• By Sheteh Newuh in PERCEPTION (Files) ·

    I woke up this morning with a warning on my phone not to go anywhere near Walsall City Centre because the English Defense League are having an ‘Anti Muslim’ Protest. Their reasoning is that they want to challenge extremism in the Muslim world, but according to the Midlands Police, theirs could get violent especially when they start drinking.

    Many things ran through my mind as I tried to digest the recent stabbing in London of a young Cameroonian Jnr Nkwelle who was stabbed in front of his sibling Fritz Nkwelle and others on 27/09/2012 at 21:24 hours and died at 22:07 hours and the Indian who was shot sometime ago in Manchester ‘because his head was bigger than the others’.

    I immediately recalled what Voltaire said in his Discours sur I’ homme. Essentially he wrote that man attained his highest freedom only when he understood the parameters of his behaviour.

    Is there a difference between religious extremism and anti-religious extremism?

    Is there a difference between religious extremism and racial prejudice?

    In Cameroon I never had to walk on the street and watch my back because someone could stab me for ‘nothing’. Granted I had to be careful about my phone being snatched and stuff like that, but never did I feel unsafe in the street and never for once did I think there was a part of the country I could not go because some persons ‘hate my guts’…

    I now ask… what is freedom? What is freedom of religion? What is freedom of expression? Where does the freedom of a person to protest begin and end, and where does mine to walk freely in a country begin and end?

    • Bernie M-i Sheteh has become a godless heathen. LMFAO! hahahah
    • Sheteh Newuh Its not funny Bernie – just last year, Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian right-wing extremist shot and killed many innocent young persons; this year alone, we have had such extremist shootings in the USA and in the UK, we have several isolated cases of people killed either because of their religion or because they cannot ‘integrate’ into British society? Yet I am told these countries are the models of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’…. How do we define freedom? Maybe you can help me in this case!
    • Lazarus Ntarh Religion should teach man to live morally. If religion kills willy-nilly then there’ll be nothing/nobody left to coach us when killings like the one you mentioned happen. It is improper to view religion which should be a moral coach in the same light with supposed coachees.
    • Fred Murtz Now you know youy are Black
    • Fred Murtz I’m not an I told you so kind of guy, but how long do yhou think before the economic straights in Europe will once again foster white racism as it has all through out history? Racism and ethnic xenophobia are very profitable!
    • Fred Murtz Aswell as a means of survival. hen times get rough whites will stick together and not hire Blacks so they can hire thier own and even fire someone Black to put a white inthat postition if the economy is bad enough.
    • Fred Murtz I dont make fun or make light of Africans who move to Europe, eveyone has thier reasons and that is personal and should be respected.
    • Fred Murtz But if someone has treated you as if they were a beast for 200 years, and you go to live with in the home of that beast, how long do you thoink it will take beofree he starts back treating you as a beast treats someone? especially if you have made yoruself availabe to him?
    • Fred Murtz There are massive numbers of White folks from England emigrating to the US here in NYC, as well as most UK celebs having homes here, so if the Whites go to the US why do so many Cameroonians go to London instead of NYC? There are Black neighborhoods, in BK average income 60-75k, where one can hear a pin drop at night, clean steets, free schools, and French and English spoken regularly.
    • Biakai Maxcel Nguruh Ngamsha Sorry Fred I may live in an english country but I am actually struggling to get your punch phrase and point of view in your last few write ups. Am I just being daft and ignorant or is there something that i am not getting and everyone else is?
    • Fred Murtz Just read the thread, read my response. no biggie, just my perception in regards to the historical context.
    • Guy Thomas ,Religion’ is the wrapping, belief is the content. Or: ‘Religion’ is prone to being instrumentalised, politicised, militarised, brutalised and dehumanised while belief is put to the test by the tightness, looseness, integrity or distortive effect of its wrapping.
      @René: I BELIEVE you’re on the wrong thread…!
    • Guy Thomas PS: No blame game, René, Fred is taking us for an interdisciplinary mind walk. Freedom and freedom of religion are the matters at hand.
    • Fred Murtz Whoooa Rene I had no idea. What is the cause for that? Sounds like some prejudice that should be brought up by the UN and tansAfrica as well as a Black US president and all so called Black leaders in this nation! Ever Arab from every so called Al Qeada filled nation is allowed to come here, so this really so8unds like some crap of major discrimination!
    • Fred Murtz There are presently about 7 African nations immigrants here, from the areas surrounding Cameroon.
    • Fred Murtz Rene I am not doubting you but it seems strange why Cameroon is singled out? There doesntseem to be anything on the embassy protocol bannig folks from Cameroon
    • Fred Murtz What in the hell is with Guy? and why is he trying to dismantle this thread with some stuff about religion? The thread was not about relgion!
    • Amin Lane I just think that living in a “free society” is no guarantee to safety, it just mean your right to be who you are, or believe is protected by some regulations or law. There will also be rules and laws and institutions to help deal with the after effect…See More
    • Guy Thomas Fred, don’t get onto your battle horse if you ain’t noticed a central thematic strand of this post, religious extremism and freedom of religion, clearly spelt out by Sheteh. Please read things first before lashing out wildly, would you?!
    • Guy Thomas René, did you miss the opening reflection, too? And now you want to be the moderator, my brother??
    • Guy Thomas Gotcha, René. Maybe we should continue the thread as it appears others are in a pre-hibernation mode.
    • Guy Thomas You could just as well say Formby is playing Southend-in-Sea…! Well anyway, who are you supporting?
    • Guy Thomas Ashia-oohhh!
    • Terence Agbor Everything in excess becomes a nightmare. While the concept of free society is a good thing, I think the management of the freedom is where the problem is. What is freedom and when should violently expressed freedom be considered criminal?
      In a society with people from diff cultural backgrounds unlike an “apparently uni-cultural” like Cameroon, rivalry is bound to exist; sometimes to bring balance and such rivalry can lead to extremism.
    • Guy Thomas …just as much as the denial and mismanagement, exploitation and abuse of freedom, Terence.

      Defining, exercising and regulating freedom must be hitched to more than distortive, slogan-driven odes of ‘uni-culturalism’/’unity in diversity’ and the like. And it surely requires a genuine as well as a credible and properly rooted, societally acknowledged school of discipline and duty to promote freedom.

      Freedom comes in stages: Freedom as an articulation of liberation/emancipation, freedom as participation, freedom as innovation, freedom as a creative and constructive force of nation-building, constitutionally anchored basic stability and social cohesion plus tolerance.

      Extremism is a scarily powerful sign of dissatisfaction/frustration, a feeling of being underprivileged in one way or another, an appeal for change and reform, of a basic trait of religious, cultural, political or otherwise tagged exclusivism and distinctiveness. And it also more threateningly connotes a thrust to win over militant support in order to undermine and overthrow a system of political rule or social control.

      Individual freedom of expression and action is free so long as it is caged within the parameters of behavioural conventions and legal codes. It is the hallmark of self-liberating forces opposing absolutist forms of goverment, well typified by much of 19th century Western Europe – and now, in a very distinct era, by much of the African continent.

      What makes matters look complicated, if not utterly daunting, is the attempt to try to marry concepts of freedom from entirely distinct eras and world regions with their very unique traditions. This is one of the major woes we live with under the yoke of globalisation.

      May Africa and Africans do all in its/their power to find out and develop suitably adapted concepts and practices of freedom!

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