Beyond the Cusp

August 9, 2018

Christian Genocide in Nigeria

 

Israelis are not the only people whose suffering goes unnoticed by the mainstream media. Just as the fields of Jews burning near the Gaza border went unreported by much of the media and the mortars and rockets launched into Israel were ignored and only when Israel responded did reporters take notice merely to claim that Israel was shooting innocent peaceful demonstrators. Had the Gazans been peaceful instead of launching incendiary devices and shooting at IDF positions, then the reporters would have had nothing to report, as the IDF does not engage those who do not pose a threat. Just as the video we posted yesterday showed, there were Hamas terrorists shooting at IDF positions who were then engaged by an IDF tank crew which destroyed their built-up bunker killing the two terrorists within. But we are not going to talk about Hamas and Islamic Jihad or their continuing assaults on Israeli communities with their incendiary balloons and kites or their engaging IDF positions with live fire in attempts to kill the soldiers. Today we are going to talk about the slaughter which has been mostly uncovered in Africa and in particular, the terror campaign ongoing from Boko Haram in the area centered in Nigeria.

 

Just last month, over a span of four days, militant Islamic Fulani herdsmen embarked on a killing spree that reduced a dozen Nigerian villages to dust and claimed the lives of at least two-hundred innocent Christian men, women, and children. These were the villages of Nigeria’s Plateau State and were considered, according to Open Doors an organization serving persecuted Christians; the region was “the epicenter of Christianity in northern Nigeria’s Middle Belt.” This was nothing short of a genocidal cleansing of a region of all who were not Muslim. According to reporting, “No fewer than 120 persons were weekend killed in several villages in Barkin Ladi, Mangu and Riyom local government areas of Plateau State in fresh attacks by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen, while over 200 others sustained gunshot injuries.”

 

The Plateau State chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) issued a statement in Jos, the state capital, signed by the Publicity Secretary, John Akans stated:

“We received with rude shock the level of genocide going on now in Gashish District, Razat, Ruku Nyarr and Gana-Ropp, all in Barkin Ladi Local Government.
“We also note with great pains the dastardly attacks ongoing in many other local government areas in the state by the militias.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the level of continuous genocide of Plateau people. At the moment, Barkin Ladi is under siege with over 130 people feared to have been killed. As at time of this statement, the (SOM) CAPRO School of missions Gana-Ropp is under heavy attack by the militias.
“This unholy act of systematic genocide and the destruction of the cultural heritage of Plateau people must stop.
“We call on the international community to come to the aid of Plateau people as, besides the over 130 people killed, many are missing.”

 

Summarizing World Watch Monitor reports, that dusk to dawn curfews have been ordered and in what has been perceived as a ‘lukewarm’ attitude towards the ongoing murderous violence, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is seeking a second term in the coming February 2019 elections, condemned what he called “painful” and “regrettable” killings and expressed his “deepest condolences to the affected communities”. To his credit, Buhari also announced an unprecedented deployment of security forces in the region, including two police surveillance helicopters, five armored personnel carriers, three Police Mobile Force (PMF) units, two Counter-Terrorism Units (CTU) and Police Intelligence Units, and conventional police personnel from other states. Perhaps these reporters desired a more overt response like perhaps an Army Battalion being sent to the area to conduct maneuvers as part of a training exercise. That is always a great excuse for placing a large contingency of potential forces in an area to calm the natives, so to speak. Below is a video report from World Watch Monitor featuring the Reverend Gideon Para-Mallam on the situation across Nigeria.

 

 

Where these attacks have been mostly portrayed as Muslim on Christian violence, which is valid and a definite problem in central Nigeria where the northern Islamic regions and the southern Christian regions meet, one must also include the natural enmity between herdsmen and farmers which is as old as recorded history and even before. Remember Cain and Able, one the hunter, the forerunner of a herdsman, and the other a planter and gatherer, the forerunner of the farmer, and how their brotherly relations went afoul. There are plenty of reasons but the level of the violence does play more to the religious differences than anything else.

