Published On: Thu, Jan 21st, 2016

Voodoo-Christian Muslims

dekker_0Would you have been just as fervent a Muslim as you are now a Christian, Hinduist or atheist if you had been brought up in a Muslim community? Yes, most likely, since faith, beliefs and traditional values are fed to infants as mother milk.

Of course, today as a mature adult, you would not hold your beliefs and values if you were not convinced that they are true, but to what extent are you ready to test their validity? You may firmly believe that the monkey-god, Lord Hanuman is the only deity who directs your life, or, that all-in-life is predetermined by Jesus and the God the Father, and that all other gods are false, but who will determine what is true and valid?

In the Caribbean, beliefs and values are mostly determined by ethnicity, tradition and history. For instance, the British Caribbean islands are predominantly Protestant, the Hispanic and Dutch, Catholic, etcetera.  Most Santaria-faithful are adherents to African syncretic religions and descendants of enslaved Africans. So how can you be sure that the beliefs about the world and life you hold, are verifiably correct and match how the world is?

Most of you embrace the religion, beliefs and values you were born into, you inherited, and not because you choose the views supported by the best arguments.

In a discussion between multicultural participants, or participants of all beliefs of life, could you limit yourself to rational arguments only and not argue from your holy books and prophetic or family traditions?

No, not likely, convince yourself by reading some discussions on social media to see how most participants fall back on preconceived beliefs, traditions and values! People do not want to choose views supported by the best arguments and will do everything to derail debates based on reason. With illusionary stories, feeling, and mysticism, often labeled as spirituality, people seek justification for their very own truth.

With enormous diversity in our global community, and, ever increasing heterogeneousness, how can a society be governed and administrated successfully with law and order? If smoking pot is a crime to Christians and a holy duty to Rastafarians, if killing unbelievers by Jihadist-Muslims earns a superior place in heaven, and at the same time warrants a death sentence and eternal condemnation by Christians, how can matters be reconciled when all are living in one community?

French laicity, “you are a citizen in public and a Jew, Christian or Muslim at home,” sounds practical but at the same time calls for situational ethics, for hypocrisy and a double standard!

A multicultural, multi faiths debate is essential to structure a functioning society.  Many former Caribbean colonies that evolved into sovereign countries miss such an ongoing discussion and suffer from an increasing mismatch of beliefs and values amongst its people that make governing ineffective. Segregation in nearly all walks of life has become the unfortunate result, segregation rather than integration, not only by culture and ethnicity but also by ethics and values.

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