Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Is muhadhara the best way for Christian-Muslim harmony in the world?

Kenyan US Embassy in rubbles during the 1998 terrorist attack.
Can the truculent debate on the Kenyan constitution concerning kadhi courts and the violence of Boko Haram in Nigeria be quelled by having muhadharas, a crusade involving both Christians and Christians?
Often arranged by Seventh Day Adventists and Muslims, the muhadhara have been gaining ground up country and especially in the capital. For the past two week one has been going on at Mother Teresa Road in Eastlands.
For readers new to this crusade here is a scene: in an open strategic space a Muslim cleric and a pastor seat in two opposing tables filled with religious books and a reader. Their debates aired by PAS are controlled by an agreed regulator by both sides.
Teachings from both religions are shared, questioned, argued and discussed with emotions checked by a blessing from the police, organizers and the regulator. Most common involves trinity, if Christ is the son of God or a prophet, is Mohammed god sent and the place of jihad amongst others.
An example is 1st Samwel 13:1-2 in bibles major English versions, Kiswahili and Mother tongue which gives different years with omissions on the year at which King Saul reigned in ancient Israel.
Winning converts from across the fold is paramount without bloodshed but controlled arguments like the violence in Egypt recently between orthodox Christians and Muslims when a Christian girl was ‘held’  in a mosque against her wishes.
Though debates are heated, after a muhadhara the organizers mingle easily and even share a meal.
While still an undergrad in Maseno University Muslim and Adventists students organized a successful one week muhadhara to streamline and share on both religions.
Though it can aid to check extremism a look at it causes like poor government services, unemployment , unfair distribution of resources, tribalism and wide spread corruption can still be potent.
Considering that the high hand control of autocratic government on public life of its citizens by detention couldn’t touch religion.  Citizens looking for psychological satisfaction turned to mosques and ready hands of radical clerics.
Additionally the 1967 six day Arab-Israeli war killed the pan-Arab spirit and nationhood to terrorism, the same can be said of the 2007/08 PEV that killed nationhood and replaced it with tribalism.
This link may seem remote but a look at the 400 meters Mother Teresa Road with 3 muhadharas in past 2 months and joining four Eastlands ghetto is a replica of the country. There are 18 churches, 4 mosques and 123 witchdoctors as residents turn to religion amid raw sewages, muddy streets without title deed to their lands, clinic, council services and even a police post.

Scene on bombing scare at Kampala bus on December 2010

Tribal imaginary lines drawn by 2007/08 PEV are still evident coming to fore on tribal names on shops and music from stores. The police are yet to prosecute a single suspect to the death that claimed about 1,500 people with others still displaced.

Still not connecting the dots? Then roger this: Kenya, most failed state in East Africa with widest divide between poor and rich has produced and sheltered jihads to Somalia and its citizens arrested for the world cup Uganda bombings!

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