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Sectarian attacks in Iraq and Christian Church bombed in northern Nigeria

Sectarian attacks in Iraq and Christian Church bombed in northern Nigeria

Walter Sebastian and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Islamists once more have killed innocents during the religious period of Eid al-Adha, including a bomb attack which killed several children near a play area in the capital of Iraq. In Afghanistan worshippers were killed while praying inside a mosque and in Syria several terrorist attacks have taken place. Meanwhile, in northern Nigeria a Christian church was hit by a bomb attack. Therefore, religious zealots within the Sunni Islamic faith have been going on a killing spree like usual during this holy period for Muslims.

The Iraqi authorities clearly understand the mindset of Islamists because security was tightened. However, despite greater precautions, it is abundantly clear that little can be done to stop determined terrorists from spreading death, hatred and sectarianism. Even laying bombs near a school playground during Eid doesn’t concern Sunni Islamist fanatics who are being indoctrinated by Islamist clerics.

Sadr City in Baghdad is overwhelmingly Shia and the double-bomb attacks left at least 13 people dead. Whereas the attack in the Bawiya area of the same city, killed seven people including the lives of three children who just wanted to play. The death toll may increase further but clearly Muslims and non-Muslims can’t even rest in peace during holy periods. This is because of the hatred of Islamists who lack any notion of morality.

In northern Nigeria the same Islamists which seek power and control by fear, hatred, violence and spreading sectarianism, have once more attacked a Christian church. Sometimes, the same Islamists attack Muslims for desiring peace with their fellow Nigerians. Therefore, just like in Syria, nobody feels protected in certain parts of northern Nigeria from religious zealots which seek to spread chaos, sectarianism and fear. The same menace is now turning against Sufi strands of Islam in northern Mali and Libya, just like hatred is widespread towards the Shia, Ahmadiyya Muslims, Christians, Hindus and others in Pakistan.

It must be remembered, that some Islamist clerics are demanding the slaughter of Alawites and the Shia in Syria. Christians are also attacked by the same religious fanatics who recite the Koran while beheading people and torturing in unbelievable cruelty. Mainstream Sunni Muslims face the same wrath in Syria if they support a united Syria based on the mosaic of this nation.

The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, referred to the need that “all churches in the Arabian Peninsula must be destroyed.” Similarly, the same nation is exporting hatred within the educational curriculum and for this reason monitoring is essential. Therefore, it is clear that something is wrong within certain branches of Islam which seek to rule by fear. After all, they have no qualms in killing Muslims and non-Muslims alike in order to fulfill their hatred and spread sectarianism.

Currently it is known that seven people have been killed by a suicide bomber against a Christian church in Kaduna, northern Nigeria. Christians in this church, just like Muslims in the mosque in Afghanistan, were praying to the God of Abraham. However, for Islamists, you have no sanctity to either life or holy places – therefore, both holy places were attacked during Eid.

Several months earlier in June over 50 people were killed in the same part of northern Nigeria after three Christian churches were attacked. This reality meant that security officials in northern Nigeria, just like in Iraq, knew that during Eid that Islamists would try to ferment more hatred. The desire of Islamists is to spread fear in the hearts of all people, irrespective if Muslim or non-Muslim, in order to rule by fear. Likewise, the other objective is to spread sectarianism therefore Shia Muslims are frequently killed and attacked in several nations.

Baseem Mohammed in Bawiya, Baghdad, told AP news that “Nobody expected this explosion because our neighborhood has been living in peace, away from the violence hitting the rest of the capital….We feel sad for the children who thought that they would spend a happy time during Eid, but instead ended up getting killed or hurt.”

The Shabaks in Iraq were also killed in Mosul in the northern part of this country. This minority fully understands religious hatred because many attacks have happened against the Shabaks after the US led invasion of Iraq.

Other attacks by Sunni Islamists in Iraq have also killed Shia Muslims from Iran who were on a religious pilgrimage during Eid. This reality means that mosques, churches, pilgrims, children and so on – are not free from Islamist hatred even during holy Muslim periods like Eid and Ramadan.

