Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Christians Retaliate In Nigeria

The Cartoon Protests have reached Nigeria.

Sectarian violence first erupted Saturday in the northern city of Maiduguri, where Muslim protests against cartoons caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad turned violent, razing 30 churches and claiming the lives of 18 people, mostly Christians.

It seems the Christians aren't turning the other cheek on this one.

In Onitsha, residents and witnesses said two mosques were burned down and least 30 people were killed Tuesday, most of them northern Muslims. Several local newspapers reported between 30 and 35 dead. Thousands of Muslims with origins in the north fled to the military barracks in the city.

Christian mobs attacked Muslims and their businesses in Onitsha Tuesday in reprisal against violence in Maiduguri and Bauchi, which like most of northern Nigeria, are dominated by Muslims. Onitsha, like most of the south, is dominated by Christians.

So what do Nigerian Christians have to do with a bunch of cartoons published in a Danish newspaper? Nothing, but that doesn't mean we can't just trump something up:

Bauchi Governor Adamu Muazu said on local television on Tuesday night the violence was fueled by allegations a Christian school teacher had desecrated the Quran. He said the allegations proved unfounded.

I have just one word for this.


No more denouncing the violence, no more seeing both sides of the debate, no more "free speech but with respect". No more rationalizing behavior by endlessly repeating "it's not all Muslims, it's just a small group of radicals". As far as I'm concerned, if the alleged "non-radical" segment of the Muslim population won't make any effort to forcibly control their own, why should the rest of us have to tolerate them?

How long are we going to continue rocking back and forth, humming to ourselves and hoping that common sense prevails? How long are we going to keep looking the other way while they use every conceivable "offense" - both real and manufactured - to whittle away at our way of life. We go on and on about Muslims integrating themselves into our societies, yet we refuse to see that we are, in fact, being assimilated into theirs.

So if someone decides to fight fire with fire, I have no problem with that. And if that fire just happens to be engulfing one of their precious much the better.

Are we headed towards a war between cultures? Baby, we're already there!

And that's fine with me.

There is a peace that can only be found on the other side of war.

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