an.

You’re still holding on to the primordial sentiments that scholars all over the world have addressed without obeying Allah’s command that “And no bearer of burdens shall be made to bear another’s burdens.” [35:18], which is a warning that the sin of the father should never be visited upon the son. Yet you put the burden of the ancient Jews, or Zionists in specific, on all the Jews. Do you even know Professor Norman Finkelstein, whose academic scholarship has been largely on the Israeli-Palestinian conflicts, is among the world’s most outspoken critics of the unsympathetically monstrous Israel? He’s a defender of Palestine. Yet your literal understanding of the Qur’an makes Finkelstein too your enemy. You’re clearly in the category of the Muslims referred to as “superficial literalists” by columnist Adamu Adamu.

Another of your unpardonable accusations is the declaration that the #BringBackOurGirls campaign is a “Christian affair”, ignorant that the campaign, which you really need to praise for finally revealing the miseries of the people of northeastern Nigeria to the world, was a brainchild of Nigerian women dominated by Muslim ladies, including Malama Hadiza Bala Usman, who is the coordinator, Barr. Maryam Uwais, Mrs. Sa’adatu Mahdi, Mrs Aisha Yesufu, among others. May Allah forgive you for this malicious accusation of His subjects. Again, also with no measure of respect and decorum, both virtues of an ideal Muslim, you assaulted the sensibilities of the Nigerian Christians, saying that “they are the ones who only condemn attacks on churches and Christians. But we, Muslims, never did that. We condemn attacks on any human being.” Do you know that it’s the corruption of an insidious ideology from our own religion that has caused them this suffering? There can’t be a spiteful remark more dangerous than yours here. Don’t you think it’s virtuous to commend the wisdom of the Christians who resist the polarising stunts and speeches of the hateful President of Christian Association of Nigeria, Ayo Oritsejafor, and refuse to take up arms to form a terrorist cult against innocent Muslims and escalate our troubles, as the Christians in the Central African Republic have done? Wait, in internationalising your empathy, why have you been quiet over the killings of the Muslims in Central African Republic? Are they lesser in spiritual worth than the Arab Muslims?

But why would I be surprised when you have, quite unfortunately, religionised the Palestinian struggle, which you refer to as a Muslim campaign, tele-importing your bigotry all the way from Nigeria to the land of a people whose most foremost intellectual advocate was their Christian brother, the renowned literary theorist Edward Said, of blessed memory. Kindly obtain copies of of Said’s “Orientalism”, “Culture and Imperialism”, “Power, Politics and Culture”, “The Question of Palestine”, and even his memoir “Out of Place”, to properly shape your understanding of the Middle-East politics and plural societies. Add that to the list of texts I am advising, for your education.

You boast that Palestine is your second home, being the location of the “third most sacred places (sic) of my religion”–do you, possibly, mean Al-Aqsa Mosque? If you have really been reading your books, especially the history books, which is why I recommended Edward Said’s, you wouldn’t have forgotten that there’s no place called “Al-Aqsa Mosque” in the geographical expression known as Palestine. The place you call Palestine, as a basis for your obvious privileging of Gaza twice above the northeastern Nigeria, is not a religious space and has no religious sites at all–not in Gaza, not even in the West Bank. It’s simply an entity in danger of Israeli encroachment secured to the small extent that it has been by the political struggles of oppressed Arabs of both Muslim and Christian identity. Palestine, like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is a legacy of European colonialism that came into existence in the first half of the twentieth century, about a millennium and a half after the advent of Islam. I’m sure you’re one of those who see the entire landmass of those former colonies as sacred, elevating them to the spiritual state of the holy sites in their political maps. So, I am now at pains to point out the obvious, arising from simple geography, to you my dear sir. Your claim to being Palestinian (your second home) on the basis of the location of Al-Aqsa is silly, because Al-Aqsa is in the Israeli city of Jerusalem. The mosque you ignorantly refer to as your second home is actually jointly managed by Jordan, Israel and Palestine. But then, this makes you, lucky man, a citizen of multiple nationalities: Nigerian, Israeli, Jordanian, Palestinian. Congratulations!

