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Nigerian girls still captive and an African American Pagan notes the silence

Bright Blessings and Lamentations.

This will address the deafening silence in the Pagan Community regarding the evil action, falsely related to religious motivation, of targeting, kidnapping, assault, chattel enslavement, persecution, and human outrage committed against over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls. This column will not be about how to build a better Book of Shadows, a cooler altar to the Ancestors, Gris Gris, or Hoodoo. 177 school children are still captive from the first attack, and since then more have been taken, giving us a total of 180 names regarding this incident, something that has been going on for some time.

The New York Times reported "Men suspected of being fighters from the radical group Boko Haram kidnapped 11 more girls in Nigeria’s northeast, local officials said Tuesday, an intensification of its campaign against female education and the Nigerian government since the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls three weeks ago".

And this is a direct attack against the children that the Goddess made, the same Goddess that the Pagan Community in this nation, and that this Metro Detroit Pagan Community, state that they Serve. And yet, where are all the voices?

The lack of sound or fury regarding this attack on the children by our Pagan Spiritual Leaders is appalling. For the last two weeks, this author has been silent, scouring the events, the blogs, the columns, the organization pages, the fundraisers, the Esbat services, the Unitarian Universalist services, the Healing Circles, the Blessings, and the open Rituals for the slightest hint of any reference to the fact that this merits a nanosecond of attention. There have been no position statements by any of the larger groups, the charities, the churches, the temples, the covens, or the groves.

The hands that clasp together have made no Circles of protection for these children. The mouths that are so quick to state "Never again the Burning Times" have made no hue and cry for these children whose hues largely do not fall on their radar. In private, the reference to Sharia Law making it legal has been the common cop out, while they seem to forget it was once religious law in this nation to destroy their very selves for the Spiritual paths they follow now.

It is very convenient how easily these Black African bodies can be dismissed so easily in their suffering, rape, and violence, yet forums arose nationwide regarding internet censorship in Britain. It would seem that surfing the web overseas is far more important than protecting humanity.

The question was posed as to how this is a Pagan Spiritual Leadership issue. It is a Pagan issue because Pagans are human beings. It is a spiritual leadership issue because those who state they are Clergy are supposed to offer Spiritual guidance, leadership, and stand in that cold and dangerous light that the Gods have provided for those who speak Truth to Power, to Oppression, and to Evil. It is an African American Pagan issue because those hands who we grasp together with in Prayer, Circle, etc. are not being raised to write letters, to send emails, to upload photo images to their profiles to draw attention to this issue.

Those same hands that write books on Conjure, that take calls on radio shows and podcasts on Hoodoo, that run candle shops and botanicas, and that take green money from brown hands are the same ones that are sitting primly in their laps while this goes onward with not a single public statement from them in their shop windows. Those same stores, where we give custom, are the same ones where there are no "lights set" publicly for these girls to be protected or to come home. Those same book stores are the same ones where there are no discussion groups, or letter writing cafes. Those same authors who have digested the African Diaspora's works are the same ones not coming out with statements on the situation.

In the religious organizations, there is still a furiously damning lack of any addressing of the fact that because one wicked group has decided that in the name of their interpretation of religion, that they can impose this religion on another and cause harm. Where is the condemnation? Where is your Rede now? Or is it only convenient to be in public view when it is easy? Is it only relevant when you do not have to stand up by it as a doctrine to hold as your true measure of what is right and wrong in the face of the world as a Minister?

It would appear from the testimony of Lack of Action that the only time that it is relevant is when it is time for a holiday, a festival, or when the Moon calls. The fact that gathering money and goods has gone on around here without a statement from any group about this, the reality that the issue is a non issue, the fact that not one Blessed Word has been invoked in Prayer or Ritual as a body in Metro Detroit by us, is just as cold as all those sands at the bottom of the Detroit River, and just as compassionate.

To my Magicians, where are your group working invitations? Where are the Psalmist practitioners who could be holding Sings? Where are the Black Spiritual Consciousness groups that can get together to worship and honor the divine feminine, but cannot get together to express outrage about this in an organized and united stand?

Beltane just passed for those who celebrate it, and yet there were no fire rituals done regarding this evil. There have been no Cones of Power raised, nor any Rites dedicated to a public working for this issue. Multiple gatherings have taken place, events where letter writing, vigils, or even a two minute speech could have directed power and intent toward helping spread awareness, yet not one has happened.

Churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques have had their leadership have come out and condemn this as not only a criminal issue, but a Spiritual one. Yet no Interfaith Pagan Group has come from Michigan, even with all the groups vying for attention and funds, to release even a one paragraph statement. And before the excuses pour in by the altar load, it is not that the invitation has not been made. The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (sic) issued the statement that

"The National Council of Churches USA has joined in “urgent solidarity” with Christians and other faith groups around the world to call for the release of 234 Nigerian school girls kidnapped April 14 by the Boko Haram extremist sect. "

And the Jewish Council for Public Affairs President Rabbi Steve Gutow said

"This is a horror for the girls and their families and unacceptable to anyone with a conscience"

The Muslim Public Affairs Council

"condemned the repugnant actions of Boko Haram, which claimed responsibility for kidnapping over 300 teenage schoolgirls from a school in Nigeria three weeks ago. Boko Haram, which translates as “Western education is sinful,” has once again violated core Islamic teachings that value all human life as sacred, prohibit depriving people of their basic freedoms, and mandate seeking knowledge as an obligatory duty of every Muslim"

No statement to the local media has come from us. The media will not cover what it does not hear about. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, and apparently neither will the African American Pagan Community in regard to these kidnapped children. And it also seems to go without saying that the Greater Pagan Community has been more quiet than a pimp in church regarding it. Do not think that it is going unnoticed by your Sisters and Brothers in your midst from the African Diaspora. It may be unsaid, but it is not unmarked.

These girls are Muslim and Christian, yet they are no more, nor less, Spiritual than any Priest or Priestess among us. Their Faith is sustaining them. It is up to us to practice our Faith and put it into action and lend our sustaining energy and love to them.

And so here, in this space, let us see their names, and know that they are real people and not an abstract concept. Here in this space, let us SEE them.

1 Deborah Abge
2. Awa Abge
3. Hauwa Yirma
4. Asabe Manu
5. Mwa Malam pogu
6. Patiant Dzakwa
7. Saraya Mal. Stover
8. Mary Dauda
9. Gloria Mainta
10. Hanatu Ishaku
11. Gloria Dama
12. Tabitha Pogu
13. Maifa Dama
14. Ruth kollo
15. Esther Usman
16. Awa James
17. Anthonia Yahonna
18. Kume Mutah
19. Aisha Ezekial
20. Nguba Buba
21. Kwanta Simon
22. Kummai Aboku
23. Esther Markus
24. Hana Stephen
25. Rifkatu Amos
26. Rebecca Mallum
27. Blessing Abana
28. Ladi Wadai
29. Tabitha Hyelampa
30. Ruth Ngladar
31. Safiya Abdu
32. Na’omi Yahonna
33. Solomi Titus
34. Rhoda John
35. Rebecca Kabu
36. Christy Yahi
37. Rebecca Luka
38. Laraba John
39 Saratu Markus
40. Mary Usman
41 Debora Yahonna
42. Naomi Zakaria
43 Hanatu Musa
44. Hauwa Tella
45. Juliana Yakubu
46. Suzana Yakubu
47. Saraya Paul
48. Jummai Paul
49. Mary Sule
50. Jummai John
51. Yanke Shittima
52. Muli Waligam
53. Fatima Tabji
54. Eli Joseph
55. Saratu Emmanuel
56. Deborah Peter
57. Rahila Bitrus
58. Luggwa Sanda
59. Kauna Lalai
60. Lydia Emmar
61. Laraba Maman
62. Hauwa Isuwa
63. Confort Habila
64. Hauwa Abdu
65. Hauwa Balti
66. Yana Joshua
67. Laraba Paul
68. Saraya Amos
69. Glory Yaga
70. Na’omi Bitrus
71. Godiya Bitrus
72. Awa Bitrus
73. Na’omi Luka
74. Maryamu Lawan
75. Tabitha Silas
76. Mary Yahona
77. Ladi Joel
78. Rejoice Sanki
79. Luggwa Samuel
80. Comfort Amos
81. Saraya Samuel
82. Sicker Abdul
83. Talata Daniel
84. Rejoice Musa
85. Deborah Abari
86. Salomi Pogu
87. Mary Amor
88. Ruth Joshua
89. Esther John
90. Esther Ayuba
91. Maryamu Yakubu
91. Zara Ishaku
93. Maryamu Wavi
94. Lydia Habila
95. Laraba Yahonna
96. Na’omi Bitrus
97. Rahila Yahanna
98. Ruth Lawan
99. Ladi Paul
100. Mary Paul
101. Esther Joshua
102. Helen Musa
103. Margret Watsai
104. Deborah Jafaru
105. Filo Dauda
106. Febi Haruna
107. Ruth Ishaku
108. Racheal Nkeki
109. Rifkatu Soloman
110. Mairama yahaya
111. Saratu Dauda
112. Jinkai Yama
113. Margret Shettima
114. Yana yidau
115. Grace Paul
116. Amina Ali
117. Palmata Musa
118. Awagana Musa
119. Pindar Nuhu
120. Yana Pogu
121. Saraya Musa
122. Hauwa Joseph
123. Hauwa kwakwi
125. Hauwa Musa
126. Maryamu Musa
127. Maimuna Usman
128. Rebeca Joseph
129. Liyatu Habitu
130. Rifkatu Yakubu
131. Naomi Philimon
132. Deborah Abbas
133. Ladi Ibrahim
134. Asabe Ali
135. Maryamu Bulama
136. Ruth Amos
137. Mary Ali
138. Abigail Bukar
139. Deborah Amos
140. Saraya Yanga
141. Kauna Luka
142. Christiana Bitrus
143. Yana Bukar
144. Hauwa peter
145. Hadiza Yakubu
146. Lydia Simon
147. Ruth Bitrus
148. Mary Yakubu
149. Lugwa Mutah
150 . Muwa Daniel
151. Hanatu Nuhu
152. Monica Enoch
153. Margret Yama
154. Docas yakubu
155. Rhoda peter
156. Rifkatu Galang
157. Saratu Ayuba
158. Naomi Adamu
159. Hauwa Ishaya
160. Rahap Ibrahim
162. Deborah Soloman
163. Hauwa Mutah
164. Hauwa Takai
165. Serah Samuel
166. Aishatu Musa
167. Aishatu Grema
168. Hauwa Nkeki
169. Hamsatu Abubakar
170. Mairama Abubakar
171 Hauwa Wule
172. Ihyi Abdu
173. Hasana Adamu
174. Rakiya Kwamtah
175. Halima Gamba
176. Aisha Lawan
177. Kabu Malla
178. Yayi Abana
179. Falta Lawan
180. Kwadugu Manu

