By Owei Lakemfa
THERE is a convergence point for people who are ordained and the acts they carry out. However, rationalising their acts in religious homilies, scriptures and tradition, does not exculpate them. This rope ties the eighteen American Presidents including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe who believed that “All men were born free” but owned slaves; Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused of ordering the murder of journalist Kamal Khashoggi, and the war crimes being perpetuated in Yemen and the Palestine.
To own a human being as you would own a cow, destroys the claim of a person to be Christ-like (Christians) because Jesus Christ is said to have sacrificed his life for all including Jews and Gentiles. To be able to own slaves and still remain good Christians, the American slave owners rationalised that God had created them to superintend over all others; the non-Whites and that the Bible not only legitimises slavery but enjoins the slave never to protest or seek to be free. To do so, meant a slave disobeys God and deserve whatever punishment is applied.
They collated Biblical passages to rationalise their acts including their right to dehumanise or kill their slaves as they wish. Such passages include: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5) “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything, not only to please them while they are watching, but with sincerity of heart and fear of the Lord.” (Colossians 3:22) “Slaves are to submit to their own masters in everything, to be well-pleasing, not argumentative.” (Titus 2:9)
This was then elevated to the level of ‘science’ when Dr. Samuel A. Cartwright in 1851 ‘discovered’ a conjectural mental illness called Drapetomania. He diagnosed that since the Bible orders the slave to be entirely submissive to the slave-owner, he cannot have the desire to run away. Any slave who does, must be suffering from a mental illness.
In his paper delivered before the Medical Association of Louisiana, Dr. Cartwright said Drapetomania is: “unknown to our medical authorities, although its diagnostic symptom, the absconding from service, is well known to our planters and overseers”. He said the disease also affects masters who “made themselves too familiar with (slaves), treating them as equals”
As a “preventative measure”, he prescribed whipping the devil out of slaves with the tendency to run away, while a remedy is to render a slave incapable of running away by removing both big toes. Wikipedia states that: “As late as 1914, the third edition of Thomas Lathrop Stedman’s Practical Medical Dictionary included an entry for drapetomania, defined as “Vagabondage, dromomania; an uncontrollable or insane impulsion to wander.” Under the American ownership of slaves, its rationalisation and ‘scientific’ verification, over two million African Americans were killed.
In the wake of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggiand claims that the crime was ordered from the top echelon of the Saudi Monarchy, Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudais, the Imam of the Grand Mosque and the highest religious authority in the kingdom, implied Prince Mohammed bin Salman is ordained to lift the Islamic faith in this age.
The Sheikh declared in his written Friday Sermon of October 19, that : “The path of reform and modernisation in this blessed land … through the care and attention from its young, ambitious, divinely inspired reformer Crown Prince, continues to blaze forward guided by his vision of innovation and insightful modernism, despite all the failed pressures and threats… all threats against his modernising reforms are bound not only to fail, but will threaten international security, peace and stability.”
The claims of Sheikh al-Sudais may be true but that does not explain the Khashoggi Case nor can it rationalise it. Initially, the Saudis had claimed Khashoggi spent a short time at its Turkish Consulate and left. But while the CCT film footage showed him walking in, none showed him leave. Then the Monarchy changed the story; Khashoggi got into a fight at the consulate in which he unfortunately lost his life.
Again the Monarchy changed the story; he was killed, but those who executed the murder, were not authorised and were therefore going to be punished. The Turkish authorities had identified fifteen agents in the Saudi State murder squad while the United States, US, which is the principal protector of the Saudi Monarchy, through its Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, identified 21 officials from the Saudi intelligence services, the Royal Court, and the Foreign Ministry.
In fact, Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday, October 24, admitted at the Future Investment Initiative Summit, an international investment conference in Riyadh that the Saudi officials committed a heinous crime adding: “The crime was really painful for all Saudis.”
Now, the American Central Intelligence Agency, CIA, has verified claims that it was Prince Mohammed bin Salman who actually ordered the murder of Khashoggi. The fact that Sheikh Abdulrahman al-Sudais declares that any accusation against Salman or his condemnation over the Khashoggi murder, is an attack on Muslims, the truth remains that the killing cannot be wished away or dissolved in rationalisation.
Same is the case of the crimes against humanity being committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen in its assumed religious obligation to eliminate the Shiites in that country. No religious rationalisation justifies the deliberate starvation to death of human beings including defenceless women and the elderly, and innocent children. Non justifies the deliberate and consistent bombing of markets, hospitals, funerals and school buses packed full with children in uniform.
The Israeli ruling class which is built on atheism, encourages the mass belief that the Jews, who are the majority of the populace, are God’s Chosen People who were given a right to the Palestine. They have not only continued to expand their territorial claims, but also to murder protesting Palestinians. This year alone, the United Nations has documented hundreds of incidents attributed to Israeli military action including the murder of 42 protesting Palestinians in a single day on May 14. Even if the Palestinians are said to be Gentiles, it remains a crime against humanity to murder them.
When the ordained, the chosen, the religious, carry out murder for any reason or their deliberate acts lead to loss of lives, they remain answerable for their crimes, at least here on earth. The difference between Jihad John who put a sharp knife on the throats of the innocent and slaughtered them like rams, and the Saudi agents who tortured and decapitated Khashoggi, is only in form; while the former claims to be an agent of a non-extent Islamic State, the latter are agents of a real state that acts with impunity.