The fanatical no-nothing pseudo-Islamic sect Boko Haram has issued an ultimatum to Nigerian Christians living in the mostly Muslim north of that country: get out within three days or face dire consequences. The group’s spokesman, a Mr. Qaqa (who probably does not want to know why American schoolchildren snicker when they hear his name) has also threatened Nigerian troops enforcing a state of emergency in the north and urged Muslims living in the south to come ‘home’ lest Christians attack them there.Religious tensions in Nigeria are rising after a wave of church bombings and other attacks, for many of which Boko Haram claims responsibility. Nigerian Christian leaders have warned that Christians will defend themselves if attacks continue; there have also been incidents in which Christians have attacked and massacred Muslims.Nigeria has already had one brutal civil war since obtaining independence from Great Britain. The Biafran War caused up to three million deaths out of a total Nigerian population of about 60 million at the time.A new civil war could well be much worse. Nigeria’s global importance has grown with its oil reserves, and a conflict that saw the mostly Christian (oil rich and more developed) south against the mostly Muslim north could draw in radicals and extremists and generate new sects and new terror groups across the volatile and shifting Christian-Muslim line in Africa.Any sign that large numbers of Christians were moving south and Muslims north in Nigeria would be worrisome. In a country where many people are desperately poor and cannot easily uproot themselves, people would move only if they feared for their lives.The fanatics of Boko Haram (the name means ‘western knowledge is prohibited by God’) may hope to spark this kind of wider conflict. Let us hope it fails, and wish the authorities in Nigeria every success as they seek to defend people of all faiths and ethnic backgrounds.Nigeria has a history of avoiding catastrophe, but the appearance of a well organized and apparently well funded terror group like Boko Haram is worrying. Via Meadia will be keeping an eye on this.
Boko Haram Tells Christians: Run or Die
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