MILITANTS IN NORTHERN NIGERIA?

Monday, July 27, 2009

At least 39 people were killed on August 26th in Bauchi State as a result of clashes between armed men and police officers. According to the BBC website, "clashes erupted when 60 Islamist militants armed with guns and explosives attacked a police station." All roads leading to the area have been closed, an indefinite curfew has been placed on the state by its governor and the mortuary where victim's bodies are being kept is now guarded by the military.





This is the second time that Bauchi state has witnessed such violence this year. In February 2009, 5 people lost their lives in clashes that were described as 'religious'. Also, political fighting soon devolved into religious clashes in Jos during local government elections in 2008. This time, it appears that men from a Muslim group attacked a police station. Al Jazeera's English news website reports that the attackers call themselves members of the 'Nigerian Taliban', a group seeking to impose Sharia Law across the entire country.

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS
There is no explanation as to what, if anything, motivated this attack on the police station, other than an intent by these men to make their presence known. But, why would a group interested in spreading Sharia law conduct an attack in a Sharia state? Whatever the logic for this attack, it seems backwards and frankly, rather than attest the status of 'militants', 'Islamists' or some other classification to these men, it is more likely that this group is seeking attention. Energies would be better spent learning exactly where these individuals got their weapons from so as to prevent future attacks.

It must be stated that the United States government reported in May 2008 that the Nigerian Taliban had no ties to Al Qaeda or other Islamist militant groups anywhere else. And, Nigeria's head of the Police Force, Mike Okiro, rolled back statements suggesting that Al Qaeda had plans to attack in Nigeria. However, this new incident in Bauchi begs the question of whether Okiro and others in the federal and state government were actually aware of an impending attack by this small group of militants, though they seemingly have no ties to the larger Al Qaeda network. There is also the issue of what measures the Police, Yar'Adua administration and his son-in-law, Isa Yuguda, the state governor, have to keep citizens safe.

MISTAKES MUST NOT BE REPEATED
While it is fine for northern states to adopt Sharia law, it is unacceptable, and frankly reprehensible, for any group to even suggest that the rest of Nigeria - many of whom are not practitioners of the Muslim faith, be forced to observe Sharia law. Furthermore, this violent group must not be allowed to grow especially considering that previous governments/administrations ignored the security threat presented by militant groups such as the Niger Delta's MEND. That group has gone on to attack major oil installations, foster- either directly or indirectly- a sense of insecurity that has in turn contributed to a rise in kidnappings and other violence across the country. To ignore the future problems a group such as this alleged 'Nigerian Taliban' could cause for a country already grappling with the effects of militancy and struggling to achieve development, would be foolhardy.

Time will tell whether these alleged Islamist militants will have a larger impact on the security of Nigerians and the law of the land. Despite this, Nigerians cannot idly sit by and wait to see what happens. This group must be prevented from gaining any further strength immediately for the sake of Nigerians and the future of the nation.

UPDATE (7/28/09): It appears that these 'militants' have taken their fight beyond Bauchi State and have attacked in other states in Northern Nigeria. Nigerian authorities are now hunting for anyone with connections to the group.

UPDATE (7/29/09): Despite previous reports, Associated Press is now clarifying that the term 'Taliban' was attributed to these militants by certain local police and military officers. The news organization now refers to the group as Pokoharam and asserts that they "are...clamoring for the prohibition of Western education..." It also seems that a hideout for these individuals is surrounded by authorities and under attack.

UPDATE (7/31/09): The alleged leader of the militants is now reported to be dead. (Hattip to Jide Salu). Although there are now questions as to whether he was found dead or alive.


From the Archives:
- Jos: The Power of Texts & Poverty
- Boko Haram: Questions Remain
- Aftermathof Northern Islamist Attacks
- Nigeria-List of Intolerant Nations
- Religious & Political Violence in Jos
- How To Shoot Yourself In The Foot With Al-Qaeda


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NaijaBabe said...

