BECAUSE I AM SCARED!

How to defeat terrorism? Don’t be terrorized. Don’t let fear rule your life. Even if you’re scared.” – Salman Rushdie, in  Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002

One Norman Borlaug once said, “If you desire peace, cultivate justice, but at the same time cultivate the fields to produce more bread; otherwise there will be no peace.”  Well, I desire peace in the motherland. I desire peace in the world entire, and I crave the restoration of humanity so much so that I feel the urgency for you and I to act and act now! But wait, I don’t know how to act recently. I don’t have answers that I seek, so this is where YOU come in. I need answers. Kenya, the East African region, the world at large, needs answers. But I’ll be content if I get solutions instead..lasting solutions!

This comes at the wake of multiple terror attacks in Kenya with the latest proof of a people living in fear, of a terrorized compact majority paralyzed by fear, being the  “terror scare” reported in The University of Nairobi (Kikuyu Campus) that left one dead (May his soul rest in peace), and at least 141 students seriously injured. If that doesn’t break your heart, you probably just lack one! It is evident that the terrorists are so far winning – they have terrorized us into living in fear, they have robbed a nation of peace. One thing I know for sure is that we cannot continue this way, we can’t be this afraid, scared and scarred in our own land. We ought to get our peace back! But how?

Here’s the thing, terrorism is hardly a new phenomenon in the world let alone Kenya. But why does it seem to almost always catch us (the targeted) by surprise? Why does it keep recurring, is it that the idea of lasting solutions to this evil is a merely elusive one? Not quite! I stand to be corrected but I believe the problem has to be in the approaches/tactics employed by those who wage ‘war on terror’ in a bid to beat it.

I dare say that the greatest threat to Kenyan values just now is hysteria. Yes, hysteria! Hysteria is a cancer of sorts that has the immense power to make extreme our language. This thing – hysteria is what fuels reckless responses to each terror attack (or at least an attempt of the same). Hysteria is what makes you curse out the entire Muslim fraternity just because some of their own are under the mental abduction by a doctrinaire they don’t quite comprehend. I see hysteria (or at least the manifestation of it) when I learn of the demands by top government officials to have the Dadaab refugee camp closed down without putting into remembrance that one of the most fundamental principles governing refugee protection and granting of asylum is the principle of non-refoulement. Nonrefoulement is a principle of international law which forbids the rendering of a true victim of persecution to his or her persecutor. Generally, the persecutor in mind is a state actor. It is a principle of both the customary and trucial law of nations. Surely, there must be, somewhere in the world, better approaches to these matters without acting arbitrarily to the laws that govern the land. We need to fortify the principles of the sovereignty  of the law, the binding word of the judiciary  and complete and impartial justice. And we cannot do that if being on the right side of the law is a thing of the leisure time or a matter of convenience – we abide by the laws when we deem fit and only then? Come on, such can’t be the case!

Truth is, terrorism cannot be understood in isolation. We have to dig deep into the murky history of terrorism to understand it. In my analysis, we can trace certain visible similarities amongst terror groups across the world:

1.) They are seemingly always emanating from Draconian or closed political systems.  We, as a country need institutions that can mediate between state and society especially to ensure there are minimal or no restrictions on basic human rights such as freedom of expression, speech and association.. etcetera, as these evidently deprive people of the opportunity to change their governments democratically. It is however worth noting that absolute freedoms are only existent in theory as there is no democracy without responsibilty. What humans need is a moderate discretion or perhaps a discrete moderation (you get to decide).

2.) Religion. My thoughts and views on this very touchy subject of religion are quite guarded. And this is mainly because, quite frankly, I’m still learning about religion. I have learnt to accept that most of us subscribe to certain religious doctrines merely because of what I like to refer to as sheer accident. Like it or not, the vast majority are Muslims / Christians simply because they were born into it. Someone made that decision, good or bad, for them. However, I must say that it really doesn’t bother me that you are Muslim or Christian or whatever your religion might be. All that matters to me is that you be human enough to adore humanity and the basic morals that will promote a beautiful co-existence.  We must drop religous extremism because in the final analysis, GOD has no religion. Do good and be good must be the basis of our co-existence. At the very least, Kenya is a secular state and all must honour that!

