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IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE

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Sir,

Islam is undoubtedly a growing religion within the context of Eswatini. Do most of emaSwati know of it? Do most emaSwati understand it? The answer is a resounding no.


However, though most emaSwati might be in the dark on Islamic theology, they are however confronted by those who practice Islam (Muslims) every day of their lives.


In their daily interaction, therefore, most of them are constantly confronted with indeed, the kindness and generosity of Muslims. But it is not only the flowery face of Muslims that most emaSwati face, it is also the horrendous attitudes and ethnocentrism of Muslims that emaSwati face.


Humble


Inalda-Antonio Jorge recently wrote an article in this publication discussing the Islamic month of Ramadan. However, Inalda does not limit her discussion on the Islamic month of Islam but goes ahead and makes comments on how humble, charitable and mindful Muslims are in comparison to ‘churches’ that are not.
I personally appreciate Inalda’s testimony which she shared on how Muslims helped her in hard times. I would, however, radically differ in her comparative conclusions.


Inalda, in her article, elevates Muslims as being humble and reduces ‘churches’ to institutes that are proud and hungry for money.
The question that I want to raise as an ex-Muslim is that; is it true that Muslims, in relation to churches, are somehow superior in piety? And my answer is a confident no.


Ethnocentrism


I say this in love and humility, that, either Inalda does not know many Muslims closely to know their motives in this country, or she has simply chosen to turn a blind eye on the historic progression of Islamic ethnocentrism in Eswatini.


There are definitely those who are gentle and kind within the Muslim community, however, there are also those who are arrogant and unkind.
So it is in like manner within the Christian church that there are those who display Christ-likeness and those who display arrogance of the severe kind.


It is not helpful, nor is it wise to broad-brush religions, institutes, or the people who practice religion with the same paint and brush. In this regard ignorance is no excuse, since I personally am acquainted with Christian churches that have been phenomenal in community development projects, financial aid support, medical support etc in various communities and countries.


Comparative


So, once again, Inalda’s comparative comment should be reconsidered.   
There is much to say in regards to the Islamic invasion and settlement within Eswatini, however, I leave the reader with one though: If Muslims were as humble, kind, mindful in manner, would they seek to change Eswatini’s culture, religion and traditions?


A follow up question would be; have Muslims worked to change the culture and traditions of the land? Dear reader, your answer to the two questions asked will clarify for you the truth of the matter.

Shamoun Khaqan
Pakistani, ex Muslim who
converted in Eswatini

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