I dont understand why we do this to ourselves. As a muslim, I understand that islam is a religion of peace, so these attacks here and there do nothing to fosters the beliefs of this religion. Besides, what is their reason for it. As you rightly said, it is all well and good for the Northern states to adopt Sharia Law, considering possibly 80% of the population of those states are muslims (although becoming an inconveneience to those who are not). I see no reason why they want to force it on the whole of the country. NIGERIA IS NOT A MUSLIM COUNTRY! If the need to enforce Sharia law is not the reason for these attacks, then I'd like to know what is.

sokari said...

the level of violence that these "religious" people inflict is quite sickening. What is worrying with this group is their religious fundamentalism - they sound like they are the Taliban!

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

@ Naijababe: Like you, I do not believe that Nigeria is a 'Muslim' country. Nigeria is a country where Muslims, Christians and others can live together and practice the religion they choose. It would be silly to insist that Nigeria was a Christian nation despite the fact that it is a major religion practiced by citizens.

These young men have wasted their efforts. At what point do they think that Southern Nigeria will agree to Sharia law? Not to joke, but MEND boys would likely blow these taliban-wannabe's before that ever happened. Matter of fact, I suggest that MEND, in an effort to show its actual commitment to its 'cause' go sniff out those Taliban boys and deal with them. Okay, I'm just kidding. I'm not interested in escalating any violence, but the possibility is interesting.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

@ sokari: The problem I have is with people who twist religion into a weapon used to oppress others, create artificial divisions and support violence.

Honestly, these 'Taliban' boys need some dogonyaro or something that will cool them down because violence only benefits those who make weapons and take advantage of insecurity.

However, I am hesitant to actually attribute any affiliation between these cats and the actual taliban. It is very possible that this group is simply looking for attention. Thanks so much for coming by!

Beauty said...

Has anyone looked at the Baba Mayguard (Oxbridege ed spelling) angle?

Posted by Andrew Eyo on Jul 27 2009 in 234NEXT.com. They have started again. The business of politiking is now taking the chess dimension where moves are anticipated, triggered and countered to serve selfish ends. postulation 1 ... Yuguda is trying to prove himself a saving grace to the people by triggering this mayhem, sacrificing some souls to get the sympathy and love that the people once had for him before returing to his vomit (PDP) thereby guaranteeing his 2011 success. postulation 2... ANPP is trying to heighten the sympathy for the ousted deputy governor who isa has now turned to a mathyr now so as to heat up 2011 to their favor. Postulation 3... Somebody is trying to use our heads in the project called Bauchi state, cos the arguement that the group has already in existence with their mission known all along and they choose the right time (NOW) to strike cos somebody somewhere picked the right time (NOW) to arrest their leader. Bottom line. Whoever is doing this should remember that as they plot their intelligent moves we are also following being ahead of them all the while.remember that even if the literacy level in bauchi is low that is not true of the or the part of Nigeria especially The south and West.

My World said...

SSD,Its nt only in bauchi...
I hear Maid is also hot right now.
It startd long b4 we went on strike and the fact that it has re-surfaced shows that d Borno state govt is taking it 2 lightly....
All I can say is,may God help Naija!!!

Aribaba said...

This is a sad scenario cos the people actually behind these acts are local religious leaders who cause on this trouble for political gains... It's sad and I wish we get past this.

STAN said...

The body count was definitely above 100 from what we saw on tv. It's sad.

N.I.M.M.O said...

SSD, its gone beyond Bauchi into Borno now and a town in Kano too. Body count is closer to 300 than 100, sources say.

Obviously this was planned but somehow I feel it wont succeed.

For one, this is not the usual Muslim against Christians or vice-versa, these guys are against EVERYBODY!

Reports are that the military are there in Maiduguri with the police. The militants are holed up in the leader's house. Hopefully this nightmare will be over.

Beauty said...

Look again
At the heart of the radical Islamic insurgency that sparked this week's violence is dire poverty and political maneuvering — not religion.

The attacks on police that have killed more than 80 people have been committed by frustrated, unemployed youths and orchestrated by religious leaders and politicians who manipulate them to retain power.
source ap

Anonymous said...

you got it wrong maaam. these people are not for the imposition of sharia per se. they are against muslims going for modern education. they want muslims to withdraw and start living as life was lived thirteen hundred years ago. no electricity, no pipe borne water, no cars and nothing modern things. and believe it or not they count educated muslims among their enemies. not christians or jews etc. right now they are seeking to take revenge on the police who killed about 20 of their members in borno. they call themselves boko haramun ie

Beauty said...

