Friday, March 09, 2007

What Nigeria Taught GWB

S'pose that GWB's intel folks also told him about the situation and its resolution in Nigeria?

...serious Muslim/Christian difficulties broke out for the first time in 1978, when a local sheikh began preaching the need for an Islamic uprising. The pretext came with a Pentecostal revival in the northern city of Kafanchan in 1978, when a Muslim woman grabbed a microphone to shout anti-Christian slogans. Things got ugly, which triggered anti-Christian outbreaks by Muslims in Kaduna and elsewhere.

...Wuye said he watched as Christians were targeted by Muslim extremists, with no support from the local police or army forces.

...They picked their targets carefully, Wuye said, going after wealthy Muslim-owned businesses to make the point that it wouldn't only be Christian elites who suffered when violence broke out. It was when the reality that Muslim property-owners too had become vulnerable began to sink in, Wuye and others said, that interest in dialogue on the Muslim side began to stir.

...many locals say that dialogue may never have begun if Nigerian Christians hadn't learned to stand up for themselves. That is, they believe the Muslims might never have come to the table if they hadn't been forced to do so by a growing Christian capacity to answer Muslim-initiated violence blow-for-blow.

What's the upshot?

For three years in the mid-1990s, James Wuye, a Pentecostal preacher and former leader of an anti-Muslim Christian militia, worked tirelessly to launch a pioneering new effort in Christian/Muslim harmony in his blood-soaked region of northern Nigeria

...working side-by-side with an equally-well-known Muslim terrorist leader.

So far, so good, although there are occasional problems.

(Original article by John Allen, NcR)

1 comment:

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