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Al-Shabaab Strikes Back

One of east Africa’s most important stories has been hidden from the headlines recently: Kenya and Ethiopia’s push into lawless Somalia to wipe out al-Shabaab, the motley gang of pirates, thugs, and al-Qaeda-linked militants that has ruled swathes of Somalia for years. After a rough start, Kenyan and Ethiopian forces have booted al-Shabaab out of several strongholds. But this weekend, al-Shabaab struck back: two grenades exploded in a restaurant near the Kenyan port city of Mombasa and at a roadside prayer meeting on Sunday.

The grenades resulted in relatively few casualties: one dead and more than thirty wounded, at the latest count. But we begin to see the real damage of these attacks in the context of the wider regional conflict.

Kenya and Ethiopia are mostly Christian, and their Somali enemies almost entirely Muslim. The recent grenade attack occurred during an outdoor Christian service, where thousands had gathered to worship. After the attack, al-Shabaab released this statement:

The Kenyan public must be aware that the more Kenyan troops continue to persecute innocent Muslims of Somalia, the less secure Kenyan cities will be; and the more oppression the Muslims of Somalia feel, the more constricted Kenyan life will be.

Al-Shabaab didn’t attack Western tourists in Kenya; the grenade-thrower didn’t bomb a hotel or a government office, or try to hijack or terrorize a cruise ship. He attacked Kenyans—Kenyan Christians.

From one side of Africa to the other, violence between Muslims and Christians is intensifying. These tensions are more likely to increase than to fade away. Al-Shabaab’s statement continues:

With Kenya now perilously sailing along a tremulous sea, lacking both the political purpose and the will of its soldiers, the Kenyan public is also gradually being sucked into the maelstrom of an endless war….

Such is the law of retribution.

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  • Mike Anderson

    Terrorizing Christians? Ask the Spanish Muslims how that worked out for them.

  • WigWag

    One can easily envision a squalid summit between Hillary Clinton and Lady Ashton called to discuss the situation in Africa.

    Secretary Clinton: Isn’t it just terrible how those Christians and Muslims are butchering each other in Africa?

    Lady Ashton: It sure is but you can hardly blame those Muslims for being angry; after all, the West and its imperialism is at the root of why they’re so mad. I just wish we could erase the last 250 years of my country’s history; if we could, the world would be a much better place.

    Secretary Clinton: Well, speaking for President Obama, I am sure he thinks you’re right. He knows a little something about Kenya and he couldn’t agree more that your nation is responsible for most of the problems in today’s world.

    Lady Ashton: I wouldn’t get too sanctimonious, Hillary. Liberia isn’t exactly Monte Carlo and as I recall, it was founded by freed American slaves. No slavery, no violence in Liberia.

    Secretary Clinton: So I suppose we’re going to have to put out a joint statement from the United States and the European Union condemning the violence. What do you think we should say?

    Lady Ashton: First of all, I think it’s important that we take a balanced approach. Yes, al-Shabaab is terrorist organization intent of killing Christians but, after all, they’ve been provoked. Besides, if we don’t criticize al-Shabaab too vigorously, maybe they won’t target us.

    Secretary Clinton: Don’t you worry if we’re too evenhanded in our condemnation that we will anger the Kenyans, the Ethiopians and Christians around the world?

    Lady Ashton: Speaking on behalf of the European Union, we don’t care what the Christian world thinks. You know, Hillary, we don’t have too many Christians left in Europe and the few that we do have tend to be so far out on the left that they’re titillated every time there’s an attack by radical Islamists. You know the feeling; it’s kind of like how you and Bill used to feel when you were at Yale every time the Weather Underground blew something up.

    Secretary Clinton: Yeah those were the days!

    Lady Ashton: In my country the few Christians that we have left are so sympathetic with Muslim extremism that the Archbishop of Canterbury advocates incorporating Sharia into British Law.

    Secretary Clinton: I heard about that. I was so sorry to hear that he was retiring. What a good old chap he is. I heard that he accepted a teaching post at Cambridge.

    Lady Ashton: That’s right; but before he was Archbishop he taught divinity at Oxford. All of my friends are hoping that Rowan and Tariq Ramadan decide to get together to teach some courses. I’ve actually written to Rowan and Tariq and suggested that they put together a graduate seminar on religious tolerance as the credo for Western imperialism.

    Secretary Clinton: We need to get back to al-Shabaab. What else do you think we should include in our statement?

    Lady Ashton: Well, we need to emphasize that Muslim life is just as valuable as Christian life; we need to call on Christians in Africa to practice the maximum restraint; we need to support a dialog between al-Shabaab and the leaders of Ethiopia and Kenya and we need to develop appropriate sanctions against Ethiopia and Kenya if they show any reluctance to start negotiating with the Muslim terrorist group.

    Secretary Clinton: Do we really want to insist that the Christians in Ethiopia and Kenya negotiate with Islamic terrorists?

    Lady Ashton: We’re about to begin negotiations with Iran and they’ve supported terrorists who’ve killed more Americans and Brits than all the African terrorist groups put together.

    Secretary Clinton: Come to think of it, you’re right. By the way, I’ve got a surprise for you that I really think you’re going to love.

    Lady Ashton: Surprises are my favorite. What is it?

    Secretary Clinton: If Barack is reelected, we’re going to insist that the Israelis start negotiating with Hamas. If they don’t like it; tough! We’re going to show those [darned] Jews who the real boss is; his name is Barack Hussein Obama!

    Lady Ashton: I’m tingling all over. That’s the best news I’ve heard in months! Al-Shabaab blows up church services and Hamas blows up innocent Israelis in pizzerias. If we don’t negotiate with them what are we going to do?

    Secretary Clinton: I am just so glad that you like my news.

    Lady Ashton: You know, Hillary, one more thing occurs to me about the war between Christians and Muslims in Africa.

    Secretary Clinton: What’s that?

    Lady Ashton: You know it’s really all the fault of the Jews. If it wasn’t for the “occupation” and the fact that those [darned] Jews are just so uppity, organizations like al-Shabaab wouldn’t even exist. The Muslims of the world are [angry] for exactly one reason; the way those miserable Jews treat those horribly oppressed Palestinians.

    Secretary Clinton: That’s what we’ve been saying all along! As a matter of fact, way back in the 1980s when I famously kissed Suha Arafat that’s what I whispered in her ear; I told her we needed to get those Israelis under control.

    Lady Ashton: Yep, if we can only find a way to get Israel to surrender to the Palestinians the problems between Christian and Muslim Africans would just melt away.

    Secretary Clinton: I couldn’t agree more! Shall we have some tea?

    Lady Ashton: Let’s.

  • Luke Lea

    WigWag has a real talent for dialogue. Up to the point he introduces Jews and Israel into the conversation. Then he loses his light satirical touch. Anyway, keep it up WigWag!

  • Albert

    Is this what Huntington meant by “Islam’s borders are bloody”?

    Wouldn’t Nigeria also fit the bill?

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    Islam is and has been attacking every other religious group, its been retaliation from every other religious group that has been lacking. Islamic Culture is dying, and what we are seeing with all the violent attacks on other religious groups, and other Muslims are its death throes.

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