@Anon, how do you think most people in Bauchi or Nigeria live today anyway? "and start living as life was lived thirteen hundred years ago. no electricity, no pipe borne water, no cars and nothing modern things and believe it or not they count educated Muslims among their enemies"??? Where would you put Nigeria in 2009? Educated Muslims & Christians that wants to stone gay people to death?

Anonymous said...

@beauty ... as a muslim i know where i want to put myself in 2009. living a life of 21st century complete with all the modern trappings: cars, electricity, cell phones etc. woe to those who want me to go back 1300 years.
as to gays, lesbians etc i do not subscribe to stoning them just like millions of other nigerians. but many do want them stoned and to me this reflects our diversity in opinions. even in the USA there are those opposed to lesbians and gays.

9ja_Kuti said...

and the human sacrifices of our democracy continues....

Beauty said...

@anon "as to gays, lesbians etc i do not subscribe to stoning them just like millions of other nigerians..." The difference between USA and Nigeria is clear since 21st century life style was founded in freedom. Self determination gave us the phone, web, telsa, cars etc but those wishing ill of other people belong to the same basket as those in Boko Haram led by Mohammed Yusuf.

Freedom to choice and freedom to vote enables education hence progress. Does Nigeria today of no electricity, no pipe borne water reflect modern? Again, the only way forward is freedom! Not religion, not sharia, nor bad leadership.

Sugabelly said...

@Solomonsydelle: You cannot say that it is acceptable that 12 states adopted Sharia Law.

Nigeria is a SECULAR nation. The adoption of any kind of religious law directly contravenes the Constitution which is THE ONLY LAW that Nigerians should be beholden to.

We are NOT an Islamic country, and we are NOT a Christian country. It is already WRONG that Sharia Law exists in Nigeria.

If Yar Adua had a grain of sense he would have abolished Sharia Law.

Sharia Law has destroyed this country. It has not contributed ONE THING of value to the lives of Nigerians. Rather Sharia Law has been extremely detrimental to Nigeria maiming able-bodied citizens who could have otherwise contributed meaningfully to the society.

I do not say this because I am a Christian. I do not say this because I like the West (which I don't anyway). I say this because Sharia Law is a retrogressive and rather stupid law that has no place in modern society. It incites and promotes violence against fellow human beings and for TWELVE states to have adopted it it shows that there are actually far more daft people in the North than I previously thought.

It is getting out of hand. This is a WARNING of what is probably to come. I'm sorry if you're Muslim but you must admit that there is something going on if Islamist fanatics are forever popping up in places where they are clearly not wanted and murdering groups of people.

If we ignore this any further we will probably have a second Civil War. It's my country too. I have a right to not want to see it ruined by a bunch of over religious idiots.

eccentricyoruba said...

@ Sugabelly, the reason there are 12 sharia states in Nigeria is because Nigeria is a republic...states can choose how to govern themselves in a republic which provides provision for the implementation of Sharia law. and i didn't know Nigeria was secular...

regarding Islamist fanatics, there are fanatics of every kind popping up in places all over and this just shows that some human beings are stupid. i personally believe that in these days the media likes to put a spotlight on Muslim fanatics because Muslims are the bad guys du jour. when i was growing up i did not hear much about Muslim fanatics even though they existed then.
____

these Boko Haram people are in the North and they are killing Muslims in Sharia states...i don't really understand their motivation. they may argue that they want to impose Sharia law and what not but i personally believe that this has nothing to do with religion. it has been stated that the majority of people undertaking these attacks are young, poor, unemployed men. that says much in and of itself.

anyway i just hope a stop is put to this esp after i read that the leader of Boko Haram himself is a Western educated man. this whole thing is pointless.

Sugabelly said...

@eccentric yoruba: True the media has put the spotlight on Muslims of late, but it still begs the question:

Why are there SO MANY Muslim fanatics?

I would argue that there seem to be FAR FEWER fanatics of any other religion than there are in Islam.

I could also probably stretch it to say that there are probably more Muslim fanatics TODAY than all the other religions put together (still today).

