Monday, February 10, 2014

Sikhs are NOT Hindus, OK?

Free Advice from Onyango Oloo

On September 15, 2001,  

Balbir Singh Sodhi, 49, Sikh owner of a petrol station in a Phoenix suburb was murdered by a gunman just days after 9/11,  fatally shot by 42-year-old  

Frank Roque, a Caucasian-American living in the same Arizona state, who said he was lashing out at “Arabs” after watching repeated footage of the World Trade Center attacks on television. He also attempted to shoot a Lebanese-American clerk at a nearby Mobil station and fired at a home owned by Afghan-Americans. As he was being arrested on charges of first-degree murder, Roque reportedly shouted, “I stand for America all the way.” He was convicted of Sodhi’s murder and was sentenced to death, which was later reduced to life in prison. 

I was living in Montreal, Quebec at the time when I first watched this chilling dispatch.

What stupefied me even more than the callous shooting to death of a completely innocent man, was the utter stupidity of it all.

I remember muttering to myself “Thank goodness I am a Kenyan and not as ignorant as some of these Yankee rednecks who could not point to Washington D.C. on a map of the United States"

I was proud that I had  grown up in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-faith milieu where a Kenyan could be ANYONE from the very white Kiswahili fluent Philip Leakey representing Nubians, Luhyias, Luos, Gikuyus as their MP for Lang'ata or the turban clad Joginder Singh with his rock star adulation from Msambweni  to  Loitoktok to  Kondele for his heroic feats as a rally driver to Ngugi wa Thiong’o making us glow with pride for his novels to Kipchoge Keino spurring us to belt out the national anthem after another gold medal Olympic feat to Kadenge being ululated by  Leonard Mambo Mbotela for dribbling from goal post to goal post at the City Stadium. When I was only twelve, I knew where the Ruhr Industrial Valley was located and where the St. Lawrence Sea Way was; by the time I was fifteen I could tell you the exact date when the first Opium War was unleashed; before I was nineteen I could recite not only the entire Shakespearean “To Be or Not to Be” from memory- I knew who Okonkwo was and how the Jewel tricked the Lion-apart from gyrating to Tabu Ley and Franco and Miriam Makeba and  Leta Mbulu and Fela Kuti and Manu Dibango.

Yes on that bleak autumn afternoon in North America, I as a Kenyan felt smugly superior to bigoted racists  who could not tell between an Indian and an Arab.

Unfortunately, today over ten years later, I have to ruefully revise that glowing assessment of my fellow Kenyans.

My revision has been sparked by the astounding empty headed acts of racist mob hatred displayed during the recent vandalism against a harmless monument erected in the previously tolerant cosmopolitan city of Kisumu.

What appalls me even more are the rabid diatribes I encounter among hundreds of Facebook friends who imagine that they are “Christians”. If Jesus of Nazareth were to make an impromptu stop over in Kenya in February 2014 he would be probably skinned alive by baying ignoramuses accusing him of being a devil worshipper or at the very least, a  fully paid up member of the local chapter of the Illuminati.

As a Kenyan, as a Luo, I am thoroughly ashamed and embarrassed at the thick fog of obstinate ignorance enveloping all those who participated in the mindless goonism and shameless hooliganism in Kisumu last week.

I want to send a   memo to all those fervent Born Again Kenyan friends of mine who have been having multiple orgasms in an online orgy of celebration; a bacchanal fiesta of condemnation at the so called “Hindu idol” brought down by valiant Christian soldiers in Kisumu.

Here is the memo:

Sikhs are NOT Hindus, OK?

Since I know that many of you Billy Graham motor mouths and Pat Robertson Bible thumping freaks are ALLERGIC to Google, let me help out with this short link from Wikipedia:

Yes, go ahead and hang your heads in abject shame. I wish some of you would borrow a leaf from the Shias and flog yourselves ruthlessly on your own backs until you were bleeding all over in ultimate penance.

To regurgitate something I picked up from Answers.Com, 

Sikhism is a monotheistic religion; Sikhs believe there is only one God, who has infinite qualities and names. Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism and historically atheism. Hindus believe in the caste system which is linked to one's past Karma. Sikhism believes one’s previous lives Karma do not matter, but what does in this life determines ones status. Sikhs do not believe that going on pilgrimages or bathing at holy rivers will give you mukti (salvation) but only meditation on the naam (name) of Waheguru will.

Folks, cyberspace is ONE VAST RESERVOIR of knowledge, available to YOU,yes YOU!! this very second at the click of a mouse, the touch of a screen or even a mere whisper into a speech enabled Smartphone. 

Instead of surfing for hard core porn or the most rabid right wing sermons from the family values fundamentalist channels, why don’t you instead, arm yourselves with some useful knowledge that will inoculate you from the kind of sickening display of mass hysteria and collective mad dog behavior exhibited last week in Kisumu.

By the way, if you do not like what I am saying, then go ahead and


Onyango Oloo

Nairobi, Kenya

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Mbugua said...

I didn't realise how much damage those so called "evangelists" have done until I saw the events in KSM. Kweli the minds have been throughly washed of any independent thought. Intolerance is the way now and they do it while shouting hallelujah.

MSA or KSM all those youths need mental emancipation

Unknown said...

thank you for your timely rejoinder on this burning issue. we much appreciate, brother! also visit our kenyankalasingha page to see how much more we have in common as kenyans.

Anonymous said...

This a very good message, but how do we make sure that such messages reach the very grass root people who are always, one way or another, the victims of the system

Avery said...

Nice post thanks for shariing