What do Mosques have in common with Rocks?
Random Rants about Religion unseating people’s brains, nothing serious.
A recent field trip to the age-long Olumo rock in Abeokuta, Nigeria schooled me on a subject I thought I knew so much about — Rocks. Before now, when I heard the word, I thought of formidable stones that are irredeemably permanent (also a little bit of electric guitar and sweaty people on a dance floor, but let’s just pretend it’s just stones). Nothing much right? Pfft.
But there’s more.
So yes, we embarked on a field trip to Olumo Rock tourist complex sponsored by my department. By the time we climbed the man-made stairs on the rock, high enough to feel like God and get a reasonable view of the ancient city of Abeokuta, one of my friends made a brilliant observation which turned out to be a topic of discussion. He pointed out that within the angle of vision that we had, the most conspicuous and relatively modern buildings were three mosques. Everything else was beautifully finished with an ancient red dusty roof. He was of the opinion that the presence of the Olumo Rock tourist complex should have spurred more development in that area, at least within a reasonable radius of the complex. We talked about that for a while till something more interesting came up (which I can’t remember) and everyone moved on, but apparently I didn’t, and that’s why we’re here.
Oh I remember now! The tour guide said something about showing us a place where a tribe of cannibals used to live. I wasn’t exactly sure I heard “used to” actually, but being as optimistic as I am, I hoped on God that the tense wasn’t different. I don’t think I quite fancy the idea of being dinner. But let’s move on.
We proceeded to a part of the rock where there were caves that were used as hideouts during inter-tribal wars in the 19th century. It was dark and spooky, but mama didn’t raise no chicken. I groveled into the cave, took a few pictures and victoriously made it out alive. Pheww. The first thing that welcomed me was a view of one of the three mosques, sitting between these rocks. Flashes from the previous discussion about the mosques came to mind. Why are these mosques following me around? Is this a sign? What’s the message? Just like a rush of wind travelling by a book, my mind aggressively flipped through a lot of pages searching for a hidden message, a relationship.
I reluctantly took a picture and moved on.
Now at this point we have to agree to blame it on my mind, it was never my intention to make a big deal out of this, I promise. I was just going to say, “Oh yaay! An amazing view!” and carry on with the business that brought me there, but you know, the mind wants what the mind wants. The following conversation ensued between us both:
My mind: What do rocks have in common with mosques?
Me: Errrr… the letter “o”?
My mind: Absolutely correct!
My mind: No, dumb dumb! Think deeper!
I reluctantly thought just a little harder and started to ask myself foundation questions. What are mosques? What do they signify? What could possibly be the relationship between this flimsily painted man-made structure and this effortlessly magnanimous one? I still couldn’t figure it out so my mind gave me a hand.
The mosque, just like the church or the temple is unarguably a symbol of religion. And religion, just like rocks, has overtime served as caves and hideouts, in this case, for the two groups of people; the one-eyed, and the blind.
In the local context, it’s despicable to see the alarming rate of people turning churches to start ups. People just wake up, call themselves, open churches and rob unsuspecting believers of their brains. The places of worship are where you find the most savage bloodthirsty predators and the dumbest unsuspecting prey and it has become less and less shocking by the day.
How can an individual wake up on a bright Sunday morning, and tell his congregation that he is on the phone with Jesus Christ? So wait, tell me more, is it his MTN or Airtel number you have? ‘cos the one I have has been switched off for a while. Maybe there’s no light in heaven or his generator is bad.
Or someone ask his gullible followers to eat snakes (that he has turned to chocolate), or spray them with insecticides to heal them of HIV, Cancer and other terminal diseases? Insecticide o! Chineke nna*. Don’t even get me started on the ones asking their followers to eat grass, drink kerosene or receive healing kisses while the other members of the congregation watch and shout, “Yes Lord!”. Just recently, much to my amazement, Jesus Christ stopped by earth and even preached in some churches too. I’m tired o.
“Men of God” hide their devilish schemes behind red letters and bonded leather. They twist the word of God to suit their unbridled appetite for power, influence and fame. And people of the “Oh Yes” community troop in their numbers every other day to give God a phone call or something bizarre like that. Andy Rooney once said (paraphrasing Samuel Johnson) that: “Religion is the last refuge of a scoundrel,” and more interestingly, Karl Marx was leaning towards this line of thought;
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.”
“…the abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.”
Simply put, religion is a scam. It gives and then takes. In as much as it serves some functions in the society, just like a squirrel to a nut, it gradually nibbles on the people’s brains and glues their eyes blind. By doing so, the one-eyed scoundrel easily takes the throne and the revolution we would have fought for with our lives, we just lie back and eat grass because, “God said”.
This is not in any way to promote irreligion. All I’m saying is, if God wanted to speak to you over the phone, He has your number. I can go on and on but by now, I’m pretty sure you’ve forgotten that you started reading this because you wanted to find out what the relationship between rocks and mosques is. Don’t worry, it’s nothing serious.
It’s actually the letter “O”.
*Chineke nna — (Igbo) Father Lord