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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

What's in a Name?

What does your name mean? Or asked differently does your name matter? Well, you better keep the answers to yourself because depending on where you live that your answer can be VERY COSTLY.

A British teacher has been charged in court in Sudan for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad - a name with 14 permutations in spelling. According to the prosecution her act is an insult to religion.

Matters religion can be very personal and explosive. Many are ready to lose their lives for their beliefs. Well, that enriches the diversity in humankind. Fanaticism and passion are two words that can be conveniently used interchangeable to further one's course. Whether mwalimu Gillian Gibbons is guilty as charged is not for me to charge.

Drawing a parallel on what is in a name you can't fail to notice a muddled version of this case closer home. Most Kenyans form opinions about others on 'controversial' (read political) arguments based on cluster of letters cobbled together to spell a name. If your name is not regionally identifiable and you don't suffer any tonal betrayals (shrubbing) then trust some Kenyan to cleverly enquire about your parents' ancestral home.

Granted religion is something very personal. But it is not that clear cut either becasue in there too lies its predatory traits. Take away personal insecurities (WANTs) the heart is neither vulrenable nor provide a soft landing sermons delivered with furry that often leaves the preacher's mouth foaming. Make no mistake. This is not meant to deny the role prayers/beliefs play in out lives. But at the same time we must appreciate the fact that whoever endowed with grey matter never meant to let us abuse it by being hysterical and hide under dogma.

The Sudanese government have just been handed a gem to hit at the west by escalating a teacup storm. But looked at differently they may be unfairly punishing a teacher involving her students in appreciating a teaching aid.

Mark you these were Sudanese primary school kids aged about 10. Now jjust imagine if this act were to be reciprocated the world over then manyy South American and Spanish men called Jesus would all end up on the dungeon. Well religion is the sum total of faith and TALES clothed in dogma and is personal.


kalamari said...

All we need is religious tolerance, accommodation of ignorance and respect of divergent cultures……. and of course a ridiculously high sense of humor.

Chap (pissed): "Knock, knock, knock"
Taabu (surprised): "Who's there?"
Chap (very mad): "Abdala!!"
Taabu (sweating bullets): "Abdala who?"
Chap (incensed): "Abdala Toufiq from the East with a belt of doom"

Taabu said...

Kalamari you condition seem to be worsening. I hope you didn't forget to take your medication this morning, please do I implore you brother.

kalamari said...

Taabu, my friend, time has come when you must force yourself to laugh really hard. This is the stuff of legend that you just cannot make up. Have you ever heard of a ‘NORMAL RUNGU’?

Anonymous said...

South American and Spanish men called Jesus would all end up on the dungeon if we reciprocated this act the world over? I don't think so. After all every second muslim is called Mohammed.

deroo said...

Are those the Sharia Laws Raila Odinga is 'allegedly' supposed to introduce to the Muslim voters when he ascends to power. What a wrong time for this to happen. Wachira at the PNU Media base, hope you have noted that!


Anonymous said...

What is in a name? people should be tolerant of the views of others. I find nothing wrong in naming a teddy bear mohamed. If I had a dog i would call him Raila. It would be my democratic right. Kioko. BC, canada. Kazi iendelee..

Anonymous said...

Bravo kioko! What a name for a dog! Thanks, you make my day.

Anonymous said...

A name for a dog can be very relative-as a pet-it could be a very special name-for protection it could be fierce etc eg Simba. Kioko-naming your dog Riala is very positive but I don't think that's what you intended. Mind your language!

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