 

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

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Nigeria and the Sunni Islamic insurgency of Boko Haram : over 170 killed in Kano

Nigeria and the Sunni Islamic insurgency of Boko Haram : over 170 killed in Kano

Boutros Hussein and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Islamists in northern Nigeria have killed more than 170 people in the city of Kano after many bomb blasts and gun attacks. It is clear that Boko Haram is not only increasing its violence but the sophistication of attacks also points to greater training and funding. This in itself shows the severity of the crisis in Nigeria because Boko Haram doesn’t recognize the current political and legal system of this country.

In recent months radical Sunni Islamists have attacked Christian churches, the security forces, local police stations, and any area which is deemed to be a threat to their power objectives. It is abundantly clear that members of this Islamist movement deem Christians to be infidels and worthy of killing and the same applies to Muslims who don’t support their draconian thinking. Therefore, Christians in northern Nigeria fear further attacks and the bloodletting threatens to ignite new flashpoints in other parts of this country.

In an article called “Boko Haram: Nigeria’s growing new headache” which was published by The International Institute for Strategic Studies, it was stated that The increased sophistication of Boko Haram’s attacks may be partly explained by growing foreign support. There has been speculation – though without hard evidence – about interaction with al-Shabaab, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia, including possible training of Nigerians. In August 2011 General Carter Ham, Commander of the US Africa Command (AFRICOM), said it was likely that Boko Haram had established contacts with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and with al-Shabaab. He described this as, if confirmed, ‘the most dangerous thing to happen not only to the Africans, but to us as well’. In November, Algerian Deputy Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel said he had ‘no doubts that coordination exists between Boko Haram and al-Qaeda’, citing intelligence reports and common operating methods.” 

However, it is easy to play the “al-Qaeda” card but instead the focus should be on the trinity of the Koran, the Hadiths, and Islamic Sharia law. Muslims, just like Christians in Nigeria, don’t belong to one strand of thinking and Islamic clerics opposed to Boko Haram also face the threat of death. Yet, the methodology of Boko Haram does follow the path of Sunni Islamic radicalism in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Somalia – and this applies to forcing terror against all and sundry who oppose an Islamic state based on Sharia law.

Also, while non-Muslim minorities are attacked and killed the same applies to killing fellow Sunni Muslims and different sects within Islam, for example killing Shia Muslims and so forth. Therefore, instead of linking the “al-Qaeda” bogeyman it is more reliable to focus on the binding reality that the trinity of Islam, the Koran-Hadiths-Sharia, was and continues to be used for supporting violence against all thought patterns which oppose this “limited worldview.”

In Nigeria the central government bowed down and allowed Sharia law in northern Nigeria to spread in power and for Christians, followers of Traditional Beliefs, secularists, moderate strands of Islam, and so forth; this didn’t quell the problem but merely inspired greater militancy. Not only this, it highlighted the fault-lines within Islam itself. Also, Saudi sponsored missionaries and training in Saudi Arabia further increased a limited world view of Islam which was based on being the sole power mechanism in Nigeria.

In Somalia, for example, where Sunni Islamic radicals are intent on spreading their Islamic inquisition and killing every single Christian in the country, it is clear that Arabization and outside meddling from the Middle East is altering the landscape. Therefore, Sufi Muslims in this country also fear the ongoing changes within Islam and the role of outsiders in spreading this indoctrination, which boasts of “purity” and “piety” while enforcing the sword on all perceived enemies.

The vast majority of Nigerians support a multi-religious and multi-ethnic society despite complex ethnic issues and other factors. However, in the eyes of Boko Haram they desire an Islamic state based on Islamic Sharia law and in their eyes the central government and secular laws have no validity.

Boko Haram also desires to spread sectarianism because this will further their view that they are the “Guardians of Islam” and not Muslims who support a united Nigeria. It is essential that Christians, Muslims, secularists, and people from all political persuasions who support a united Nigeria to stand up to this new tyranny. After all, if the “house is divided” then Boko Haram will be hoping to fill the vacuum.

http://www.iiss.org/publications/strategic-comments/past-issues/volume-17-2011/november/boko-haram-nigerias-growing-new-headache/

leejay@moderntokyotimes.com

http://moderntokyotimes.com

 

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