 

Burnt Remains of Home in a Christian Village in Nigeria

Burnt Remains of Home in a Christian Village in Nigeria

 

For many, particularly among the Christian communities in the Plateau and other Middle Belt States like Benue and Nasarawa where Fulani militias have been causing havoc, there is a feeling of déjà vu. Some might remember the attacks by Boko Haram during the terms of President Obama when they kidnapped three-hundred Christian girls from a school in Nigeria and threatened to sell them as slaves. Many might remember Michelle Obama’s famous picture (see below) where she was holding a sign which read, “#BringBackOurGirls” with the most dour look on her face signifying her great concern and compassion and her sharing their pain. This episode was all part of a similar series of attacks in central Nigeria somewhat east of these current attacks. Back during that episode, to President Goodluck Jonathan’s credit, it was reported that his government efforts included two special battalions from the military tasked solely to the search for those missing girls. Some of those young girls escaped and gave reports on where they had been held and a fair number, but not all, of the young women were eventually recovered.

 

Michelle Obama holds a sign with the #BringBackOurGirls hash tag

 

In a FrontPageMag.com report, they state that community members insist that these attacks are part of “a grand plan to Islamize Nigeria.” According to a Dr. Soja Bewarang, the murders are “no longer farmer and herder clashes” but, rather, a “deliberate attempt to conquer and occupy the land of the people’s ancestral heritage.” What makes these killings even a greater tragedy is the near complete lack of mainstream media coverage with absolutely or next to nothing reported on the nightly news. Americans and Europeans are left completely uninformed about the Islamic war against Christians going on in Nigeria and the rest of northern savannah in Africa where the Islamic regions which extend down from the Mediterranean Sea meet the Animist and Christian regions of central and southern Africa in what is called the African Transition Zone. This zone reaches clear across Africa from Somalia to Senegal. The lack of coverage of the problems in this region cannot be laid at the feet of President Trump any more than they could be used to place blame on President Barack Obama, President George W. Bush, and President Bill Clinton to as far back as one desires to go. The last Presidents to challenge the Islamic terror presence in Northern Africa were President Thomas Jefferson and President James Madison during the First and Second Barbary Wars. Some have referred to President Reagan’s brief encounter with Libya as the Third Barbary War, humorously we hope. Still, what is happening along the borders of the Islamic World and the Animist and Christian Worlds in Africa is a travesty only exceeded by the lack of interest by the mainstream media. Choose whatever reason you prefer for their lack of coverage, the victims are people of color, the perpetrators are Islamic and they fear being tagged as Islamophobic, there is no glory or sensationalism, to them it is old news as it has been continuing for decades now and they reported on it once or whatever other lame excuse fits your fancy. Whatever their reason, people are being murdered in the hundreds and even into the tens of thousands over the decades long history and unless it has some unusual twist such as when Michelle Obama and the world momentarily cared about three hundred young Christian school girls abducted in the middle of the night with a number of school officials murdered for attempting to prevent the attack, then the media sat up and paid attention, momentarily. We would like to ask and challenge, where are the media now?

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

May 9, 2014

Boko Haram Kidnapped School Girls Still Held Hostage

Boko Haram, an Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group, kidnapped three-hundred Christian girls from a school in Nigeria and is threatening to sell them as slaves. Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Boko Haram terrorist group, made the threat horrifically clear, stating, “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the Market by Allah!” After a burst of laughter he continues, “There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women!” Boko Haram in a similar attack in 2013 stormed a school in northern Nigeria massacring at least fifty students. There is actually a unifying theme in these attacks with the meaning in English of the terror group’s name, Boko Haram, which means “Inauthentic Forbidden Ideas” in the Hausa language prominent in Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north, by which they claim that any education other than the study of the Quran is inauthentic and thus forbidden and evil form of study and those partaking or providing such education must be eradicated. Boko Haram is also known for their attacks on Churches and other Christian buildings, businesses and communities throughout Nigeria especially in the northern and bordering provinces.