But this bit is of course, just a stretch - don't have documentation except for personal observation of what is going on in the world today so I can't say it's valid.

Also, many of the criticisms of Islamic factions are not entirely undeserved. Many Islamic factions are constantly calling for violence against non-Muslims, and constantly attempting to IMPOSE Islam on people that clearly don't want it, which is very, very wrong.

There have to be at least a million videos on YouTube alone of various Islamic groups announcing publicly how they plan to turn whatever country they are in into an Islamic state and how they plan to subjugate all non-Muslims to Sharia Law and so on and so forth.

In MANY Islamic countries or countries where Muslims are the majority, Christians are harassed, persecuted, prevented from having their Bibles and other Christian paraphernalia and forced to submit to Sharia and other Islamic laws.

On the flip side, I am yet to see a Christian or Christian majority country where Muslims are treated in this manner. I don't believe there is a country in this world where Muslims are not allowed to carry or purchase a copy of the Quran. Yet in places like Saudi Arabia, bibles are strictly banned. If a random country were to ban Qurans now, every Muslim in the world would be up in arms yet noone bats an eyelid at all of the gross injustices that Muslim entities and individuals continue to commit not only against Christians but against people of other faiths.

I am not saying that every Muslim is this way, thinks this way or acts this way, but I am saying that I am sick and tired of Islamist groups, factions, doctrine, and propaganda being forced down my throat without my consent. The Golden Rule is Do As You Would Be Done By.

As far as today's world is concerned, many Islamist groups and the individual Muslims that are members of those groups do NOT do as they would be done by.

In fact, if any of those Muslims were to be done by as they did, yet another mindless, ill-advised, religiously-motivated spate of killings and riots would break out.

I think people of other fates have sat by for too long and let radical and crazy Muslims push them around while all the time those same Muslim bodies and individuals are crying foul and Islamophobia. It is NOT FAIR. We all SHARE this world and nobody should have to be the unwilling victim of another group of people.

Yes, there is Islamophobia but YES there is also a VERY BIG GRAIN OF TRUTH at the heart of that Islamophobia. Islam is supposed to be a religion of peace. There would be no Islamophobia if all Muslim groups did was dance around in circles and hand out roses to passersby.

Sugabelly said...

Unfortunately, Muslim individuals have been at the root of almost every dastardly terrorist attack in modern history. And I'm not even talking about America or the West. Look at Sudan. Look at Somalia. All those countries are very near us. I don't want Nigeria to turn into another Sudan or another Somalia.

All the religious crises that are going on in Africa today are solely because of Muslims wanting to take over people's lives by force.

There are no Christian factions out there murdering Muslims and forcing them to convert to Christianity at gunpoint or blade point. There are no Christian factions out there raping women and children and selling them into slavery. There are none. There are no Christian factions out there cutting off the limbs of otherwise able-bodied young people.

Eccentric, I know you, and I know this is your religion. I do not want to hurt your feelings or offend you. I know that most Muslims are not like this, and I know that most humans just want to live in peace, but we must admit that there is a lot of drama coming out of Islam-related entities these days.

All this trouble is coming in the name of Islam (whether Islam teaches it or not). These deaths in Bauchi came at the hands of Muslims who were seeking to impose an Islamic Law on the rest of the population even though they knew that the rest of the population does not want it.

They are not the first. There are many others like them. I seriously doubt they will be the last. All are Muslims and all are doing what they do in the name of Islam. Or at least that is what they all say.

Islam, like any other religion only becomes bad when the humans that follow it become bad, but at the same time, there are a number of teachings in Islam that seem to promote/support violence in its different forms:

Pedophilia
Violence against Non-Muslims
Maiming people
Slavery
Discrimination against women

It's not fair on other people. It really isn't. I'm not trying to make out that Islam is a bad religion, what I am trying to say is that the Islamic community needs to sit down and ask the tough questions about why so much violence is coming from their quarter and figure out what they can do to stop it.

Every human has the right to be left in peace. I don't want to live in a country and be always looking over my shoulder because I know groups of crazy fanatics are forever trying to enslave me to their beliefs.