3.)Economic circumstances: Poverty, unemployment and the growing gap between the elite and the overwhelming majority is a reason to worry, a real cause for alarm. People who succumb to radicalization and political/religious extremism more often than not, have NOTHING TO LOSE! These are people who feel burdened by their lives to a point that they can afford to willingly flirt with death. They feel they really have nothing to lose. They could be right, you know? Who knew what the devil could do with an idle mind! If the war on terror is going to be won, the economic situation amongst the youth of this country must change, and change for the better.

4.) The government ought to forget the “blanket punishment” approach. This leads to the radicalisation of those targeted. Take the example of an ideology that supports ‘sweeping out’ all Somalis from the country. Beyond a shadow of doubt this is a dangerous approach.We cannot win the war against extremism of any kind by employing extreme tactics. It might provide a temporary solution, but then again we cannot afford to be that short-sighted!
In her paper “Politics and Terrorism: An assessment of the origin and threat of terrorism in Egypt,2006″, Anneli Botha notes that”..literature that became available in the aftermath of 9/11 revealed that collective amnesia is the order of the day, when it comes to the study of terrorism. Acts of terrorism are almost immediately attributed to al-Qa’eda, as the beginning and end of all terrorism, without recognising domestic terrorism and its long historical development. Transnational terrorism develops and is predominately motivated by domestic circumstances. It is only after addressing these conditions that the cycle of violence
and terrorism can be broken.” Well, just how apt she is! I couldn’t agree more!

Kenya must learn from countries confronted by terrorism across the globe and draw lessons therefrom. At the very least, Kenya must learn that history sure does repeat itself and hence we got to learn from the previous mistakes – those of our own and those of others alike! For instance, Egypt’s confrontation with terrorism for decades should be enough evidence that an excessive strategy is seldom the most effective medium to longterm solution to terrorism.

Yes, I did an entire research on Terrorism because I felt we need solutions to this big national, in fact global, problem and also because…because… Because I want to defeat terrorism and  because..because I am scared!

How to defeat terrorism? Don’t be terrorized. Don’t let fear rule your life. Even if you’re scared.” – Salman Rushdie, in  Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002

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Author: mbulanzuki

Lover of God & Life, Lawyer, Writer, An 'outspoken introvert', Sucker for humor, forever getting high off intellectual conversations, comfortably living in the shades of grey (it's never just black and white). 😊 PS: No one is entitled to their opinion. We are only entitled to INFORMED OPINIONS. Let's learn, live, and let live. Shall we? Welcome to my world! 🍻

26 thoughts on “BECAUSE I AM SCARED!”

  1. Great minds. i like the religion part n its true i by any chance i ws born n brought up by a muslim o my homegrown Dini ya Msambwa parents i wld be that religions follower by default…. True as u have Mbula as young people of this country we Must be human n adore humanity….”Do good n be good should be the basis of our existence.” if we can put ths to practice as th young pple of this state we dont need weapons to defeate terrorism… What an article! kudos Mbula

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fear is Real… Am in Kikuyu Campus and we’ve been living in fear for the past one week after a message targeting us was sent hence the reaction people had on Sunday after the blast. The terrorist have won already by instilling fear in us. Like you its time Kenya learned from others and employ practical measures in defeating terrorism. Its not about being a Muslim or a Christian, its not a religious war. We need solutions to this problem. I AM SCARED TOO..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Miss Njagi!
      First and fore most, my sincere condolences for the loss of your colleague!
      We are indeed a bleeding nation for now. We are down, but not defeated. But we must act even when we are scared. The aim of terrorists is to instill fear/terror. We mustn’t be this terrified, but then again, we shouldn’t let the burden rest squarely on government. It’s proved to be insufficient…hence collective action.
      Better days lie ahead, let’s go get them! Best wishes ma’am!

