Silly Season

Mayhem might well be the extended name for this month, when you cast your eye around the world.

I think back over the decades, and I’m at a loss to see any improvement in human common sense, tolerance, or capacity to coexist. Instead, our species seems condemned to conflict, as evidenced by major and minor wars all over the planet.

Without doubt the most shocking story (so far, as Homer Simpson would say) this month of Mayhem is the abduction of two hundred young girls. The kidnapping of these young ladies, who should be celebrating their final year of high school, is a triple tragedy.

Appalling due to the suffering of victims and families, outrageous for its indictment of education, and ignominious for the treatment it received in Western media and local Nigerian politics.

At a time when Nigeria has just bumped South Africa as the continent’s largest economy, there’s no room, period, for a group of institutionalized fuckheads like Boko Haram.

Please do excuse my French, but on the very first edition of these weekly chronicles, back in October 2008, I warned that ‘if you’re under 18, or easily offended, this is not a place for you.’ I don’t make a huge effort to use politically correct language when dealing with delusional psychopaths such as Abubakar—I lived under censorship for one and a half decades, and that’s quite enough.

In Arabic, haraam means  sinful, and is a counterpoint to halal, or allowed.

Banner from an Islamic site that analyses why we sin.

Banner from an Islamic site that analyses why we sin.

In Islamic law, or Sharia, any haraam act is prohibited. The consequences of breaking the law, according to Islamic teachings, are twofold: the most immediate is that an angel records the sin on your left shoulder, and the second, and more draconian one, awaits on your day of reckoning. These records are converted into a gravitational force, and used to weigh your sins.

The name of this ‘movement’ means Western education is haraam, and it is under this flag that the poor gals were kidnapped. You can readily find lists and interpretations of what is deemed haraam—the core set is extended by different communities, and is by no means consensual.

The subject of dogs as pets might be one example. Kalb, or dog, is a violent insult in Arabic, which may explain why Americans are often called beni-al-kalb, the sons of dogs.

It is haraam to keep a dog unless it is for the purposes for which Islam permits keeping dogs. Whoever keeps a dog – except a dog for hunting or farming – his reward will decrease each day by one or two qeeraats.
… The impurity of dogs is the greatest of animal impurities. The impurity of a dog can only be removed by washing seven times, one of which should be with earth. Even pigs, which the Qur’aan states are haraam and describes as an abomination (rijs) are not naajis (impure) to such an extent.
Dogs are impure and filthy, but unfortunately we find that some people are attracted to the ways of the kuffaar and their filthy habits, so they have started to keep dogs unnecessarily for no reason, keeping them, training them and cleaning them even though they can never be clean, even if they were washed with the waters of the ocean, because they are essentially impure.
Our advice to them is to repent to Allah  and to get the dogs out of their homes.

Kuffaar, or infidels, is the precursor of the expression Kaffir, which encapsulates the wickedness of Apartheid.

I personally don’t agree with this analysis of canine hygiene, but my freedom ceases when it violates the freedom of others. The opposite also holds true.

In the case of the two hundred youngsters whose lives were brutally interrupted, and who will bear the scars of their perceived haraam, the same principle applies.

In some eyes Western education for girls may be haraam, and Lord knows I’ve sat in on enough lectures that were a shame and a sin, but that’s a risk these young women deserve to take.

It’s up to them, and only them, to take their chances on judgement day on whether literature, geometry, or history places enough records on their left shoulder to generate a gravitational force—perhaps a working knowledge of physics will help.

Atmos Fear and The India Road. Quick links for smartphones.

Atmos Fear and The India Road. Quick links for smartphones.

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