I believe that Muslims and Islam should give people of all other faiths the respect that has been given to them. Muslims have not been denied access to their religion, and as far as I know Muslims in Nigeria have never been persecuted for their religion EXCEPT for after THEY already persecuted Christians and burned down churches and other things.

I just want to live in peace. Boko Haram should please move to Saudi Arabia.

Sugabelly said...

Crap! I said Fates instead of Faiths. This is what midnight blog surfing will do to you.

eccentricyoruba said...

i believe there are only so many Muslim fanatics at this point in time. i'm not offended by what you have written at all, this seems to be the major viewpoint and i sort of understand why you will think this way.

i do not know why there are so many Muslim fanatics and i do not know why i should be expected to. of course it is wrong of them to try to impose Islam on those who are not interested in the religion. the thing most people seem to fail to understand is that both Muslims and non-Muslims face harm from these fanatical groups. i personally believe any criticism of any fanatical group is much deserved. it is more than a Muslim vs non-Muslim thing and it should not be painted as such. Muslims are also at risk because of extremist elements in their midst...

please i keep on hearing about these MANY Muslim countries that harass Christians and i will really like to see names. yes violence against Christians happen in some majority Muslim countries but this does not make this a frequent occuring or a law. violence against Jews happens in Europe and this doesn't make the news, there is not as much outrage at such events as they deserve. violence against Christians also happens in India and i do not see people talking about this.

and i think you may be misinformed about Saudi Arabia though again i am not sure. to be honest i do not even care much about that place. the thing about places like Saudi Arabia and Iran is that they are NOT democracies and are instead theoracies, which obviously is to their detriment. Western states will NOT start acting like these countries because they are DEMOCRATIC! (God bless democracy!!!) but then again what happens in Saudi Arabia really does not reflect me as a Muslim, i mean it is a whole country and i'm an individual. apart from Saudi Arabia, which is questionable, i cannot think of any other Muslim majority country in which Christians are prohibited from practicing their faith. again a list of countries where such things happen will be much appreciated. and i am not talking about periodic violence oh, Sunnis attack Shia in some countries yet Shias still practice their faith. now i'm not saying that periodic violence is accepteable. i will just like to know in which Muslim country there exists a law banning Christians from practicing their faith.

okay and please do not believe that Islam is the religion of peace oh! it is not at all. i'm Muslim and i will tell you this. (who is spreading this rumour?) if any religion is the religion of peace, i will choose Buddhism...though it is not a religion of peace either.

i personally do not think Nigeria will become another Sudan or Somalia. Somalia's problem is more than religion though now it is the extremists that are hindering development and progress. Sudan's problem is more than religion and is ETHNIC CLEANSING in other words even Muslim Africans are being targeted. and the ethnic cleansing thing is linked with resources such as oil that has been found in that region. religion is not the sole factor in like any extremist incident in modern history. it is more than religion. all i am getting from this is that it seems to be more of an issue when Muslims kill non-Muslims as opposed to Muslims. i have seen elsewhere when Muslims kill Muslims, it is not important. but the thing is what role does religion play in such events then?

eccentricyoruba said...

the thing is even if i admit that most drama is coming from Islam related entities (and i am not arguing with you though my political drama is of the East Asian variety) what difference does it make? it won't change a thing. it really saddens me but there really is not much i can do.

the thing with Islam as opposed to Christianity that i feel people must understand is that Islam has regressed instead of progressed with time. in Islamic civilisations in history, Christians and Jews were allowed to practice their faith. it was the 'pagans' that faced the hard time. but then again 'pagans' in America faced hard times when Christian Europeans decided to colonise their land.

and i do not know about pedophilia and violence against non-Muslims that is promoted by Islam...i will admit that these things did happen in the past (and still do happen in some places) but i really doubt they are unique to Islam. again like i said Islam has not improved with age, it has mostly fermented. in the early days of Islam, women had rights and their rights were enforced. they had more rights when compared with Western women of their time, yet now look at women in majority Muslim countries. some will say they are not oppressed though.

