… or face death:
In its latest move to effect religious cleansing in Africa’s largest country, Boko Haram — the Nigerian Islamist movement that claimed responsibility for the deadly Christmas Day bombings of a Catholic church, an evangelical church, and three police stations — is now reportedly warning all Christians in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north to evacuate by Friday or else face new attacks. It also vowed to confront Nigerian troops sent to quell four of the northern states it has targeted with violence.
Catholic archbishop John Onaiyekan, of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, appealed for help. “It’s a national tragedy. We are all unsecured. It’s not only Catholic. Today it’s us. Tomorrow we don’t know who it will be,” he said. Nigeria’s Catholic bishops report that some 200 individuals, mostly Catholic worshippers, were killed in the coordinated Christmas bombings.
According to the Vatican news agency Fides, Nigeria’s Catholic bishops called on Islamic leaders to speak up and take measures to end the violence. On behalf of the bishops, Archbishop Ade Job, president of the Episcopal Conference of Nigeria, issued a desperate plea: “Members of the Boko Haram sect have claimed responsibility for this shameful crime against God and humanity. We use this opportunity to call on our peace-loving Muslims, especially their leaders from the political, economic, social, and religious spectrums, not only to publicly denounce these acts, but for their own good and good of Nigeria . . . to do everything positive to end this movement.”
So far, this plea has been met with silence from Nigeria’s Sunni religious leaders.
I suspect that Catholics and other Christians in Nigeria are simply engaging in Islamophobia. I personally think the Arab-American Comedy tour, geared toward stopping such displays, needs to expand their appeal and go global. Such bigoted behavior targeting Muslims must be stopped and these comedians can do their part to end the extreme hatred world wide.