      Like

  3. Really sound thoughts. Sometimes I ask myself what if all this terror acts are all domestic and have Nothing to do with another country trying to kick our troops out of there country? The very primary reason they keep acknowledging it’s them(alshabab) terrorizing us makes me question a lot. Maybe someone somewhere among the elitists is trying to get their way up. I am slowly losing trust in the government which is the elitist Because if they really cared about its people they would do anything to stop this terrors from reoccurring. May be too shallow but they’re my two cents..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well,that could be a possibility you know. I mean, we all know how dirty the game of politics gets.
      But then again, we can’t merely speculate. Those are in fact, ‘dangerous thoughts’. The type that could break us and tear us apart for good. So, until we have facts, not mere emotional speculation, we mustn’t lurk around and play victim of the possibility of a government that might be trying to make a statement. 😊☺
      Thanks for your views love, keep them coming.

      Like

  4. Standing ovation to Ms. Mbula Nzuki. Crispy clarity and flow of thought. Great mix on understanding of law and the art of literary presentation in a way that any layman can understand.

    Consider having this published for wider audience in Kenya and the world generally. With your consent I can share this with a friend in media to have it published. Meanwhile place a copyright caution to protect your immense intellectual property.

    Proud of you. Can’t wait for the next read.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Standing ovation to Ms. Mbula Nzuki. Crispy clarity and flow of thought. Great mix of understanding of law and the art of literary presentation in a way that any layman can understand.

    Consider having this published for wider audience in Kenya and the world generally. With your consent I can share this with a friend in media to have it published. Meanwhile place a copyright caution to protect your immense intellectual property.

    Proud of you. Can’t wait for the next read.

    Like

  6. Great piece.. truly religion is a delicate subject that often many people choose to either ignore or to go overboard about it. Most of us like you said were born into the religion we are in but it is us who choose to do good,be good or do evil and be evil. We claim we are pushed into such, why can’t someone ask why are we pushed? Are we so weak to be puppets? Can’t we think for ourselves? Be Christian or Muslim or whatever religion there is one message that is everywhere “LOVE”, don’t love me like a wife or husband,no..i don’t need that. Love me like the stranger I am and the one who respects themselves and others. Again…lovely piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. hey Eva,
    my dear am impressed…still looking up to you as my mentor n shosh.
    You speak n point out things of much concern in our society,terrorism must be stopped and Kenyans embrace humanity because with this and only this is when we shall find peace and stop yearning for it.
    Cudos,comrade.
    looking forward to reading mre.You going places,bless You.

    Like

    1. This is one of the sweetest things ever said to me! Aaaww… Thanks sweetheart! And I’m truly humbled to have you looking up to me. I’ll make sure I don’t fail you child!
      Thanks for your thoughts on this matter. It is voices like yours that I yearn to hear from for I cannot change the old but I can certainly help mould the younger ones into responsible citizens. Great way to go Lillian. Keep up too and never settle. Keep rising. You’re a child of the universe, make the world your oyster. Best wishes from your loving ‘Shosh’. God bless you.

      Like

  8. Yes, I agree with you Eva that Kenya needs answers and solutions to the beleaguered, ailing, and incompetent security structure mandated to protect Kenyans. Its a collective responsibility that ropes in the world. As is often said, when Kenya sneezes the rest of the region catches a cold. Its for this reason, I am of the view that Kenya’s security forces should not wane, falter, be withdrawn but fight those cowards in their backyard in their own backyard with every inch of machinery available and resources available to AMISOM. Also, a third potential solution is that of ordinary Kenyans remaining vigil, informing police, and holding government accountable. A fourth solution, is for the security forces to ensure they hire Somali Kenyans into the new 10,000 recruits as Kenyans need Kenyan Muslims to be involved in the fight against terror. Kenya needs recruits from North Eastern, Mombasa, and entire country. I do believe its wise having boots on the ground cognizant of the culture, language, and customs for the purpose of building trust and confidence with the locals that are being protected. A good idea is to work with the County Governments of former North Eastern. Yet, the biggest issue that bedevils us our security heads is an establishment mindset, an analog mindset, a conservative approach to fighting terror while terrorists employ latest gadgets. Its a shame but I believe in our spirit.

    Like

    1. Wow! You really give this a thought, didn’t you? I love this Wanjohi and I concur with you. The war against terror can, should and will be won, not by the government of Kenya in isolation but by the people of the region in unison. God bless Kenya, God bless Africa

      Like

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