it is not fair on all of us. and the reason so much violence is coming from the Muslim quarter these days is as much political as it is religious. really it is not the everyday eccentricyoruba's fault that some people have decided to use my religion to brainwash themselves in opposing a world power or to give themselves something to do. it is not fair on me and it is not my fault. i'm not apologising on behalf of radical Muslims simply because we pray 5 times a day. i will not lie and deny that they do infact use Islam to further their goals, i will not even say something like 'they are not real Muslims'. all i know is that people do horrible things and will use religion to justify it. this does not make the religion wholly bad neither does it mean there is a problem with the religion. all it means is that humans will use anything to further their ends.

well i personally believe that there is good and bad to every religion. Islam had its heyday like 1400 years ago and it was very good in uniting the Arabs who had been fighting for years before it came. Islam started declining as soon as Prophet Muhammed died and his body was left in a room for 3 days before it was buried because his companions were arguing over who would take his place.

now however, i think Islam is only good for the people who have found their spirituality in it. as a whole there are problems that have to be fixed because things that were okay 1400 years ago are not okay now and basically Muslims have to realise that it is not wrong to let some things go (such as this slavery thing but then again no religion explicitly says slavery is wrong and i have said this 1000times). i will also argue that polygamy should be ruled off, that and some parts of Sharia law. though i do know that Sharia law is more than amputations and stonings (those are the parts to be rid of).

and i personally do not think much respect has been given to Islam...such stuff is all relative. and in Nigeria, some Muslims will say that the Christians did the wrong first so this pointing of fingers gives me a headache.

i want to live in peace too! and i agree that Boko Haram should move to Saudi Arabia.

eccentricyoruba said...

i have to apologise for the lenght! but i could not resist adding that Christians are also persecuted in China. before China gave more rights of worship to the Muslims but now things have changed regarding Xinjiang and Uighurs.

also regarding religions of peace, i vote Baha'ism! now that is a true religion of peace and tolerance plus they have no history of colonism/conquering people, enslavement (which the Buddhist have see Tibet), oppression, violence etc.

my whole point with my comments is that people should really not blame Islam...a religion is not that powerful at all. it is the people behind the religion that give it power. and things are actually more complex than that so blaming religion is very futile. the way i see it, if Islam was such a violent religion then i should also be violent and my whole family should be somewhere in the Middle East fighting for our religion.

i have read that this century is not as bloody as the previous -that had slavery, colonisation and the World Wars. humans seem predisposed to violence especially if they have something to be angry against and someone comes promising them 62 virgins (or is it 72?) which is totaly BS, i am yet to see that part in my Quran.

so before i make this even longer in summary; most people are misinformed about Islam, half of the things on the internet are wrong and sensational both from the Muslim and the non-Muslim sides. online i have seen reference to many Quran verses that DO NOT EXIST! there can never be one voice for all Muslims and especially with a religion like Islam and a book like the Quran, things are open to interpretation. today most extremist activities are based on more than religion and are most times political.

eccentricyoruba said...

*colonialism NOT colonism! and here i shall stop writing comments

Akin said...

Hello,

@eccentricyoruba,

The reason why states have Sharia is not because Nigeria is a republic, which means a nation not ruled by a monarchy but because Nigeria is a federation which is a sovereign state consisting of a union of semi-autonomous states.

Regards,

Akin

Beauty said...

@eccentricyoruba, Thanks for sharing your very long future history and comments. I wish those in Abuja would come here to learn something. May I add to your "Islam had its heyday like 1400 years ago"Thomas Aquinas´s The Summa Theologica might not have been possible without the 9th century Caliph Al-Mamun in Baghdad who demanded all of Aristotle’s works be translated into Arabic. And it wasn’t just Aristotle. Over the next 200 years, Greek philosophy, medicine, engineering and maths were all poured and sometimes squeezed into Arabic. The foremost classical proponent of natural theology, and the father of the Thomistic school of philosophy and theology might not have had his main influence, Aristole without this accident of history. How can Nigeria, yes, our backwater country, take up learning and scholarship in order to begin building a new nation?

eccentricyoruba said...

@ Akin, thanks for the correction! i knew it was one of federal or republic and i chose republic because i remember some guy i was dating telling me that Nigeria is one of the few republic countries and mentioning Sharia law...or did he really say that? anyway thanks i'm not making that mistake again. Federation, federation, federation.

