Monday, August 30, 2010

Baha’i Fits as a Religion of the United Nations

By Martin Garang Aher

So far one has read more about most of the world’s top religions, commencing with Christianity, and down to minor ones such as Jainism and further to animism and totemism. The latter two are not believed by many theologians and sceptics on religious studies as religions. Perhaps, these two lean defiantly on Gnosticism and polytheism. They underscore religious worshipping processes seen in many major religions of the world. Even though the path of religiosity has often remained mystifying, attempt by human being to have someone in charge has never abated throughout the centuries.

Mankind’s desire for a complete and everlasting dependence on the dominance of a supreme in their midst is insurmountable. Every challenging situation in history had pushed man to the quest for introspection and meditative surrendering to the Higher Spirit in order to overcome the maladies of the changing time and ever occurring difficulties.

Christians and Jews would recall the action of Israelites in the Sinai Desert during the Exodus. Moses would not return from the mountain quickly and the people felt that they were abandoned by God of Moses and compelled Aaron to make them a god; a god they should pure their prayers to and who would redeliver them from the desert and probably take them back to Egypt where they had endured slavery and suffering but with full stomachs. Food was becoming scarce in the desert. We are told that Aaron was forced to make them a Golden Calf to worship. The presence of God was seen immediately Moses returned. People who were responsible for cajoling Aaron to make Israelites a god were summarily executed and God kept Israelite wandering in the desert for forty years as a consequence. God’s command was that no one from the age of 19 and above would enter the Promised Land except Aaron… (Exodus)

This adamant demand for ‘Superior Energy’ puts man in a situation where religion will always dominate the psyches of humankind.

It is whimsical, though, to note that all religions and beliefs that man embraces on earth have a similar confluence – the direction towards the Supreme Being. But they too miraculously fail to accommodate each other on the path to the ultimate knowledge, The Existence of An All-Powerful Energetic Being. One wonders why they do not harmonise and form a universal path of redemption that would be similar and straight forward for all to follow; and why is the Supreme so desired most of the times becomes illusive in the face of man’s dreadful acts and miseries on earth?

These are questions one intends to leave rhetorical. However, some things are obvious: that God the Supreme has manifested itself to man in so many ways in the past and continues to do so today; that man’s actions according to Christians and Jews led to the Original Sin; and that through each individual’s inner reforms, we may attain blissfulness in The Supreme Being. This is a known guess.

But is there any religion on earth, inching towards a universal re-evaluation of inner self by man for the purpose of tolerance, harmony and eventual peaceful coexistence which is an assumed prerequisite for a life of bliss? Yes. This religion is Baha’i Faith.

Baha’i is a faith that began in Persia, modern Iran, in 1844. Siyyid Ali Muhammad declared himself as the last prophet of God whom all Muslims expected before the end time, much to the astonishment of the Islamic world. His untimely appearance befuddled many believers of Islam, a religion in which many were trying to define themselves with it, and whom many saw as the ultimate guarantor of the Arabs unity. Popular discontent arose immediately after his prophetic self announcement and appointment as the head of the faith of Islam. Like the many unfortunate prophets of old who fell to furies of their flocks, he was executed in 1850 by a firing squad.

Baha’i is a religion that can impress any potential believer. It lacks ambiguity and it stipulates pragmatism in life and in areas of knowledge where human quest is unquenchable. The table below shows the twelve social principles of Baha’i.

The Twelve Social Principles

1. The Oneness of God
2. The Oneness of Religion
3. The Oneness of mankind
4. Equality of men and women
5. Elimination of all form of prejudice
6. World peace kept by a world body
7. Harmony of religion and science
8. Universal compulsory education
9. Obedience to government and non-involvement in politics
10. Independent investigation of truth
11. The need for a universal auxiliary language
12. Elimination of extreme of wealth and poverty and a spiritual solution to economic problems

Really Useful Map Company (2006)

Careful observers of the UN Charter on human Rights will find some interesting correlations between its contents and the twelve principles of Baha’i. Baha’i ought to be a UN religion.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Southern Sudan Should Just Endure Ill Wishes

Southern Sudan Should Just Endure Ill Wishes

By Martin Garang Aher 

The diplomatic warning of a Russian diplomat in Cairo, Egypt about possible Somalization of the South Sudanese region is by all means healthy.
No one even the South Sudanese want to see Somalization of the region because of insatiable dissidence or other political power wrangling. It is a worry for all! A sympathiser is undoubtedly a passionate peace guard.

