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Opinion "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by aristotle, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. aristotle

    aristotle
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    KISUMU, Kenya, Feb 8 – The controversial monument erected by the Sikh community in one of the streets in Kisumu has caused jittery among the city residents.

    The storm was raised by members of Repentance and Holiness Ministry associated with Prophet Dr. David Owuor who claimed the statue was ‘satanic’.

    The monument, erected on top of a rock along Mosque Road on a roundabout, has remained the subject matter in the lakeside city.

    Pastor Helen Ochieng of Repentance and Holiness Ministry in Kisumu who led worshippers in condemning the monument said the statue portrays a society worshiping an Idol and it should be brought down.

    Ochieng said as Christians they will ensure the monument is erected elsewhere not along the streets of Kisumu.

    She asked the authorities who approved the construction of the monument to rescind their decision as its presence will mean doom for Kisumu people.

    “Strange happenings in Kisumu are as a result of the presence of the monument. Recently we witnessed a stormy rainfall that caused massive destruction,” she said.

    However, Charjeet Hayer, Chairman Kisumu Siri Guru Sabha said the monument has been erected to commemorate 100 years of Sikh presence in Kisumu and has nothing to do with religion.

    “I appeal to our religious brothers not to view the monument as idolatry but a sign of peace,” he pleaded.

    Hayer said they are celebrating the arrival of their ancestors in Kisumu in the early 1901 and nobody should associate it with idolatry. Residents of Kisumu now fear passing along the street for bad omen.

    “Cyclists will have to follow longer routes only to avoid passing through that street. They say whenever they pass there, their business dwindles,” said John Omollo, a cyclist.

    Police officers had to use teargas canisters to thwart several attempts by the youths to burn and bring down the monument.

    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga who stepped in to quell tension over the monument failed in his attempt to convince Kisumu residents that the monument erected by the Asian community is a sign of peace.

    Odinga visited Mosque Road on Saturday morning but received hostile reception from the irate members of the public who demanded the immediate removal of the monument.

    “Listen to me, this monument is for peace and not ‘satanic’ as some of you have been saying,” he said amid heckling from the crowd.

    He reminded the people of Kisumu not be pre-occupied with unnecessary things but talk about development.

    “We cannot waste time here explaining the meaning of this monument when I have very important matters I want to convey to you,” he said.

    Odinga then asked Kisumu county governor Jack Ranguma and the religious leaders to meet on Monday to deliberate over the issue.

    The former PM said if it has to be removed then due process must be followed since the county government approved its construction.

    Several times the former PM was shouted down as he defended the monument and cut short his speech.

    Governor Ranguma admitted that his office approved the construction of a water mountain but the contractors added other images that were not part of what was approved.

    He urged the Sikh community to adhere to the approved plan to avoid any misunderstanding.

    Ranguma on the other hand reminded all the residents that every citizen has a right to worship in their own way as provided in the constitution.

    “I want to request our religious leaders to spearhead the promotion of religious tolerance among the citizens of Kisumu and Kenya as a whole,” he said.

    (Source: http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2014/02/sikh-monument-irks-kisumu-preachers/)
     
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  3. aristotle

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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    The ridiculousness of this statement is beyond words. Seriously! :(
     
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  4. AngloSikhPeace

    AngloSikhPeace United Kingdom
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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    Many would argue somebody with the arrogance to declare themself 'Prophet Dr.' is the real blasphemer.
     
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  5. Sherdil

    Sherdil
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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    Reading things like this makes me really appreciate what Guru Nanak was able to do. He showed people the error of their ways through love. It takes a special kind of person to put up with the type of nonsense described in this article.
     
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  6. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    In hindsight maybe a Khanda, or an Ek Onkar, might have been less ambigious than a giant pretzel
     
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  7. Ishna

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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    Ugh. Good luck to those Sikhs, they're on the front line.
     
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  8. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    not that anyone would know..
     
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    #7 Harry Haller, Feb 9, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  9. Ishna

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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    I can only go by what I read in the article which portrays the area they are in as being in the grip of superstitoius silliness which is completely anti-Gurmat. I think being in a society which is collectively that paranoid and superstitious is a front line.
     
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  10. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    Actually sis, I was wondering where the Singh in the name quoted had vanished to :kudihug:
     
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  11. Ishna

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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    Ooohhh okay. Attention to detail. My boss would love you.
     
  12. Ishna

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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    Follow up story
    http://mobile.nation.co.ke/news/Kis...198356/-/format/xhtml/-/15cbh28z/-/index.html
    Kisumu residents jeer Raila over Sikh statue

    Posted Saturday, February 8, 2014

    {visit site for video}

    Christian faithful Saturday heckled ODM leader Raila Odinga in Kisumu during protests against the erection of a Sikh monument in the town.

    Mr Odinga was treated to a cold reception by the protesters who milled around the monument demanding that it be removed, arguing that no religious symbol should be erected in the town.


    His attempts to persuade the crowd that the statue would cause no harm fell on deaf ears.


