OPINION

Parallel worlds

One of our worlds is the Third, a hell of sorts. Painted black, poor and deprived, it never experienced freedom after falling from colonialism into the hands of despots. Religion – particularly certain forms of Islam – is the opiate for many in this Third World. But however much we white peoples of the West want to feel superior, we mustn’t forget that all religions, throughout the course of history, have demonstrated their ability to warp minds. It is with great ease that we label these disadvantaged peoples «uncivilized.» A parallel exists in our «First World» – a world so bright that it «enlightens» its unfortunate counterpart. We take its superiority for granted, as we do its right to use the Third World as a dump for its toxic waste, as the source of its diamonds and its cheap labor. Religion can no longer serve as an opiate to the First World which is unshakably devoted to another powerful divinity: money. Whoever kills in the name of any god, as in Nigeria, is a criminal – neither a politician nor a religious devotee, but a plain criminal. But what about those who didn’t even witness the slaughter because they were focused on the beauty contest? What do we call them? Insensitive, because they do not care about the problems of others? Air-heads, because they are only concerned about who will be Miss World? The slaughter was Nigeria’s shame. But shouldn’t we in the «First World» feel equal shame for not even considering canceling the contest?