@ Beauty, you're welcome. i do tend to get carried away sometimes and i do apologize to SOLOMONSYDELLE for taking over the comments section. oh and regarding Islam's heyday people like to say that Islamic civilisations brought NOTHING good to this world. which is such a big fat lie. i remember a teacher of mine in primary school telling me that i had to do well in Maths because i was Muslim. Arabs have contributed a lot to many fields and the most obvious is Math. i mean we call them Arabic numerals for a reason. Arab scholars, philosophers and intellectuals had a lot of influence in those days and whether it was because of their being Muslim can be debateable but then again Islam was responsible for uniting the warring Arab tribes. and i should stop here before i let myself go and expose my history geekiness. i think the issue with Nigeria is that opportunities have to be created so that people have jobs and can work. i mean if things were generally good for everybody, noone will bother calling for religious jihad or whatever. at least that is what i believe, i will always look at this uprising as what happens when you add a crazy mastermind; a lot of young, testoterone filled unemployed men who are angry at life in general and a wrong sense of religious fulfilment. it is a recipe for disaster.

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

@ eccentricyoruba & everyone else: please never apologize for engaging in a discussion. That is why I blog. I have been sitting back reading all the comments and learning from them.

I am trying to see how to turn this discussion into a larger learning opportunity for us all. Sugabelly's comment and the follow up discussion definitely deserves additional discussion.

Thanks!

eccentricyoruba said...

thanks for the go ahead SOLOMONSYDELLE, i have had the time to sleep and mull over this while eating indomie. i took the liberty of searching for the MANY 'Islamic' (well actually Muslim majority) countries in which Christians are persecuted and prevented from practicing their faith. from what i discovered i now believe Christians may be the most persecuted people in the world...i also believe i may know why.

first i looked at Wikipedia's list of Muslim majority countries. there are 48 countries all in all. of this, the countries i believe to be the most problematic are; Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Sudan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Somalia and Maldives. Nigeria and Eritrea can be added to this list. except in the case of Eritrea which is 50% Christian, 50% Muslim it is only Pentecostals that are persecuted not Catholics or Orthodox Christians. of course this is long but this does not make it MANY as in MAJORITY. actually having one country in which religious freedom is not enforced is a same in and thanks for the go ahead SOLOMONSYDELLE, i have had the time to sleep and mull over this while eating indomie. i took the liberty of searching for the MANY 'Islamic' (well actually Muslim majority) countries in which Christians are persecuted and prevented from practicing their faith. from what i discovered i now believe Christians may be the most persecuted people in the world...i also believe i may know why.

first i looked at Wikipedia's list of Muslim majority countries. there are 48 countries all in all. of this, the countries i believe to be the most problematic are; Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Sudan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Somalia and Maldives. Nigeria and Eritrea can be added to this list. except in the case of Eritrea which is 50% Christian, 50% Muslim it is only Pentecostals that are persecuted not Catholics or Orthodox Christians. of course this is long but this does not make it MANY as in MAJORITY. actually having one country in which religious freedom is not enforced is a same in and off itself but that doesn't suddenly make it sanctioned by Islam.

the only country which prohibits Christians from openly practicing their faith is Saudi Arabia. in Iran converting to Christianity (basically leaving Islam) can get you killed. and i made a mistake earlier Saudi Arabia is a monarchy but their legal system is based on Sharia law which lead me to conclude that they are theocratic. You can read more on Saudi Arabia from the U.S Department of State (and the Report on International Religious Freedom is a great find!).

eccentricyoruba said...

what upsets me is this idea that Islam is more predisposed to violence and oppression as opposed to other religions...ha! i discovered lots of (Christian) sites that address Christian persecution and those talked about it not only in 'Islamic' countries but also in non-'Islamic' countries such as China, India, Myanmar, Vietnam and Sri Lanka where persecution takes place at the hands of atheists, Hindu and Buddhist extremists. i believe that the only reason there are so many people around talking about what exactly Islam means, how Islam is a religion of intolerance and violence and should be obliterated to ensure peace in the world etc is all because of 9/11 and its aftermath. to me it could be any religion, people like to talk about how in modern history most violent attacks have been by Muslims but we really cannot subtract history from these events. then again i do not really think violence can be measured as we see again and again that some lives are worth more than others (you know like 1 white life is worth 1000 black lives)

