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The Cassock, the Jalabiya or the Human?

December 24, 2023
AAP wearing a jalabia

Hi guys, come with me on a short journey. Why don’t we start with a conversation by 3 friends: a Christian, a Muslim, and an Atheist?

Christian friend: I am surprised you both don’t believe in Jesus. Although I don’t want to judge, but hell is sure for you guys.

Muslim friend: It is you who will go to hell because you do not believe in Mohammed. You are finished. Its better you convert now or face eternal condemnation.

Atheist friend: hahahahaah.. It is such a shame that you guys sit here and claim who needs to go to heaven or hell. How about me that do not believe in any of your Gods? 

Christian friend: You will be in a special chamber of hell.

Muslim friend: Your case is decided. You are going to hell.

I apologize for the boring read of this conversation but just before you stop reading this piece, stay with me a bit longer. It is about to get juicy.

Depending on what side of the camp you belong, I am optimistic that the conversation has sparked up thoughts in you and perhaps, you are already taking sides but that is not within the remit of this piece.

We make such arguments in our different spheres. While we make these arguments, we unconsciously slide away from our humanness because we are fixated on religious superiority.

The argument transcends beyond verbality and has sunk deep into our very existence. We experience the brunt of this argument in our schools, work, politics, etc.

The resultant effect of this argument has only been an increase in the divisibility of the oneness of our humanity.

Common scenarios include:

1. “If he is not a Christian, he cannot be Governor”

2. ” If she is not Muslim, you cannot give her the job”

3. “How can you allow this Christian get the appointment?”

These scenarios are inexhaustible.

But have you ever wondered?

1. Is poverty/wealth selective of Christians or Muslims?

2. Does Ill-health or natural disasters choose between Christians or Muslims?

At the end of the day, we are swimming in the same river.

I’d like to round up with these definitions just to put my point in perspective

Cassock: a full-length garment worn by certain Christian clergy, members of church choirs, and others having an office or role in a church ( Online).

Jalabiya: The Jalabiya is a traditional Arab garment worn by both males and females. It predates Islam and is worn over other clothing (Online).

*PS: I am wearing a Jalabiya in the picture*

Now I am not an authority of the Bible or Koran and will not delve into what the books say or don’t say but I am sure that those books perhaps say something about the value of humanity and life.

Christians boast of having Muslim converts and Muslims boasts of having Christian converts. To what end when we are still faced with the torments of hate and a chaotic world? I leave you to your thoughts.

Do not love me based on my affiliation to the Cassock or the Jalabiya but love me because I am human.

The Cassock or Jalabiya are both peripheral, being human is deep.

Until we humanize the practice of our religion, our growth will only remain a charade.

My name is Aaron Akpu Philip and I am Human.

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