Each one of them comes from that same Divine that all of us do. Each one of them has a Soul. Each one of them is worthy of being saved, of having their name said aloud in circle, in ritual, in services, in celebration. Each one of them deserves someone to place their names on an altar. Each one of them deserves to have an Ancestor enlisted, Saints, Orishas, Gods, Goddesses, Devas, and yes, Spirits enjoined to their aid. And each one of them deserves better from us as a community.

In this nation, we have the dual consciousness that as African American Pagans, when we see that majestic Oak or Poplar tree in the ritual circle, we also know that Strange Fruit may have hung from its branches. We wear the mask that W.E.B. DuBois spoke about in prose every time we hit that Sacred Space. Perfect Love and Perfect Trust are hard to come by when that Love continues to devalue Black Female Bodies and Souls as Other and not worthy of attention. That Chalice right now is a bitter cup to drink.

For those who are so moved, there will be a candle vigil and open working by the Great Lakes Witchs (sic) Council this Sunday, May 11, 2014 at 5 p.m. focusing on this issue of violence against these children. Please visit their Facebook event Lights for Life for continuing updates.

Special Note: This author chose the Beyonce video "Superpower" not because she is Beyonce, but because the message is strong.

Ashe.

Views: 43

Comment by MaryAnn on May 8, 2014 at 12:54pm

Will there be any online radio stations we could all listen to while prayers are being sent to them? I've seen a few tv broadcasts about this, and its strange to note that the president has tried asking for help overseas and no one has stepped up to help. Sad to know that no one has come to their aid, since they won't be gaining anything for themselves. Keep posting more updates!

Comment by Northern Haegtesse on May 9, 2014 at 3:46pm

Thanks so much for posting the names of these poor girls, for reinforcing the fact that they are real people living this nightmare right now! I've been praying to gods and spirits to try and send them comfort and for a speedy rescue. I hope they're saved soon!

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