The War on Common Sense

This is incredibly sad. Muslim clerics in Kenya have agreed to campaign against the use of condoms as a means to prevent HIV infection. Over here, the author asks if it’s a war “on common sense”.

“A lot of money is being wasted to poison our community … a huge amount of money is spent on buying condoms, buying immorality,” Sheikh Mohamud Ali, of Garissa district, told IRIN/PlusNews.

The leaders agreed to actively preach against the use and public promotion of condoms as a strategy to contain the pandemic and prevent pregnancy. They also agreed to oppose the distribution of condoms in villages and educational institutions across the northeast […]

The leaders expressed their view that the best way for the youth to avoid HIV was through the observance of Islamic teachings such as fasting, regular prayer and shunning extramarital affairs. They advised men to avoid looking at women, who should dress modestly […]

“After all, we have heard in the past that the Western world is using the condom to eliminate Africans, and Muslims in particular.”

Well, that’s great, isn’t it? More religious leaders who are actively against the use of life saving contraception. Luckily for them, the rate of infection is low in their region (1.4%, compared to 5.1 nation wide). But still, can we afford to back track like this? It’s also extremely unfortunate as people
can pick up on this and assume that this is the position taken by Muslims – which is untrue. In West Africa, some progressive religious leaders are harnessing their influence to have a positive social impact. Meanwhile, there are stories pouring out of the continent on a daily basis about preachers and pastors who condemn HIV/AIDS and infected patients.

In other, completely unrelated news, I read this story about “$2.99 gas

Chrysler’s new incentive program that guarantees consumers who buy one of their new cars or trucks won’t pay more than $2.99 a gallon at the pump for the first three years they own the vehicle.

Random incredibly large SUV

And the author proceeds to tell us that he thinks it’s a “brilliant idea”. I just wrote about how Americans (and Westerners in general) have hard time getting to terms with the fact that their lifestyle and habits will have to – at the very least – be modified. The fact that Chrysler offers this (probably following massively expensive market studies) is very telling – to me, it represents people clinging on to an obsolete way of life. Isn’t it time to move away from cheap gas, precisely because it perpetuates a very unsustainable life style?

The Chrysler offer is going to appeal to people who refuse to face the facts – that the era of cheap gas is over, or nearly over (even if it happens in 20 years, that is not a very long time to contend with). Am I the only one who finds this incredibly near-sighted??

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