Ex.trem.ism (ik’ stri mizam)
The holding of extreme political or religious views; fanaticism.
Religious extremists – People who do the most.
As Nigerians, we are phased with a lot of problems. But that’s not new, we are constantly confronted with problems in several forms, and even when it seems like there’s a pathway to peace, we, the people find means to create more problems for ourselves.
According to famous Musician and Historian, Fela Kuti ‘We Africans had our own religions & traditions way before the Christianity and Islam religions that are now famously practiced in Africa today’.
Kids today hardly realize that these two frontline religions aren’t originally ours. We had gods and idols that governed the spiritual realms of different parts of Africa until the westerners brought and ‘offered’ theirs. And due to poorly kept, altered & destroyed records of history, we may never know how spirituality was like back then, when Yorubas, Igbos, and Hausas worshipped some deities like Ifa, Sango, Amadi Oha, Ubangiji, etc.
There are people that will argue that the peace and transparency that the ‘fear of god(s) brought about were more like the glory days for us as a people, compared with these times when the ‘life of grace’ overrules instantaneous judgments. But that’s a biased angle too it because there have been values, doctrines, and traditions that society may consider good and have helped in the advancement of the society, values which ordinarily would be frowned upon by these new religions.
The argument about whether or not these new age religious movements have been more favorable for us than our old gods is one that enrages the mind. But being that conversations like this are considered extreme and given also they were by default expected to live and play along with the values and practices we met in the world and not challenge them, such debates are not encouraged. We have chosen instead to live as the older generations did, and that is by ‘doing what your parents did’. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea unless it is left unchecked and not updated to our current ways of life due to technological advancements.
Over the years there have been instances of people who have changed their religious beliefs to others because of certain values they see in themselves that they feel their new religion projects. There are some scenarios where these people who changed their religious beliefs had unpleasant experiences- various modes of harassments, inquiries and even death.
Religious extremists are the ones that do the most.
According to quotable scriptures – While on earth, Jesus Christ while recognized that not everyone felt the need to follow his ways. In fact, he had fewer followers compared to when he died. He also made certain comments that confirmed this statement some of which were documented in the Bible, one very popular bible quotes reads “Give what belongs to Caesar to Caesar, and what belongs to God to him”. The pressing feelings that extremists often have that make them feel they’re the rightful mouthpiece of God has cost a lot of us certain forms of backwardness; as often, these morals they preach are fueled by misguided beliefs they have have been passed down to their children and it’d go on and on, spreading around society like a virus.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with having different views and modes of expression. No one is in a position to guide you through your own life no matter what they think and believe works for them in theirs; because at the end of the day, what works for them may not necessarily apply to you no matter how similar your situations are.
In these times we now live in, it’s crucial for us as youth to reevaluate the mindsets that we were been brought up by, the backwardness that we’ve had to endure is as a result of the close-mindedness of our parents due to the need they felt to ‘stick to the norm’- an idea that would’ve been imposed on them by their parents [our grandparents’ generation]… and on & on. But we are a different generation, we need to realize that the power to change our world is actually in our hands.
In one of Fela Kuti’s most controversial songs, ‘Teacher don’t teach me nonsense’, the Afrobeat legend emphasized that our cultures and traditions are the teachers of the government. As a single person, there’s little you can do to change a whole nation. A change can only happen when the people realize a need for it and actually understand that what we need first is a change of mindset. A counter-cultural revolution that seeks to break past held views that haven’t worked for us, because until then we will be blinded by the need to have a general sense of thinking which encourages long-suffering over protests even in the direst of situations. This line of thought not only affects us and our mental health but in the long run that of our children as well.
There’s a need for an organic union amongst we the people. The mission should be to create as many subcultures as possible to make us and our unborn kids have a relatable sense of belonging, and overall a less judgmental as ours Which is likely to create more unity because in a genuine feeling of association and fellowship with whatever culture we truly gravitate to and choose to be a part of, as opposed to the false sense of brotherhood and fellowship that is fervently shoved down our throats by contemporary religion.
Written by PokeLagos.