Friday, August 26, 2011

26-Aug-11: Tentacles in Nigeria

Two years ago, TIME Magazine wrote: "A huge government operation against
the group in 2004 ended with police claiming victory. (Now the terrorists) are
back, stronger and more vicious." [Source]
Major terrorism in Africa today: An explosion at the United Nations offices in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, killed at least 18 people and injured more than 60 today. A vehicle penetrated the protective barriers at the compound and crashed into the main UN building on Independence Avenue in Abuja's central business district. (Voice of America says about 400 people work inside the UN building, located near other diplomatic offices including the U.S. embassy.)

So far, no group has claimed responsibility for the blast. But SMH says the speculation is that it was the Islamic group Boko Haram. The media are fond of writing that they draw their inspiration from Afghanistan's Taliban movement. The reality is more complex: Boko Haram opposes Western education, Western culture and modern science. Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, then the group's leader (his career ended permanently shortly afterwards), said in a 2009 BBC interview that he rejects claims that the earth is a sphere, a view that would be contrary to Islam. He opposes Darwinism and the fact that rain comes from water evaporated by the sun. Leaving serious ideology aside, the group's goal is the imposition of Shariah law in Nigeria's northern states.

Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, sits on what TIME Magazine calls a religious fault-line, the population (150 million) roughly split between a mainly Muslim north and a predominantly Christian south. For many years, the northern Muslim √©lite (says TIME) have dominated Nigerian politics, using their positions to enrich themselves and their families. More than 14,000 people died in ethnic and religious clashes in the ten years to 2009. Evidently that number was too small for the jihadists.

TIME says:
"Over the past few years a new breed of young Muslim activists, most of them educated and from the middle class, have aggressively embraced a stricter version of Islam, rejecting anything Western and Christian."
Sound familiar? Like jihadists everywhere, the Boko Harams seek (in the words of Jihad Watch) to create chaos and terror, and to create a vacuum of stable governance, and then move to fill the void with Sharia, the only "solution" they will accept to the problem of their own deliberate making.

In mid June, angered by the statement of a Nigerian police chief that 'the days of Boko Haram are numbered', they delivered this self-fulfilling message in a hand-written note to a news agency: "
"Very soon, we will wage jihad. We want to make it known that our jihadists have arrived in Nigeria from Somalia where they received real training on warfare from our brethren who made that country ungovernable... This time round, our attacks will be fiercer and wider than they have been [and] will target all northern states and the country's capital Abuja".
This ongoing war has many fronts. And the forces of good are not winning.

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