There's this white mark on the wall of a bathroom in Mali and some genius(!!!!!!) has managed to convince people it's actually a mystical picture of a praying man - a message from God.
Thousands of people in Mali's capital, Bamako, are flocking to see what it believed to a religious sign on a wall that suddenly appeared last weekend.That's right, riot police. Politicians and dignitaries along with pilgrims from neighboring countries have all paid visits to this holy shrine.
Many believe the white image on the outside wall of a toilet shows a man praying, interpreting it as a message from God.
Riot police have been deployed to keep an eye on the crowd as people queue day and night to see the mark.
The BBC's Alex Duval Smith in Bamako says people do not have to pay to see the mark but are leaving money in a bucket, which the Traore family say they will give to the local mosque.Jackpot!
Naturally, a naysayer like me would look at the position of the spot - say, relative to the guy pointing at it on the right - and wonder if someone's just been peeing on the wall.
The trick to using urine for bleaching is allowing it to stand, encouraging the development of ammonia by allowing the urine to react to the air. The resulting ammonia is the cleaning agent, rather than the urine itself. Once ammonia has developed, garments can be dipped in the urine, or small amounts of the liquid can be used to treat spots and stains. To full wool, people traditionally poured stale urine over wool in a large vat, and people walked on the wool, agitating it and allowing the urine to penetrate to clean it.What would I know though? It's obviously a message from God. The supreme creator of the entire universe is communicating with mankind via a spot on a bathroom wall in Mali.
I suppose it's better than the usual public washroom communications I run into...
Obviously the conflict in Mali has worsened living conditions in the country deepening situations of poverty and misery. Many people across Mali are in dire situation and are desperately looking out for signs of Allah's presence or at least some covert intervention. Under such circumstances, patches of paint or cement can easily translate into 'true signs' of Allah's manifestation and protection.In the piece, he also asks how this stain could possibly be seen as a religious sign and why it must be an Islamic one rather than a Christian one.
I mean, Skeptics in Mali, where are you?
These are things to contemplate on the loo.
(Top image source)