You wrote, and I quote, that “it is not true that the Nigerian situation is similar to that of Palestine,” dismissing that comparison as delusional, but my comparison is even an understating of the situation because we’re actually in worse mess in Nigeria, being that we have no clues to what’s killing us, nothing to approach for a ceasefire and there’s no attempt by us to blur our lines of differences in confronting the politicians who have turned this country into a chessboard. Even in death, the Palestinians have more dignity than the north-eastern Nigerians. Their deaths are being televised, their identities fully revealed. As expressed elsewhere, there’s no inhumanity as having the news of a people’s misery and deaths denied, played down or unsympathetically politicised. The only tragedy worse than this may be the lack of strategy or, as some have said of the ongoing counter-terrorism, of the “will” to end these many killings. The areas of Borno occupied by Boko Haram is worse than Gaza because the eyes of the world are on Gaza, while there’s no media coverage as our people in the northeast lay dying in the den of the ideologically hollow insurgents. It is only thanks to the #BringBackOurGirls campaigners who you accuse of being discriminatory, the world loudly learnt of the happenings in the northeast, rousing a global outrage and solidarity.

You also thought that I did not recognise the efforts of outstanding northerners in counterterrorism. What distortion! If you have read my letter carefully, you wouldn’t have missed where I praised the Civilian JTF, and that my anger is not a “criticism of the northern establishment”, which of course includes the clerics and prominent figures murdered by the insurgents. Saying we’ve not done enough is a self-criticism, which may even be taken as a criticism of your unfortunate statement that #BringBackOurGirl is a “Christian affair”: bigotry. And asking you to prioritise your empathy is not a criminalisation of your pro-Palestine campaign, or romanticisation of Zionism. It is simply what it is: a call for active involvements in domestic affairs, in extinguishing our burning House. Do you, sir, know the number of our people killed and the villages no longer safe for habitation? Is it not our responsibility to document those statistics for the sake of history, just the way Hamas and its sympathisers do in their Palestine? Do we have, or are we members of, neighbourhood defence corps in our respective places of residence? Have our humanitarian supports to the victims of Boko Haram been reaching remote villages in the northeast? There’s clearly a lot we still need to do!

Sadly, the biggest challenge to debating an issue of humanitarian interest through the prism of religion is the usual blackmail by the self-righteous party that a dissident exists “in a bid to please the West, whereas the modern civilisation is not western. What you call western civilisation is an evolution of the collective efforts of renowned scientists, explorers, inventors and scholars from different races and continents. So your boast of being a shariah-compliant Muslim is an everyday arrogance that no longer shocks me; yours was meant to slant or stifle this debate. But of course I won’t let you achieve either of these aims. I know for a fact that you exist in a political space of western-type liberal democracy, perhaps as an interest-earning customer of a Guaranty Trust Bank, one whose savings are being invested in forbidden ventures, conditions that mock your claims of being shariah-compliant. Herein lies the typical hypocrisy of it all.

Islam is being misunderstood largely because of the activities of fellow Muslims. The Muslim World has retrogressed over the years, with the rise of vastly ignorant, illiterate and intolerant followers who have given Islam a bad image in their operations as terrorists and unruly protesters. This decline is tied to generations of Muslims refusing to heed Allah’s “Afala ta’qilun”, stated in thirteen verses in the Qur’an, while pretending they are submitting themselves to Him.

Many Muslims who venture to discuss social realities and challenge impositions of divisive ideologies have all been called names, dismissed as apostates and hypocrites by these mobs who are ever unwilling to tolerate dissenting views. The irony was even experienced this week: a good friend of mine who once labelled me an apostate, challenging that I made a clearly un-Islamic statement in a piece, has also been declared an apostate. For endorsing the rumoured report of Inspector-General of Police’s ban on hijab, a type of which wasn’t specified, in public places. I sent him a congratulatory message for finally discovering the danger of debating Islamic legislations in a society this insular. On Facebook, some deluded Muslims even threatened that Boko Haram would be a “child’s play” if the IGP goes ahead with the reactionary decision, without even bothering to confirm the report and then employ civil engagement in expressing grievance. Are these dangerously programmed robots your idea of “shariah-compliant” Muslims?

