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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Reactions to Prof. Sheriff Take on Zanzibar Riots

Find below two brief responses from Wanazuoni to Prof. Abdul Sheriff's Article on The Zanzibar Riots, the Union, & Religious Tolerance:

The dear Professor has completely missed the point...


It is the violence, the targets of that violence, and the religious justification of it that is shocking, not otherwise. No amount of spinning can restrict our minds from drawing parallels with what is happening in Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, etc. Boko Haram's apologists can also say that Boko Haram only started by peacefully questioning the corruption brought about by the Western education... But the rest, as they say, is history.


How about the Uamsho's grievances? Well, how about them? We all have grievances and concerns, but we don't go around burning churches and mosques, do we? A modern society has a way of addressing issues. This is what separates us from barbarians. 


The commitment to human rights is crucial for the survival of a multi-cultural/multi-faith society. The principle of a 'secular state' is fundamental to the maintaining the rights of all members of such a society. Apparently, the dear Professor fails to appreciate the essence of these principles. That is why he entertains notions which, as a learned person, he should stand against. He writes: '97% of the people of Zanzibar are Muslims.. religion is not a Union matter, and that the Zanzibar constitution nowhere says ‘nchi hii haina dini.’' So, does this mean that Zanzibar's state is by default 'islamic'?! Is it the state which is religious or the people? Many people don't understand this very important distinction and completely miss the key lessons from history. No wonder people say that 'history teaches us that we learn nothing from history'...

- Charles
---

 I truly appreciate the Prof.'s contribution in this.


It is not to excuse and justify what happened in Zanzibar, but it is equally wrong to think that few Zanzibaris who took it to the streets and torching churches had no justifications of their own. The Prof. has pointed a few of those justifying factors including increased numbers of bars and brothels. For any one who has been to Zanzibar several times over the last two to three decades, it is obvious that socio-cultural situation of Zanzibar has changed immensely. Beer, marijuana, drugs, commercial sex, and the like are readily available. The Zanzibaris blame tourists for these changes. "Uamsho" are wrong in that they didn't separate the church from these "unaceptable" characters mushrooming in Zanzibar. To them, the people from the mainland who run the bars and tourist businesses bringing the unacceptable characters are church goers. So they attacked their bars, shops (last year) and now the churces to drive the msg home. To address the root causes of all these, one should not confine these clashes to a "religious dimension only" but include other associated factors. None of what was done by Uamsho is justifiable, but at the same, none of the suggestions given so far in a limited religious perspective is right as well.


- Baruani

2 comments:

Zavara Mponjika June 14, 2012 at 3:18 AM  

Habari zenu ndugu.

Nimenufaika na kusoma makala hii kuhusu tafrani ya huko Unguja. Nna swali kidogo, eti walengwa wa makala hii ni kina nani? Maana kama ni maswala yetu sie Watanzania ama watu wa Afrika mashariki si ingekuwa njema kuwa na makala hii kwa lugha ya wanaoongelewa na wahusika? Nikiangalia mas-ala ya watu wa Misri, syria na hata kama kuna jambo Irani, wao huongea wao kwa wao kwa lugha zao.. ni pale wageni wanapohitaji tu ndio hufanywa tafsiri ya lugha za nje..Je hii ni yale yale ya kuhusisha jamii ya kimataifa?! Haya jitahidini basi mambo ya kiafrika yanaweza kuendeshwa kwa namna yetu wenyewe bila kuwazia kila siku hao wamataifa mbao mie sijui waliko. Uhuru wa kweli wa mwafria ni pale atapoanza kutumia namna zake kutatua mas-ala yake, lugha tamaduni na kadhalika.

Unknown June 16, 2012 at 9:36 PM  

Kuendelea na alichosema Ndg. Zavara nitatumia lugha yetu ya kibantu kwa maelezo yaliyotolewa kwa lugha ya kikoloni--kumnukuu Professor Ngugi. Suala langu nitalenga zaidi kwenye uhusiano mwandishi aliyotoa kati ya boko-haram na Uamsho. Kwanza kabisa suala la kuchoma kanisa moto yaani jumba ya ibada, jumuiya ya watu na kipande muhimu cha sosholojia ya mwenzatu Wakristo ni jambo ovu na la kukemewa sana. Huo ndio msimamo wa kwanza kabisa kwenye hili suala. Nina kigeugeu kidogo kuhusu uhusiano ambao mwandishi ameujenga kati ya hivyo vikundi viwili. Kuna hulka fulani ya kuvifananisha vikundi vya kiislamu kama ni sawa duniani kote--hii kama wasomi wanavyosema imekuwa trope yaani kibandiko ama kapu kubwa. Huo ni upungufu wa tafakuri, kwa upande wangu, na hausaidii kuyaleta haya mas-ala kwenye karabai yenye mwanga. Ni maombi yangu kwamba tunayoyajua kuhusu uamsho ni finyu sana kwa hio watuwezi kwa wepesi kwenda kulinganisha vikundi hivyo viwili. Kama kawaida na historia inatoa ushuhuda huu kwenye mapambano yoyote ni vigumu kuelekeza mkono ama kidole kwa kikundi kimoja. Hayo tumeyaona Egypt na sasa hata Syria ambapo watu fulani yanajilimbikiza utambulisho wa taasisi ama jumuiya fulani. Kuna makundi na watu ambao kwa natija zao na faida zao huchukua hatua ambazo haziendani na malengo ya taasisisi ama mwamko huo. Naomba niwarudishe wasomaji kwenye lile sokomoko la Wameru kuhusu Dayosisi yao. Naamini, haitakuwa vyema kuwahusisha na moja ya vikundi vya IRA ama vikundi vya kikristo vya siasa kali kile cha Timothey McVeigh. Na pia nafikiri haitakuwa sawa kusema hio ndio hulka ya Wakristo wote duniani. Kwenye vuguvugu la Dayosisi sio Wameru wote waliohusika na fujo zile na pili ni wazi kwamba suala lile lilikuwa ni la rasimali, uongozi na dukuduku zingine za kihistoria. Nitatoa mfano mwengine. Ile vuguvugu iliyotokea kati ya watu wa jamii ya Mijikenda na "watu wabara" Kenya ingawa ilikuwa na rangi fulani ya kidini inahusika na masuala ya ardhi, uongozi na utovu wa haki za kibinaadamu. Labda kwenye kufikia tamati nataka kusisitiza kwamba tuwe waangalifu katika kutengeneza ulingano na uhusiano wa vikundi bila kuvijua na kuweka dini kama ndio kiashirio ama kielelezo kikuu. Dini inatumiwa kama lugha kwenye mas-ala haya ili kufikia malengo kadha wa kadha ikiwemo ya kisiasa, kitamaduni na kiandishi. Chambi asante kwa kutandika hili jamvi na kutoa karatasi ya shamu ya kieletroniki ili kubadilishana fikra.

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