26 August 2011
It is almost a year since the Al Shabab militia penetrated the Kenyan borders and caused havoc to international aid organizations. Aside from planting grenades in Eastliegh, they dropped grenades on to children’s playing fields, and many explosions were witnessed in Kenya around this time in 2010. Incidences pile up on the ‘yet to be investigated’ as the government assures its citizens, whereas nothing much is done on that front.
The Al Shabab incidence in Mogadishu consumed four of my relatives and left a huge gap in my family life. I lost people who contributed to my purpose of living. My wife founded and ran the Abu-Bakr Foundation, an organization that was permitted to distribute medical Aid in Somalia and Sudan, and apparently she was blasted in the name of Allah.
Sad memories. But I just recently met some refugees and some of these were Somalis who had benefited in great length from the hand of the Foundation. They were expecting me to have transformed into joining their religious ideologues, leaving the path of those who are astray, for my son had a Muslim name. Mostly so, they expected the magnitude of loss to have influenced my practice into softer relenting. Either I was destined to become a Rasta or some religious icon. But the JAF Festival disappointed many to a great length, and in my inbox, I started receiving questions related to my atheism. For example, where did mankind originate? And my understanding of the phrase, from dust we came and to dust we shall return. They were bothered by my theorem of no afterlife and no day of judgment, and astonishingly warned me thoroughly of misfortunes that could be planted in my path, for I am a disgrace to the African race.
Issues related to the personal often co-join into how we relate within the universal. We find the religious groups poking into the personal lives of their congregations so as to better sustain them in the movement, and yet, the scientific worldview has supplied endless evidence onto the contrary and mocking of religion. That living without god is possible and god is nothing but a creation of ethics. We need to use similar ways to reach out to those who would love to support our alliance and movements, we need to use comedy and emotions into supplying evidential discoveries against religion. This is the way to be!
The misfortunes that follow Africans who stand up for atheism will never end, not until the world realizes that the war against superstition is only enforceable with a global support, only then will the benefits of science met the African intellect. Without such support, the founders of atheist movements in Africa will continue to be stepped upon. My situation was worse, but my pride enabled me to gather strength to move on, through my academics and a comeback through the Young Diplomats Forum [which was renamed to the Jahwar Amber Fund]. I also felt strong after reading of similar threats made to my Nigerian colleague, Leo Igwe, who was recently beaten for speaking out against some infamous evangelist.
Research shows that the only way to fight the Islamic fundamentalist is through having atheist projects related to their cultural delusion. For instance, there were plans to register a humanist group in Tanzania, under the names: Atheist Association of Mecca, Tanzania Secular Association of Medina, Mohammad Atheists, Jihad Secular Humanist Society of Kenya and many more, just so these names that have meaning in the Arab world lose dignity in the humanist globe.
If we don’t find ways to confront these terrorists using their ways, and eventually dilute their concepts, we will forever remain in a world of loss despite having science and rationality.
The vendetta that belies inside my actions maintains my intelligence into practical rationalism, into a diplomatic strife against the religious, and mostly so, the non – democratic religious organizations.
Since my getting sacked on 06 June, and the subsequent explosions of a Gas Station at Kirinyaga Road in Nairobi, we have been putting internal efforts into recreating the relief foundation that my wife founded and using it as a pronounced secular arm to reach into this nation of terror-stricken savages. We have been trying to formulate names that carry the message that this relief, as supplied, comes from the secular world, that it is distributed by secular humanists on behalf of the U.N.
A possible name is REACH – Relief Effort of Atheist Charities for Humanism, which will replace the Abu-Bakr Foundation that was working alongside Oxfam, Save the Children e.t.c. in Southern Sudan and Mogadishu. We hope that the U.N. will not discriminate against the name registration, and accord us the equal respect we had when operating under our former name.
Only through our pronounced secular outreach will the world respect our secular initiatives, and only through our initiatives that respond to their daily dilemmas will they learn to embrace our daily quest. Science is a rational concept that can only be shared through reason in a democratic planet. The bandwagon effect of atheism can only be stronger if pillared on the war against pseudo science, and mostly so, in the war against superstition.
Mr. Boaz Adhengo is a Director at AAI and Editor – in – Chief of the Balozi Journal, a production of the Jahwar Amber Fund where he serves as a Programs Director.