However the time, place and interest in disguised during the making of the statement is dubious and seriously ill intentioned. Honesty wasn’t the best policy at the time of the voicing of this diplomatic advice and concern.

There was no better place for a Russian diplomat to make such a bootlicking statement if not in Cairo, Egypt. Egyptian interest in Sudan extends to South Sudan where a major resource pedestal to its survival, The Nile, picks up its alluvial soil for the food farms and its water drives High Aswan Dam turbines for electric power in Egypt. The volumetric flow of the Nile too increases in South Sudan due to frequent seasonal rains. To Egypt, Sudan is the source of the Nile. For South Sudanese to live a decent life on earth, Egypt must inadvertently forgo its major dependence on the Nile openly or clandestinely. Perhaps, this would be due to unavoidable developments that will characterise a great new country to be.

South Sudan, from any amateur developer’s view, can never really prosper with out the Nile being at the centre of developmental mêlée whether directly or indirectly. This is a worry to Egypt. For this reason, anyone who is postulating a pleasant comment of dissuasion in reference to Southern Sudan’s referendum in January 9, 2011, and who for certain wild speculation, is consequently and discretely courting the world to turn a blind eye to South Sudan as a possible state-to-be, is by all means a redeemable ally to Khartoum and NCP. And the Russian Mikhail Margelov fits that job perfectly well.

However, Russia should gather all thoughts and call to mind that many nations that violently or peacefully split with their ruthless masters have been taunted as would-be failures if they pull out from a union. They were warned falsely should they opt out, they would be met with security and economic quagmires. As time and history justifies, these countries have in time surpassed such prophetic stigma. Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, etc are today vivid examples that were threatened with failures and were forced not to leave the Russian federation. Today they are thriving democracies, better than the so-called mother Russia itself. If it is conceivable Russia should view the situation in South Sudan with the same magnifying lens as it did in Chechnya,, then there is a gross marginal error involved.

Russian economic crisis is a reason for such comments from the Russian diplomat. It is a concern that requires internal reforms and outward policy of non-interference. Economic woes in Russia have been highlighted by many academics. 

The country needs soft place and space to swing her idle tentacles of influence for economic gains. Russian arms manufacturing will not be allowed to hold Sudan prisoner like in Eastern Europe and the Middle East where Russian gas sale has become a geopolitical weapon. Russia’s great and marauding quest to find easy partners to prey on is noticeable in Sudan and other vulnerable African countries.

 Sudan had been her partner in trade for arms and a destination of her lame technology of terror for many years. Of course Southerners still evidently retain information on the Russian made Presidential helicopter that killed John Garang, his guards and Ugandan crew. Russian gunships have tormented women and children for many years in Southern Sudan. Other bombers like the Antonov, a feverish high altitude bomber, became the roaring thunders in Southern skies year in and year out for decades.

Nobody tells the world what it already knows; that South Sudanese have never known state development and handouts since the inception of the republic of Sudan. Southerners who often flee to the North in times of crisis do so because of security concerns caused by the Northern regimes, not economic downturns or a crumbling system in the South of the country.

It is presumptuously true that Sudan owes Russia a lot of money in debt for the purchase of arms during the war and training of bomber pilots. This money will not be paid when South Sudan goes away with her bounty natural endowments, which have been the sources of Sudanese undisputed ever-trickling revenue.

 God forbids if the post referendum negotiations currently underway between the Government of South Sudan and the National Congress Party on national debt will involve tricky concessions in which South Sudanese will be bound by agreement to pay for the bombs dropped on their kids during the war!

Ultimately, it seems the best option for Russia, Egypt and NCP to maximise their economic potentials, is to keep the South within their grip as an Assurance of Support by continually concocting and thwarting to its referendum vote; The Vote of Life.
But this reckless manoeuvring too is as dangerous as the Somalization of the South.