Monday, June 6, 2016

Ramadan Kareem: A message of Peace, Hope and Reconciliation

By Pal Chol Nyan*


Photo Credit: www.eurovisionfamily.tv 
As the Muslim world begins fasting for the Holy month of Ramadan, I hope this Holy month will bring in hope for a genuine and sustainable peace and stability in the whole world. It is my cherished hope as well that those who are butchering, in cold-blood, innocent children, elderly and women in the Middle East, the Gulf using Islam, and in some parts of Africa where the tenets of leadership have slipped out of the hands of the dictators or those, who are trying to be so by all means just because their eyes have been blindfolded by a blood quest for wealth and power, will call it quit.

I also call upon those who use the name of Islam to cause anarchy and lawlessness in Somalia, Libya and the so-called jihadists who terrorize and behead people to refrain from doing so. Islam is a religion to be revered and not to be used for unlawful killings and destruction of the world. I take this opportunity to thank my mentor and teacher Dr. Abubakr Bashir Mohammed and Dr. Emmanuel Jermano, both are Physicians, who taught and helped me know the ABC of medicine and molded my behavior and attitudes towards how I deal with and treat the patients. If there are things I know, these two men have a big hand as I am now guided by their lofty teachings and ethics.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention something about South Sudan as our Muslim brothers and sisters in all corners of the world start fasting, this country, Almighty God and through your Prophet Mohammed (PUH) along with Abubakr, Al sadiq (friend), has been plunged into senseless war by her own sons and daughter over power wrangle. Many lives have been claimed and many more either displaced internally or sought refuge in the neighboring countries under deplorable conditions. We ask for forgiveness and reconciliation among ourselves.

As a country endowed with abundant natural resources and arable land, the inhabitants, instead of engaging themselves in making it a good place to live in, they opted to subject it to instability, insecurity and economic hardships. We pray with all our conscience that God changes the hearts of those at the helm of power to put the country above their individual needs to end the suffering. We are undergoing this suffering under their noses while they show no sign of remorse readable on faces. They have their material wealth the mortal man needs on earth.

I will not shy away again from thanking the Collegial Presidency for the steps they are now taking to implement the deal they affixed their signatures on, albeit, some of us may be surprised to see that some of the things being done are not enshrined in the agreement. At least, there is a change of heart and the will to implement the agreement. It’s sad to realize and understand that the whole exercise is/was more about positions rather than reforms to say the least. We pray for transparency and accountability.

We are voiceless and helpless otherwise why should we allow our resources to be used by oligarchs and tribal elites who conduct themselves arrogantly?
My humble appeal to the Muslim brothers and sisters in South Sudan is to pray for our leaders and the country. La ikra fi diin goes the adage. Whatever religion we own and worship, we are at the end God's people and God's people are kind hearted, religious, god-fearing, hospitable and affable, the list is long.


 As I conclude, I congratulate Shiek Tahir Bior and the Muslim community in South Sudan on the Holy month of Ramadan and wish them good health. Ramadan Kareem to all of you. Thank you!

________________________________________________________________________________

Pal Chol Nyan is an opinion writer and columnist for Stance English Daily, an independent newspaper which advocates for peace and reconciliation.  For contact: palcholnyan@yahoo.com

_________________________________________________________________________________

ON CULTURAL IDENTITY & BELONGING

Dear Melbournians, the South Sudanese people to be precise. Do you think we have seen it all? Do you think we have seen that: I mean in the aftermath of yesteryears, in regard to our culture and the notions around identity and belonging? Do you think we have seen the true reaping of what we sowed years ago? Do you really think so? After all, did we really sow anything like seeds and that there’s something to be reaped? Did we really live it out well to be seen today?

I am sorry to have bothered you, my potential readers, with questions regarding our social, economic, and political location in our host society: Australia. I think we have not seen it all and as a whole: The idea that people are bound by certain values and beliefs of significance to them. This requires cooperation and role-specific obligations on the roles of every man and woman across a given people and their society.

TOLERANCE & INCLUSION


While it is possible for us to racially discriminate or judge people we know, the chances of judging people we know diminish significantly the more we know them. An easy example of the importance of understanding others is the attitude people develop when they want to harm others or when they want to deny them something valuable. Essentially, before you fight someone, you insult them. Insults are attempts at diminishing the value of people, an attempt at estranging them, as Toni Morrison argued in The Origin of Others. It is easy to discriminate against strangers or make others strangers or dehumanized in order to discriminate against them.

Transformational Leadership, Inclusive Institutions and Service Provision

Leadership, given what is happening now in South Sudan, and generally in Africa, fascinates me. And it fascinates me not in a good way but because of the sociopolitical and socioeconomic ills facing the African continent and most of the so-called 'Third World.' To me, South Sudan, now, is a classic case.

Rebellion by disaffected politico-military leaders and repression by the government of South Sudan in Juba have stunted institutional development and leadership growth. This has made service provision almost irrelevant as political survival has taken primacy and supremacy. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE

‘Black’ as an Identity Oversimplification and Mockery

Black as a universalized cultural identity of the African Person (AP)* is a residual effect of slave and colonial mentality; a racial/race paradigm. It is a malady I call, conservatively speaking, stuck-in-the-past syndrome of color constraints. Black could be an on-the-street ‘social identifier’ of race figures not a meaningful phenomenon of deep cultural identification on a universal scale.