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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Under the Tent of Religion: Corruption

I was just talking with  Facebook friend on why Iraq lives this drastic situation. His immediate answer was "corruption, corruption, corruption", which were the words of some Iraqi man talking on radio about what happened to our army in June 2014.

Yes, the word corruption sums all our problems. It is like seeing someone with different symptoms of sickness and every time you ask why they had their hair fall, why their faces pale, or why they look tired and so on, one gets one answer: it is corruption. 

I checked the meaning of the word: impurity, depravity and perversion; all these are attached basically to the word "moral" which explains the context of the impurity and depravity. The phrase rung many bells in my mind; actually there are tens of bells ringing in my head when i read the different meanings and contexts of corruption. it is a virus that has pierced and dominated most aspects of our lives, not just the government. After all the corrupted officials are people and their impure work ethics reflect the dishonesty of the way they think which will eventually reflect on their personal lives. 

But then I don't need to look for great corruption scandals to see how this impurity of morality has destroyed my country. It suffices to look at the department of English where I teach to realize how lethal this disease is and how far it infected all aspects of the teaching process. Take that janitor or guard, who takes money from low-achieving students to speak to teachers on their behalf inventing stories like certain student (his client) is the uncle or cousin of his deadly sick daughter (another invented lie) and that this student has spent the night before the exam or the week before handing an assignment taking care of the sick child!! Since this janitor has spent the last two years selling this story to the faculty members and made it more tragic on the payment day, he won most of the time and succeeded in taking the said student/client off the hook. (the poor guy became too conceited with his success so far that he tried the trick me and another teacher who have immunity against such lies and never believed in excuses for an exam or assignment. We both reported him to his superiors who found themselves compelled to transfer him somewhere else). 

Not that the faculty is morally immune against impurity: take that teacher who always expresses her disappointment at the students' indifference toward learning and that they are not making an effort to learn or that they don't have qualifications to be studying English. That same teacher stole a chapter of her colleague's master thesis and tried to participate or publish it as her own paper! The victim of her theft tried to stop her but other colleagues interfered and convinced him not to report the case as she would lose her job (she used few tears to win people's sympathy and she was finally off the hook).    

Then take the head of the department who decided to profit from his current position and gain more by first pleasing his superiors in ending any problems with the students even if this is was on the expense of academic integrity. 

The chain of corruption is endless and can include all: moral integrity becomes an out of date expression which can only receive pity laugh from people today. The weird thing is that all these people claim strong religious commitment: they never miss a prayer, or a religious ritual without being part of it.

Every time, I listen to their religious ramblings I wonder if religion, and faith in God and the teachings of Mohammed failed to end this corruption and lead people toward righteousness, then what is the use of all these ramblings?    

Nadia F. Mohammed