regarding Christian persecution worldwide i came up with a few theories; firstly there is proselytizing. it seems members of other religions feel threatened regarding evangelical Christians. they are not threatened in the oh-this-may-actually-be-the-true-religion-and-we-are-wrong way but more in the these-people-are-coming-and-brainwashing-our-people-and-destroying-our-culture-and-causing-trouble way. put simply they are scared of something new which is in this case Christianity. it seems that in most of these countries where Christians are persecuted it is because the law does not want them to publicise their faith but i understand that some Christians find it necessary to evangelize. i've been convinced to attend church services numerous times and usually i feel more annoyed than threatened but cannot voice my objections because you know these people are my friends and i do not want to offend them.

my second theory regards the statistics that show that Christians are persecuted more by Muslim hands and is based on numbers. Christianity is the world's number 1 religion, Islam is number 2. most people in the world are either Muslim or Christian and of course the numbers vary depending on which part of the world one is in. so in any given situation, if any major religion is persecuting Christians, the odds that it'll be Muslims is high. don't know if this makes sense at all and i am not trying to excuse the suffering persecuted Christians have gone through which i find horrific.

eccentricyoruba said...

it is just that for me i do not understand how/why anyone whether Muslim or Christian could die for their religion. some Christian missionaries go to countries knowing that they may be killed for their work...i do hope people will learn new things from this discussion but if they should learn anything, it should be that is never 'us versus them' that sort of mentality has to be discarded. if we are to draw broad lines based on religion this just cuts between families, friends, loved ones etc. this mentality also ignores the fact that religion is relative, people interprete religion the way they see it. which leads me to another thing, i do wish people would make informed decisions about Islam. i see the same argument against extreme Islam everywhere and i'm like 'where the originality?' people really choose to believe what they want to and getting news/opinions from mainly the media and internet is an epic fail. there is a blog by a woman who used to be Muslim and she reads the Quran and criticizes it. obviously i do not argee with how she views the Quran however i respect her work, at least she made the effort. i will encourage people to read more about Islam (various views et al), Islamic history and civilzation etc and inform themselves if they are really keen on understanding this thing. i mean my friend who advocates Sharia law is a Christian! it was really funny when we got into this debate about Somalia and i felt it was so ironic. a Muslim arguing against Sharia and a Christian arguing that Sharia should be reformed, uplifted then enforced.

p.s this is an official hijacking!

Beauty said...

Fascinating ideas @eccentricyoruba after all, this is about us, people. Your "but if they should learn anything, it should be that is never 'us versus them' that sort of mentality has to be discarded" hits the spot. Rather than bash religion, people should just visit Pat Condell. He has it in for both Islam and Christianity. Education or what?

In the end, "At the ultimate stage, competition among nations will be competition among educational systems, for the most productive and richest countries will be those with the best education and training." - The Rise of the Virtual State by Richard Rosecrance perhaps sums it up for me. Shame the rhetoric coming out of Abuja is still in the past and that is still our big issue.

Anonymous said...

@sugabelle ..u sound like a moron to me. better go back to school and learn more about the history of civilisations

kpatrick said...

@suagabelle .. u r nor a moron. instead i think u r an intelligent lady who shares her opinion. d opinion may be inaccurate or full of sweeping staetements but still that is better than stifling everything inside. so thank you for stating ur views on islam and sharia.

kpatrick said...

@suagabelle .. u r not a moron. instead i think u r an intelligent lady who shares her opinions freely. d opinions may be inaccurate or full of sweeping statements but still that is better than stifling everything inside. so thank you for stating ur views on islam and sharia. in fact i have taken up some of these on ur blog. all those interested in the discussion should join us there.

Anonymous said...

@sugarbelly .. when i said u r a moron some people did not agree wth me. well u vindicate with full honours by blurting out so many bizzare satements on ur blog: here is one of them "all the beggars in the south have had their limbs cut by sharia courts in the north."
these are of course lies, damn lies and coming from a nigerian it smacks arrogance and yes moronic brain function.

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