    The former PM was addressing the protesters at the roundabout of Mosque Road where he had gone to unveil the statue as the guest of honour.


    He later told the protesters that a meeting would be held tomorrow to decide on how to remove the statue.


    “I have heard your cry and will do something about it,” he said with the crowd urging him to take the decision instantly.


    “Remove it now or we do it ourselves,” the crowd jeered.


    The protesters did not give Mr Odinga time to speak as he seemed to lack anything to say regarding the statue.


    “I have another good message for you, why not allow me to say it before we resolve this matter of the statue?” he asked.


    But the crowd would not listen until he declared the statue illegally erected.


    “Leave politics for another day; this matter is very crucial to us,” the gathering told him.


    He was only rescued after one of the Sikh leaders assured the crowd that the controversial monument would be removed.


    “We will remove this monument to bring an end to the controversy that has smeared our temple,” said Mr Charjeet Hayer.


    The Hindu Sikh said that the statue will be replaced with a fountain as they mark 100 years of their presence in the town.


    Mr Odinga further disclosed that a monument will be erected in the town in honour of his father; which the crowd accepted.


    “I have heard what you have said,” Mr Odinga said. “I will make a decision following what you have told me.


    <!--in Article Ad begins here--><!--in Article Ad ends here-->We are going to put up a statue of my father at the Oginga Odinga Street.”


    Police lobbed tear gas at the protesters for the third day, moments after Mr Odinga left to disperse curious onlookers who were still milling around the monument.


    The talk of the controversial monument was sparked after faithful allied to Dr David Owuor’s ministry of Repentance and Holiness on Thursday raised the alarm that it is evil.


    They said that the monument was a bad sign to the town since it signified idol worship in a town dominated by Christians.


    A document seen by Sunday Nation from the county government authorised the construction of a water fountain and not a religious statue.


    Meanwhile, our people were yesterday arrested in Kisumu following the protests against the controversial monument.


    The four were nabbed by police who responded to a distress call raised by the Sikhs after rowdy youth descended on the concrete monument.


    Destroy statue

    The youth attempted to destroy the statue using a hammer before police arrived at the scene.


    Police shot in the air to disperse the crowd that had milled around the monument intent on destroying it.


    The protesters fled leaving the four men who were taken at random from among the rioting crowd.


    Leader of Sikh Community Charjeet Hayer condemned the action of the rowdy youth saying it had disturbed calm.


    “This is very scary to us, having lived in this city this long; it is even scary to potential investors,” said Mr Hayer.


    He reiterated that the monument was part of the investor’s contribution to the beautification of the city and had nothing to do with idol worship.


    “Since when did cement become an idol? We are not happy about the reception given by the people of Kisumu on the monument,” he said.
     
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  13. Harry Haller

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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    ahh thats why he did not use Singh!
     
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  14. Brother Onam

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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh

    Firstly, I agree with Harry; it doesn't help that it's, frankly, an unattractive, odd-looking sculpture. But there is another factor here I would like to call attention to.
    On one hand, we're obviously dealing with a population given to silly superstitions and biases, partially as a result of just provincial ignorances and partially as a result of colonial devastation; one can hardly blame someone for their fragmented cultural mindset when this culture has been systematically been assailed by centuries of colonial forces and foreign imperialism.
    On the other hand, though, this incident calls for a bit of sober self-reflection. Truth be told, most Indians are in Africa for the same reason the Chinese, the English, the Lebanese, the Americans, the Saudis etc, are in Africa: to make money. I've observed or rubbed shoulders with many foreigners working in Africa and, by and large, the driving impulse is to capitalize on Africa; to take advantage of cheap resources, cheap land, cheap labour. Very few of these people are there because of any love of, or concern for, Africans.
    This is not lost on the peoples of Africa, who have witnessed nation after nation come to their shores, rather to take than to give.
    If we Sikhs had distinguished ourselves by our motivation firstly to give; firstly to heal rather than to exploit, if Sikhs had set ourselves apart from the, frankly, marauders, I believe a statue commemorating a century of Sikh presence in Kenya would be received in a very different spirit.
    As it happens, of course, Sikhs in Africa are primarily businessmen, keeping amongst our own, worshiping amongst ourselves, living in relative isolation from African peoples/culture, just like the businessmen who continue to arrive daily in Africa to see what they can get from Africa. And Africa is thusly in ever-increasing need.
    As the children of Nanak, guided by, I think, the highest and most noble philosophy of all the world's religions, it would be nice if our first impact in a place like Africa would be love and curiosity and embrace and sharing of beauty and culture, rather than kind of disappearing into the general wave of businessmen seeking to extract profit from a people we are really not all that interested in.
    Sikhi, if shared in a genuine and selfless spirit would be such an empowering blessing to these people, who, as we have seen, are in a state of superstition and confusion from the church imperialism that was forced on them and the cultural devastation they have endured since contact with ''the West" began.
    :animatedkhanda1:
     
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  15. Gyani Jarnail Singh

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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    HINDU "Sikh"...and see attached Photo of a local report..it quotes SHEIKH SIKH...
    Sikhs are neither HINDUS nor MUSLIMS..BUt the PRESS ???? Media ??? always misleading..and whos at FAULT...SIKHS who behave like HINDUS..as wellas the Press and Public who insist on portraying Sikhs as Mulsims Al Qaeda etc..

