Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Born-again Jihadist

As someone who has lived in Nigeria all my life, I thought I had reached a point where almost nothing could shock me.

I was proven wrong this morning when I opened the newspapers and read the report of the man who tried to blow up a passenger-filled airplane with his taxi. (click on title link for full story)

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That is something you honestly don’t see anywhere but in the movies. The last time anything like that happened was in the movie ‘Live Free or Die Hard’ of the Die Hard series, when Bruce Willis’ character "killed an airplane with a car"!!

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Bruce Willis

But everyone knows that life in Nigeria is one incredible Nollywood story so why am I surprised?

Different news media have given different accounts of the unknown man’s intentions. 234 Next says he claimed he was Jesus Christ and was trying to save the aircraft from an impending crash.

This Day on the other hand says that he screamed “REPENT!!” and then crashed his taxi under the plane. The paper reports that his message for the 200 people he could have killed was “Jesus is the Redeemer. Everyone should repent and follow him because I will come back and complete the attack”. According to him, Nigerians are unrepentant sinners.

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This is some freaky, freaky happening!! So does that mean every bad thing I do from now makes me a potential target for terrorist attack?!

The idea of Jihad has now gone beyond religious boundaries and so anyone who feels that a person or group of people who are not living in conformity to their own idea of what is right, can now take up their own weapon of Mass Destruction to rid the earth of all perceived evil?!!

But wait o….what if according to the Next report he was telling the truth and was indeed trying to save the plane from a crash?! I’m just not convinced about the him being Jesus part though. It’s quite hard for me to reconcile Jesus being a fanatical taxi-driver by day and airplane destroying terrorist by night Efik man.

Then again, is it possible that we all engage in this form of Terrorism every time we judge people for their weaknesses and failures as human beings?? Every time we look down on other people’s beliefs just because they are even slightly different from ours?!

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Am I not operating by the same principle of the Jihad when I alienate someone or condemn them in my heart just because their lifestyle is not in conformity to my personal standard of morality?

“Nigerians are unrepentant sinners”....can someone please remind Mr Unknown Assailant of where he’s from.

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