This is why I expected you and other “true” Muslims who have not been labelled apostates, to write instead to the robotic Nigerian Muslims, of whom that “Nigerian-Palestinian” is a member, who embark on vandalising and burning structures in their hometowns on learning that some relevance-seeking cartoonists in faraway Denmark has published a caricature of the Prophet, that an inconsequential Indian-Pakistani author has published a blasphemous book or that a prominent leader of another religion has disparaged a practice of the Muslims.

Islamophobia, which is a hatred for Muslims, just the way Antisemitism is of the Jews, is a result of the behaviorally flawed such as the Nigerian-Palestinian and crime-minded malcontents such as those that comprise pseudo-religious mobs. Intellectuals should not, pandering to sophistry or any lowest common denominator, give such people a pseudo-ideological impetus to do things that are clearly unislamic and criminal.

I’ll leave you with the emotional outburst of my friend, Aminu Adnan, an indigene of Kano who, on reading the debates generated by my piece on Tuesday, shared this depressing commentary:

“I find it hard to understand. 18 terror attacks were recorded in Kano in the last 52 hours, although most were averted, but more than 15 people died. In the same time, more than 56 people were killed in different attacks in Adamawa State. These are happening under our noses and we don’t find empathy for that? Yes, the Gazans are Muslims, therefore our brothers; but what about the brothers that are closer to you? Are the Palestinians better Muslims because they are Arabs? The way most of us think really sickens me. I am sure the casualties of Boko Haram from the last 3 years alone outweigh all the people killed since the start of the Gaza conflicts, but I don’t see them carrying ‘pray for Borno’ placards. Say what you want but wallahi your priorities are with your brothers closer to you before those that don’t even know you exist. You see the Gaza violence on TV, but yesterday my cousin lost both legs in the explosion in Hotoro, we are not even sure he’s going to live, and you have the guts to play the universal humanity card in my face? I feel sorry for you and your inferiority complex.”

I hope to read another of your highfalutin rejoinder soon, because I have a lot more to say. Wait, you also cast doubts on my belief in prayers without bothering to know why I signed off all my essays with “May God save us from us”? As much as I pray, I believe that prayer is not a substitute for inaction, and no civilisation has ever been built by amens!

Yours sincerely,
Gimba Kakanda.

By Gimba Kaknda

@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)

#KakandaTemple ~ A Letter to that Nigerian-Palestinian


Dear Friend,

Before you accuse me of finding nothing worth praising about you and yours, let me quickly empathise with you, and of course myself, over the killings in Gaza. You, as a humanist, one whose empathy has no border, are a citizen of the world, one of the reasons the earth is still habitable by the sane. It would be morally irresponsible for anyone to frown at your frantic advocacy which seeks an end to the killings in Gaza, only that commonsense demands a man whose house is on fire to rush for the extinguisher for his own dwelling first, before attending to a similar fire elsewhere.

London stands up for Gaza, because London is not bereaved. New York Stands up for Gaza because New York isn’t being threatened by hurricane-somebody now. Palestine would not stand up for Chibok because they also have a strip of misery in which they are just as worthless: Gaza. And the young Malala Yousafzai who came and roused the conscience of her fathers in Nigeria, was not here as a Pakistani as you have announced in defending your geographically insensitive activism from my “secular advocacy”. She was here as a Birmingham, England-based NGO owner, to stand with the girls of Nigeria in whose education Malala Fund has invested thousands of dollars. She has, as the news says, even “offered to partner with the UN efforts to mitigate the impacts of the abduction and help the girls (whose welfare is a responsibility of her NGO) return to school.”

You see, it’s not the way you internationalise your empathies that disturbs me, it’s this seeming pretence that all is well in your backyard while you weep over the blazing fire in faraway Gaza. If you, and others like you, had been half as passionate and emotional in your reaction to local tragedies as you are over the killings in Palestine, the troubles in the northeastern Nigeria wouldn’t have escalated to its present extent. The Palestinians, and their global solidarity soldiers, have gone berserk over the burning of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khudair, their citizen, and you, amnesiac activist of a burning nation, have also been losing sleep over Khudair, ignoring the tens of Khudairs who die in your backyard every day!