    The Attached Report is the cruelest joke/cut of all...and the CHRISTIANS are the cause of all the Intolerance and the utter RUBBISH superstitions.....
     

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  16. Abneet

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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    "The storm was raised by members of Repentance and Holiness Ministry associated with Prophet Dr. David Owuor who claimed the statue was ‘satanic’."

    Satanic!? Do these people ever do any research about different religions in their area or they just make nonsense statements. Putting down Sikhs as Hindu Sikhs is just plain wrong and is giving the wrong impression. I guess Sikhism is "satanic" according to these fools.

    If he is talking about satanic, what about Jesus Christ blood being represented as red wine for communion in Christianity? Seems oddly satanic to me.... Its seems like the work of Christian Missionaries spreading false information to have it their way like always we haven't seen this before haha. :sippingcoffeemunda:
     
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  17. spnadmin

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    re: "Sikh monument" irks Kenyan Kisumu preachers (UPDATED)

    Updated

    Sikh community bring down monument ‘for the sake of peace’ in Kisumu


    By RUSHDIE OUDIA KISUMU, KENYA:

    The controversial Sikh monument in Kisumu County has finally been brought down. The Sikh community removed the statue that saw former Prime Minister Raila Odinga booed in his home turf, due to pressure from the locals. They said this was for the sake of peace in the Lakeside City that they have decided to bring the monument down. The statue was brought down Sunday morning amidst tight security along Mosque Road as residents including faithfuls from the Sikh community watched. One of the Sikh Sheikhs, Bilayi Singh said they will in turn build a water fountain that will be unveiled during their celebration of 100 years of existence of the Siri Guru Singh Sabha temple. The event is slated for February 28 to March 9. “For the sake of peace we are bringing it down, we hope that we would have constructed a water fountain before the end of February,” said Mr Singh. He said the Sikh community worships one God and not devil worship, adding that the public is invited for the celebrations where there will be plenty of food and free medical care in the nine clinics next to the temple. Members of Repentance and Holiness Ministry were the first people to protest against the statue terming it idol worship in the city. The former PM also faced the wrath of the people on Saturday when he went to quell tension brought by the erection of the statue in town, forcing him to cut down his speech. The residents claimed that the sculptures of Kenyan heroes were the only ones welcomed in the town. Earlier, Raila held a closed door meeting with religious leaders in a temple to avert a looming religious conflict in the town.

    Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?art...le=controversial-kisumu-monument-brought-down
     
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  18. Inderjeet Kaur

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    My late husband, Simon, who died in 2011, was a Kikuyu from Kenya and, if he was any indication, that society is indeed ruled by superstition and a vengeful quasi-Christian god who might well bring floods or worse on those who dared to cross him. I won't bore or amuse you with some of his weird rituals...well, I will give one as an example. Before and after he prayed, he always hit himself over the head with his Bible a certain number of times, the number varying according to some formula I never figured out. When I suggested that he actually read the Bible, he became angry and told me that I pray my way and you pray yours. He had a point.

    However absurd and bizarre these beliefs might be, I think the Sikhs of Kisumu did the kind thing to consent to remove the monumen out of respect for local sentiment. This was not only be respectful, but also expedient, as there might be violence against the Sikh community whenever anything went wrong in town otherwise. I hope they are more careful in the construction of the water fountain.

    And let us not be too quick to congratulate ourselves on overcoming silly superstitions. Yes, Sikhi teaches against them, but many Sikhs are still superstitious.
     
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    #17 Inderjeet Kaur, Feb 13, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
  19. Brother Onam

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    Waheguru ji ka Khalsa, Waheguru ji ki Fateh
    Christianity has been an experience of mayhem in Africa. The faith was of course brought forcefully, by the very people who came to exploit and rule, so nothing auspicious was likely to come of that.
    (As Stevie Wonder sang: "We can't trust you when you take a stand, with a gun and Bible in your hand...saying 'Give us what we want or we'll destroy' ")
    Islam, of course, came to Africa by way of conquest and slavery; the rest of Africa is in the thrall of the church. So now you have a population full of weird superstitions and an induced mentality of praying and praising a lot, while their continent is plundered mercilessly from coast to coast. There is almost no attention paid to this systematic devastation, but they have been trained to be ever on guard against 'witchcraft'. I was once teaching a couple of people about simran, but had to stop when nearby Christians overheard us and were outraged that we were engaging in witchcraft or mysticism.
    If you know anything about Christianity in Europe, the churches are empty; few believe in that faith anymore, but they love to keep the 'Third World', especially Africa, immersed in their religion, because they are so pacified and distracted from the Great Robbery, trained to just await the future paradise in heaven, and the imminent arrival of Jesus from the clouds.
     
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