Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Freedom Fighters in Nigeria?

First a question: what do you call a group of people who take up arms to prevent another group from imposing its value system? Freedom Fighters? OK, now read this article. This is a breaking story, so not many have covered it, but so far I have not seen the double-F word being applied to these people. Note also, this paragraph:

    Although the motive was unclear, the attack came a week after Hausas launched an attack on the Tarok village of Kawo, burning churches and inflicting an unknown number of casualties.

What exactly is unclear about the motive? Could it be that this is part of a larger reaction to the imposition of Sharia, or muslim law, in Nigeria? A related story from the Guardian seems to suggest that this is the case:
    New sharia regulations give the state authorities the power to demolish any "illegal structures", which Christians fear will be used to tear down their churches. They also call for businesses to close five times a day for Muslim prayers.

My prediction: these Christians who are trying to defend themselves from the imposition of a hostile religion, will not be seen as freedom fighters, if they get any attention in the press at all. Look at how long it has taken the situation in Sudan to make the news, and even now it is not considered a major story. But these African countries are the first line of defense against a militant Islam that would like to take over the entire continent.

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