It’s not the internationalisation of your empathies that disturbs me, it’s your lack of wisdom to understand that Khudair has his fighters — and he’s fully named, his age too revealed –while all the killed and abducted Dantalas and Asma’us and Johns and Naomis of Yobe and Borno are seen as mere statistics, unworthy of collective advocacy by you.

Ours is not a criticism of the northern establishment, but that of its hypocritical allegiance to “brotherhood of faith”, which is what you say in your solidarity with the Palestinians, ignoring that we’re just as bereaved here, and unknowing that Palestine is also a home for non-Muslims. But, wait, what sort of a human being is responsive to the tragedies that fall upon just the people of his faith?

Ours is a criticism of the collective, not of a specific group. This is a reminder that we have not done enough, not a declaration that we have not done anything at all. It’s a criticism of me and you who, safe from the bullets of Boko Haram, have not done anything comparable to the emotions shown in the sensitivity of our countrymen to the happening in Gaza. Are you, my dear global citizen, trying to say that we, especially resident northerners, need CNN and Aljazeera to remind us that there are carnages going on in our backyard before we acknowledge them?
Haven’t we all lost friends and friends of friends and relatives and relatives of relatives in this madness? What media is more effective than being actually bereaved? The most effective media is our emotions, and on this I dare say that we haven’t shown and done enough. My participation in #BringBackOurGirls shows me the hypocrisy of our Muslim brothers and sisters who, dismissing our hashtags as a gimmick, are now loud champions of #FreePalestine.

See, we are as bereaved as the people of Palestine and it’s quite ironic that, instead of gathering our lots to empathise with ourselves first and demand solutions and justice, we pretend as though all’s well in our house. Why are the people of Palestine not empathising with the people of Borno if our “brotherhood of faith” is actually reciprocal? Why? I repeat: why aren’t the people of Palestine extending their “brotherhood of faith” to us in the hours of our bereavements? The Palestinians have never stopped fighting. They have their men up and running against oppression. Who’s up fighting for us, especially for Chibok and the larger northeast? Why leaving these campaigns against Boko Haram’s terrors to just the members of Civilian JTF and #BringBackOurGirls campaigners?

You even said that no atrocity is more than that going on in Gaza, and I ask: is there an experience worse than having minors abducted, savagely raped and impregnated by terrorists? Saying that no atrocity is as bad as that in Gaza means that the sanctity of a Palestinian’s life is higher than that of a Nigerian’s. And that, fellow countryman, is an unfortunate and disturbing utterance.

Similarly, you have to be really careful in your advocacy. At least get relevant history books to properly understand the religious and political complexity of the territorial conflicts that have turned Gaza into a prison-mortuary. Your alignment with the Palestinians, your brothers-in-faith, may lead you into something called antisemitism. And you also need to understand that it’s the peak of such misguided hatred that resulted into the formation of a racist ideology that once sought to promote the “Aryan” German race as the best of humans. Nazism, consequently, championed the killings of the innocent Jews, who were considered threats to proposed German nationalism.

In your analyses of the happenings in Gaza, you have, quite sadly, pandered to a way of the Hitler-led Aryan racists who considered the Jewish race abolishable pests.

Do have restraint in understanding that the happenings in Israel is not a crime perpetrated, and supported, by the whole of Jews. It’s a crime perpetrated by a monstrous ideology championed by a people of Jewish identity, just the way Nazism was not supported by the whole of Germans, but by a small but powerful National Socialist party clique. If you’re to adopt this form of flawed thinking in portraying ethnic or religious groups, obviously the whole of Muslims should be similarly persecuted for the crimes of Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabbab, the Taliban and even Boko Haram who all pretend to be advocates of rights for the Muslim!

Hate the Israelis who, under zionism, did to Palestinians what the Nazis did to the Jews, but do not go close to hating the whole of Jews. Saying I hate the Jews means I hate some significant figures that shaped me, mine and the larger world. Saying I hate the Jews means I hate Jesus, who in my theology is Isah (AS), needed to authenticate my belief; saying I hate the Jews means I hate Moses (AS), similarly needed; saying I hate the Jews is an ingratitude to Albert Einstein’s contribution to science; saying I hate the Jews is an ingratitude to Sergey Brin, the founder of Google, whose invention has redeemed me in ways I’m incapable of repaying; saying I hate the Jews is also an ingratitude to Mark Zuckerberg whose innovation is the reason you and I are “friends” – even though we’ve never met – sharing thoughts on the ways of the world.