 

The situation has raised a hue and cry from numerous sources beginning in Nigeria where President Goodluck Jonathan has received a hail of criticisms demanding to see more actions from the government. Doyin Okupe, a spokesman for President Jonathan, told CNN, “The president and the government (are) not taking this as easy as people all over the world think. We’ve done a lot but we are not talking about it. We’re not Americans. We’re not showing people, you know, but it does not mean that we are not doing something.” To the government’s and President Goodluck Jonathan’s credit, it has been reported detailing government efforts which include two special battalions which have been tasked solely to the search for the missing girls. Further, helicopters and aircraft have already searched between two-hundred and three-hundred areas and are to continue surveillance over additional locations. The government has indicated that they have plans to dedicate further forces in the operations to locate and rescue the girls.

 

As far as any assistance to be provided by the United States, President Barack Obama, according to NBC News, on Tuesday stated, “So what we’ve done is — we have offered, and it’s been accepted — help from our military and our law enforcement officials. We’re going to do everything we can to provide assistance to them.” Further information was provided by the United States State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, “The help includes the creation of a ‘coordination cell’ to provide intelligence, investigations and hostage negotiation expertise… The cell will include U.S. military personnel.” Additional comments come from Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine who told CNN, “More can be done by this administration. I would like to see Special Forces deployed to help rescue these young girls. Some of these girls are as young as nine years old. They’re being sold into slavery, forced into marriages, required to convert. This is just horrible.” The situation has turned even more serious as since the initial abductions there have been additional abductions of at least eight girls between the ages of twelve and fifteen, who were snatched Sunday night from the village of Warabe, a small rural village near the border of Cameroon, an area considered a stronghold for Boko Haram. Additionally, Boko Haram has struck the town of Gamboru Ngala, which is also on the border with Cameroon, where gunmen razed scores of buildings and fired on civilians as they tried to flee. Ahmed Zanna, Senator for the Gamboru Ngala area, the death toll at three-hundred quoting statements from local residents. The town had been left unguarded as the soldiers normally based there were redeployed as part of efforts to rescue the kidnapped girls.

 

Boko Haram has assaulted numerous churches and other Christian targets often bombing churches during Sunday services in order to maximize fatalities. A report from January 27, 2014, Boko Haram struck a church in Waga Chakawa, a village in Adamawa State, killing at least twenty-two people. Reports from the scene related that members of the Boko Haram sect attacked a Catholic church in the morning setting off explosives and firing into the congregation. Furthermore, many houses were also burnt during the siege which lasted approximately four hours. In an infamous Easter Sunday attack it was reported by 247ureports.com, unknown gunmen, likely from the Boko Haram terror group, assaulted communities of Wukari in the Taraba State starting the attacks at about 1:30am on Sunday Easter morning and continued till 3pm Sunday Easter afternoon. Reports confirmed that a church was burnt down during the attack along with many homes belonging to non-Muslims. Subsequent reports placed the fatalities as high as one-hundred-fifty innocents. This assault came mere days after the reports of a massacre of over two-hundred lives in Nyanya attack by Boko Haram in the Abuja federal capital territory. Additionally, back in 2011, Boko Haram conducted a suicide attack on the United Nations building in Abuja killing at least twenty-five people. A quick perusal of a search of the Internet gives results of numerous terror attacks against Christians and even other Muslims who have opposed the group’s tactics openly. They include targeting government instillations, churches, homes, businesses, bus depots and any place where people might congregate. The totals are simply horrific and because these assaults take place in Nigeria, not exactly a top vacation spot or a place under constant focus of the mainstream media mostly gets little coverage with whatever coverage received seldom hitting the front pages as this current attack has taken. This does not mean that the terrorism committed by Boko Haram is any less significant or horrific than any other. Actually, it is worse than much of the terrorism that receives front page coverage and headlines from the mainstream media.

 

We have covered the horrors of Boko Haram with a summary of some of our articles which can be found  here. May we express our prayers that the abduction victims of Boko Haram are recovered safely and that they are capable of making some form of a recovery from their traumas and find a path to a normal and fulfilling life despite their harrowing experience. Our thanks and best goes with those tasked in locating and rescuing these young women and G0d’s speed in the fulfillment of their tasks.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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