RASTAFARIANS Islam interprets the relationship between a man and a woman as one, which should make many babies while living a peaceful existence. “...(God) has created men and women as company for one another, and so that they can reproduce and live in peace and serenity according to the commandments of Allah and the directions of his messenger.” On the other hand,“...(Rastafarians) view the position (of) women as a (weak-willed) one.” “...(Although) women are respected,...(and sometimes) even feared, (because of) their powers of fertility,...(their existence is still gazed upon as a fragile one).” Although both religions entrust the women with existence, thereby acknowledging that a woman’s womb is the giver of life, the women in these religions do not hold the same status as their male counterparts. The men (almost always) have extra marital affairs, and have many children, under the one condition that he keeps his wife happy “...(with the penis)” and supports his family. “(Nevertheless), the control of women by men is reinforced through myth and symbol”.
The Rastafarian religion began in Africa. Although it has no founder, Marcus Garvey’s philosophy influenced it in its beginning. Born in 1887, directed ideologies that grew into the Rastafarian movement. In the early 1920’s, Garvey was the puissant black spokesman and founder of the “Back to Africa” movement. Garvey often spoke of the reparation of his people as coming from a future black African king. On one occasion, during a speech at one the meetings, Garvey proclaimed, “Look to Africa for the crowning of a black King, he shall be the Redeemer”. A few years later that prediction was realized when Ethiopia’s king, Ras Tafari Makonnen (hence the name Rastafarian) took the throne on November 2,1930. Upon coronation, he claimed for himself the titles of Emperor Haile Selassie (Power of the Trinity) I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe Judah, Elect God and King of the Kings of Ethiopia.
Selassie was not a Rastafarian himself. He was a devout Christian. Rastafarians believe that ‘God’ is not supposed to know that he is ‘God’. That is why when a group of Rastafarians went to Ethiopia to honor him, an official at the palace told them to go away. This did not anger the Rastafarians, nor make them question their belief. Instead it made them stronger. One of the Rastafarian beliefs is that Haile Selassie I has trotted on to the perfect flesh, and sits on the highest point of Mount Zion where He along with Empress Menen await the time of judgment.
Some quick facts about Rastafarians are that they also believe that each individual group and person is self-governing. While it is often associated with dreadlocks, smoking marijuana and reggae music, the Rastafarian religion is so much more. Some symbols of this faith are that the lion of Judah represents Haile Sellasie I. It represents the King of Kings as the lion is the king of all beasts. There are also several terms used in the Rastafarian religion or what some may call ‘Rasta Talk’. If noticed after Haile Selassie, there is an ‘I’. ‘I’ or “I and I” has several meanings. The most common definition of ‘I’ is that God is in all men. The _expression "I and I" is frequently heard among Rasta talk. What it means is that no person is more privileged than the other in the basic truth of life. All people are totally equal. This is why many times Rastas will opt to use "I and I" instead of "you and I" because they believe that all people are bound together by the one god, Jah. Another term used in Rasta talk is Babylon, which is often referred to as the white political power structure that has been holding the black race down for centuries. Rasta’s believe that Jah will send the signal and help the blacks exodus, meaning mass departure, back to Ethiopia...their homeland. It is also believed that the devil is actually the god of the White man. One of the more visible symbols of the Rastafarians is the color. These...
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