As long as you’re on Facebook, and employ Google to aid your quests for knowledge, both creations of inventors of Jewish identity, declaring that you hate the Jews is a contradiction, a joke clearly on you. And, as Muslims, your faith is threatened the moment you withhold your love for Jesus and Moses.

Don’t let a criminal be a representative of his race, religion and nationality. This approach, this dangerous stereotyping, has been the reason for these many conflicts we are still unable to resolve in this damned world. We must embrace our humanity, the only thing we all have in common, if we’re indeed interested in resolving our racial, religious, political, regional, territorial and ethnic conflicts!

Unlike you, whenever I see a group of people, the first identity that strikes me is the human, not the religious, not the political, not the racial, and obviously not the ethnic. Aside from my immediate family, my next closest family are the righteous people, people always in pursuit of Justice without discrimination, and of their other identities I’m unmindful.

I’ve long overcome the naiveté of hating a people based on the crimes of a group of which they are non-compliant members, just the way I don’t owe any non-Muslim and southerner apology for the atrocities of the Boko Haram. I only owe them explanation, defence, solidarity and empathy. My seeming silence over the killings in Gaza is simply because I’ve also been mourning, and also holed up in a mess of immeasurable depth. The Palestinians, I know, have global solidarity soldiers fighting for them. But, beyond hashtags, who are actually fighting for the redemptions of this place in which we don’t need a visa to reside?

This week, at our Abuja’s #BringBackOurGirls sit-in, as I listened to Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, a woman whose public service records never really attracted my curiosity, but I’ve come to like as a humanist and patriot of impressive resilience, lament on the fate and conditions of the abducted girls and the dysfunctionality of the system in charge of our safety, something within me collapsed. So I withdrew from the crowd, hoping that could stem it, but I still couldn’t fight the tears. And that was how I left the sit-in, broken. This is because, in the cruel politics of migrations in this century, I have no home other than Nigeria, and the tragedy that befalls a fellow countryman, irrespective of his/her religious and ethnic and regional affiliations, is a shared grief.

I’m not inconsiderate to your reference to “brotherhood of faith” in standing for the people of Gaza, but I will never ever stand for them simply because we’re of the same religion. My own version of that excuse of yours is: “faith in the universal brotherhood of Man.” I only empathise with them because of a shared humanity. As for those who rightly explain that humanity has no border, which I also endorse, my belief in yours may only be confirmed if you also recognise the conditions of the Iraqi Christians who’re now fleeing Mosul, for they have been told by the ISIS animals to convert to Islam or lose their lives. Many of you are in Abuja, but participating in #BringBackOurGirls is seen as a “waste of time”, insulting those who defy the tasks of their 9-to-5 daily to be a part of the campaign, ignorant of the impending dangers, the danger of becoming refugees in your own city!

Yet, some of you have sought to typify my refusal to label corpses in order to know which deserves my empathy as simply a bid to earn a medal from the non-Muslims I’ve been struggling so hard, according to you, to impress; some of the same non-Muslims who, in a spark of mischief, have in their turn called me an “Islamic propagandist”, whatever that is, for condemning the profiling of northerners in the East, for endorsing a Muslim as presidential candidate… But I’m indifferent to their malicious labeling just as I’ve been to yours because you’re both incapable of denying me the rights to such expressions.

Humanity is still a joke because of this army of cerebrally malfunctioned brothers and sisters to whom we’re seen as hypocrites merely trying to impress the non-members of our group, for exposing a form of oppressive hypocrisy. Well, my dear friend, I don’t write to influence or change you; my writing is a sport that seeks to prove that I don’t think the way you do, and that the way I think is independent of yours. I hope this would be taken in good faith. May God save us from us!

By Gimba Kakanda
@gimbakakanda (On Twitter)