Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Democracy v. Religion

We are at a crossroads-the politicians keep fucking up and the religious bigwigs are cheering them on. I can understand why there are those who would oppose the Kadhis' courts as a matter of principle. I can even understand why they would lie to project their line of thought. What I cannot for the life of me understand is why the so-called Kenyan church would align itself with a body of people who are by their very definition liars, thieves and cheats.

It is presumed that the Kenyan church isn't independent, that because of the enormous amounts of dollars they receive from overseas, especially the USA, they are not in a position to chart an independent path of their own. That they will always parrot the latest conservative line from their foreign paymasters. What we eed today in Kenya is not just a separation of Church and State, but a complete removal of the religious fundamentalists from the political process.

The so-called contentious issues are to be applied in respect to the entire nation, which means all Kenyans, and not conservative Christian Kenyans alone. And this is the line Kenyans need to draw in the sand, the Rubicon. I am a christian; practicing or otherwise, I object to the role the church has arrogated itself in Constitution-building. They may be right or wrong on a host of issues, but it is undemocratic of them to impose thier views by fiat on a majority of the citizenry who go to a different church, so to speak. If they are displeased by the issues expressed theirin, it is within their right to organise and campaign for alternatives. But for them to declare that they are the only ones are right or their view is the only right on is not only undemocratic, but I would argue, unchristian also. That these views are probaly not indegenous to Kenya makes it even worse.

A growing trend worldwide since 9/11 has been a gradual and inexorable shift towards conservative views, following the lead of the US. and the Kenyan church seems to have sensd this shift and followed suit. What is strange about this apparent shift in Kenya is that it is being led by those churches that have been associated with American churches, who are by and large conservative in nature. The churches represent a small percentage of the Kenyan congregation, indeed of the population as a whole.

Therefore, for the influence the church enjoyed in the constitutional review process, they should have had a much bigger constituency on their side. As it is, I believe that while the church shouldn't be ignored, the level of accomodation made must be reduced to a realistic level. After all, if the church really had the numbers it claims to have, then it could actually make a play for power.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Separation of church and state

The argument of the reigious right in Kenya are as absurd as they are wrong. I do believe that the church and state should be separate, but we should also realise that the minority voice in this country are bound to be marginalised if a weighted importance isn't given to them in this majority-Christian nation.

The argument that the Kadhi's Courts shouldn't be incorporated in the Constition is wrong. As a minority, the Mohammedans haven't been incorporated in the mainstream. Their ghettoisation continues, 42 years after uhuru. To argue that they are a part of the mainstream comes as an insult.

It is equally true that the Islamic faith is substantially different to the other faiths worldwide. That some of their practices are retrograde is of little cosequence because in Kenya the law disallows coercion in professing any faith. Therefore, people are free to choose whether or not they wish to be Moslems or not. Ergo, the creation and incorporation of the Kadhi's Courts to deal with limited facets of Islamic personal law is in line with protecting the rights of minorities in Kenya.

The church has taken upon itself to fight the Muslims, because that is exacly what they are doing today. Perhaps they do not realise that the sharia to applied in the Kadhi's courts will not infringe upon criminal or civil law, but will deal only with the area of family law relating to marriage, divorce, succession, adoption, guardianship, and wakf (charity). Sharia will not deal with criminal law, law of contract, civil law, matters of state, and other maters that the general sharia deals with. Sharia alone will not be able to amend the constitution, overrule the Court of Appeal, ignore res gestae and res judicata, or the rule of precedent. Sharia will be subordinate to the constitution. The elements of sharia to be applied only recognise the unique nature of Islam in Kenya today and seeks to protect and preserve the minority from majoritarian totalitarianism.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Why hate isn't such a bad thing

If you could get over the sanctimony about hate, you'd see it wasn't such a bad thing after all. Dubya hates Saddam, Blair hates the Tories, the Russians hate the Chechens, The devil hates God-it's one unhappy family. My pet hate of the yeat is the Indian, in all his forms and shapes. The cop, the grocer, the lecturer, the clerk, the bus-conductor; but most of all the cop.

He is stupid, corrupt and dangerously malicious. I have had the most harrowing 2 weeks in India, and I can unhappily pin all the blame on the cop. I am supposed to be outta this shithole tonite, but no, some bureaucratic-minded policeman will employ all his skills in keeping me here. I can't figure out what he stands to gain, but I hope one day the tables are turned on his malicious fat ass. And that's what makes him so dangerous-his malice, that is. If he was just stupid and corrupt, I could pay him off and be on my merry way. But no, he has a dose of the malicious in his soul and thus takes perverse pleasure in tormenting me. And that does convince me again and again, only God almighty will make me come back to this godless country.

The one thing keeping me going is the rage fuelled by my hate. It is slowly pouisoning the well of goodwill that had sprung up in my heart over all these years. But today, that well is overflowing with the bile of my animosity. I hope it never runs dry. I really hope not. I wanna hate the them until the day Pakistan drops a nuke on their ass. Then, I can feel magnanimous and condemn their pain. Until then, I shall continue to imagine the level of pain that attack will inflict upon them.