Monday, July 4, 2022

“Christians are a majority”

The Sunday Standard article “Christian slogans spray painted on Gaborone Main Mosque” (Nov 25- 1 Dec, 2012) together with The Telegraph’s (November 28, 2012) “Christians, Muslims unite in condemnation of Mosque spray painting” and the editorial “Religious intolerance should not be condoned” have prompted me, as I never eschew debate, to put my head on the block and express my views.

What disturbs me is that even though the police ‘investigations have failed to unearth information about the person who could have inscribed the paintings on the mosque’ (The Telegraph 28/11/12), Rev Moruakgomo and the very same The Telegraph have taken a side as if they are sure a Christian sprayed the graffiti. Moruakgomo is quoted in The Telegraph saying “I have called other Christian churches and we wrote a letter to the effect that we were against the move and we were sorry to the Muslim Community”.

The Telegraph editorial boldly states “Christians of this country must be warned against committing any acts of violence against other religions”. I think Moruakgomo and The Telegraph know something we do not know and must assist the police with investigations. How do they know that it is a Christian who sprayed the graffiti?

Although I am not an expert in investigations, the place where the graffiti was sprayed is so public and there is a lot of movement such that if indeed it is ‘suspected the incident occurred on Thursday afternoon’ as reported by Sunday Standard, the incident would have been seen by more people than ‘a combi driver who called 999 after he saw a young man in his twenties writing on the wall’.

Because Moruakgomo and The Telegraph have speculated and reached their own conclusions, I will also speculate. As I said before, the place where the graffiti is sprayed is so teeming with people so much so that the person who sprayed the graffiti could not have finished the first three letters without somebody having alerted the mosque or even apprehending the culprit. It just boggles the mind that a person can spray so many words in broad daylight.

Would I be wrong to suggest that may be the spraying of the graffiti are works of an agent provocateur (a person who provokes trouble, causes dissension, or the like) probably sent by Boko Haram to give them a pretext to bomb Botswana as it was reported in the Guardian of August 24, 2012 under the headline “‘Terrorists’ target Gabs mall”?. I would be more worried about threats of Boko Haram bombing a mall, and the conspicuous silence of the Muslim Community about such threats than a graffiti painted on wall. Besides Gaborone has graffiti all over and we have never heard of combi drivers reporting to the police. What is wrong with someone saying “Tell these people we worship Jesus who is Christ Providence, the Lord, the light, the life God of Israel and the only God there is. Power, glory, honour are rightfully his…”? If the issue is that somebody has messed the wall of a mosque just like many walls are messed in the city I would understand, but to associate this with religious intolerance just does not add up. If the graffiti said ‘tell these Muslims…” I would say they have a point but it just says ‘tell these people…” The first question I would ask is which people?

I am concerned about Moruakgomo’s rush to apologize to the Muslim community when the Muslim community did not apologize to Christians and state that they are against Boko Haram threats.

Christians in this country are bashed now and again in the media that it has reached a level where we can take it no more. It is time now that we use our numerical preponderance and strength so that nobody takes us for granted. Christians are not a minority religion and the numbers speak for themselves.

The 2001 Population and Housing Census shows that the most dominant religion in Botswana is Christianity at 852,160 (72%) of the 1,189,668 population, with Muslim, being 5,036 (0.42%). I have the courage to state that even the 2011 census figures will reflect a similar pattern.

If Christians are the majority then their voice and predilection should be reflected in the way things are done. In other words, things must be done on the basis of what matters biblically, not the popular issues of the day.

Although we have been led to believe that Christians, the 72 per cent who believe in Jesus Christ, are religiously intolerant it is most definitely not the case! It is instead the minorities who are intolerant and want things done according to their religious preferences.

Take the issue of Halaal, for instance, where 5036 people have made it difficult for the majority to access the market and closed out the majority in poultry production by demanding that it is halaal or nothing. They even force everyone to eat Halaal! This is the highest form of intolerance I have ever seen. I am sometimes tempted to encourage Christian to boycott buying Halaal? If a call to boycott halaal happens, and it is easy to do that, Muslim businesses will collapse in a week.

Imagine a hypothetical vote in Botswana where the final tally was 72 to 28. It would be untenable for the 28 to be declared the winner and their policy enacted over the votes of the 72-yet this is exactly what happens when public acknowledgment of JESUS CHRIST is prohibited under the guise of religious tolerance.

The Church in Botswana is not allowed to say its view point on many issues, such as gay rights, Satanism, abortion and many other laws and policies that are clearly a violation of Christian principles? All this happens in a democracy where the majority is supposed to rule.

In conclusion, I think Christians in this nation deserve an apology for being labelled intolerant and committing acts of violence.

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