Stacy L. Harp
It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast in the city of Zaria, but extremist group Boko Haram has been blamed for hundreds of deaths as part of its insurgency in northern and central Nigeria.
Investigators said the blast was the result of an improvised explosive device. The targeted area included the school as well as the worship center.
Sound like a familiar story? In this case, it involved the Salafi, students who are studying Sunni Islam. Todd Nettleton, spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs USA, explains what this might mean. “I think it goes to show the nature of Boko Haram, that they have a very narrow vision of what Islam is and what it should be, and they want all Nigerians to fall within that very narrow vision.” Nettleton goes on to say that reports indicated “the Salafist cleric who runs this Islamic boarding school has been at odds with Boko Haram in the past. It seems like that is a strong possibility of a Boko Haram attack in Nigeria.”
The violence came a day ahead of commemorations marking 52 years of Nigerian independence. However, says Nettleton, “They celebrate independence, but I think there’s a real threat to their independence that is growing in northern Nigeria among Boko Haram.”
Nigeria’s north has been hit by scores of deadly attacks attributed to Boko Haram. In the last two years, their rebellion has cost 1,400 people their lives.
While Boko Haram has claimed to be fighting for the creation of a state in Nigeria’s north, Nettleton warns: don’t be fooled. “They talk about wanting an independent state that would be run according to their vision of what true Islam is, but their demands have changed over time, as well.”
The lines have gotten muddied on what Boko Haram actually wants. The name of the group is generally translated as “Western education is sinful,” but in Hausa it literally means “book forbidden.” The founders of the group believed Islam had been corrupted by Westernization, especially education and Christianity. They also rejected the legitimacy of the state and of Muslim traditional rulers.
What they wanted, explains Nettleton, was a Sharia state governed by orthodoxy. “Obviously, Christians fall outside of that. We’ve seen attacks on churches, we’ve seen attacks on Christian institutions, but this shows that even if they [Boko Haram] think fellow Muslims are outside of what they call the ‘true teaching of Islam,’ they will attack them as well.”
The battle for Nigeria’s soul intensifies. While Islamic terrorists rely on weapons and fear, Nettleton says Christians need to trust in God’s love and eternal promises. That’s also one of the challenges for the church in Northern Nigeria: the issue of fear. “Just imagine when you wake up Sunday morning and are deciding, ‘Should we go to church or not?’ If you add in the threat that ‘maybe our church will be bombed while we’re there this morning,’ you imagine the sense of fear and the sense of concern that that would raise.”
That’s what standing in solidarity would mean, Nettleton adds. “We can pray with them against that spirit of fear, and against that spirit of intimidation. I think the second issue then becomes: ‘How are we going to respond to those who attack us? How are we going to respond to the Muslims around us?’ There is obviously a place for evangelism; there’s a place for sharing.”
The bigger issue is how to respond to the violence of the insurgents and “the issue of forgiveness, the issue of loving those who society would say are our enemies. That’s a difficult thing, and that’s another thing that we can pray for our Nigerian brothers and sisters, for them to be able to do that with God’s help.”
Ask God to protect them and help them as they seek to respond in love and prayer for their Muslim attackers. Pray for the attackers, that God’s mercy and grace might pierce through the hardness of these hearts so opposed to His name. Ask God to send peace to Nigeria.
Syrian TV host kidnapped, executed by Islamists
[if Israel, and, Nazi Salafi, for sharia imperialism, could not, both, in drag in World War III? would never have been created! ] West faces dangerous game choosing ‘bad’ vs ‘acceptable’ terrorism’ – Pubblicato in data 23/dic/2012. As the Syrian war grows more sectarian and violent with each day, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov tells RT that Western powers’ habit of dividing terrorists between “bad and acceptable” could have lasting consequences for the whole world. TRANSCRIPT of the interview. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov tells RT that Western powers’ habit of dividing terrorists between “bad and acceptable” could have lasting consequences for the whole world. Syria’s chemical arsenal has become a central point of international concern since the country’s civil conflict flared up in March 2011. Syria is reportedly in possession of nerve agents including mustard gas,
[if Israel, and, Nazi Salafi, for sharia imperialism, could not, both, in drag in World War III? would never have been created! ] while NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has already accused the country’s government of deploying the Scud missiles needed to deliver it.
The worst-case scenario, as acknowledged by many governments including the US, would be for the weapons to fall into the hands of Syria’s various opposition groups – some of whom are affiliated with al-Qaeda. But to date Syria’s chemical arsenal is secure, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told RT in an exclusive interview. “Every time we hear rumors, or pieces of information come to the surface that the Syrians are doing something with the chemical weapons, we double-check, we triple-check,” says Lavrov, adding that the latest move concerning the chemical weapons was related to the Syrian government’s intent to gather
[if Israel, and, Nazi Salafi, for sharia imperialism, could not, both, in drag in World War III? would never have been created! ] and consolidate the dispersed arsenal in order to make sure that it is “absolutely” protected. However, Lavrov says it shows a “strange logic” when the Western powers involved in solving the Syrian crisis pin the full responsibility for the arsenal on the sitting Syrian government – “even if the rebels take hold of it” – and at the same time, continue to encourage the conflict by supplying the rebels with arms and money.
Meanwhile, Western governments have begun distinguishing between “bad terrorists and acceptable terrorists” on the ground in Syria, refusing to condemn acts of terror there, saying the overall context should be taken into account to explain why people choose terror – an “absolutely unacceptable,” route, the FM continues.
[if Israel, and, Nazi Salafi, for sharia imperialism, could not, both, in drag in World War III? would never have been created! ] No war can last forever, and all wars finish in the same way: parties sit down to talks. This is what will happen in Syria – and it should happen as soon as possible, Lavrov concluded. But RT had more questions for him. What to make of NATO sending Patriot missile systems to protect Turkey from a spill-over of the Syrian violence? Why did US President Barack Obama sign the Magnitsky Act amid the so-called “relations reset” with Russia? And should the UN Security Council be reformed? For more on all these issues, read RT’s firsthand interview with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov:
Should India get a permanent UN Security Council seat? RT: You’re ending your year with a visit to India.
[if Israel, and, Nazi Salafi, for sharia imperialism, could not, both, in drag in World War III? would never have been created! ] Russia has been clear in its support for India in its aspiration to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council. How do you think the much-criticized UN Security Council will benefit from India’s participation? SL: First of all, I would say that criticism is not always warranted. The latest wave of criticism was related to the fact that the Security Council allegedly cannot act on Syria. By the desire to see some action on the part of the Security Council the critics wanted to pass a resolution under Chapter 7 which provides for the use of sanctions and the use of force eventually. And Russia and China are convinced 100 percent that this would be a disaster and that this would be the beginning of a very slippery slope and would bring us to the Libyan scenario which we cannot afford anymore, and the region cannot afford.
[if Israel, and, Nazi Salafi, for sharia imperialism, could not, both, in drag in World War III? would never have been created! ] So those who say that the Council is ineffective should recall that this Charter of the United Nations provided for the veto right not just for the sake of being nice to the permanent members but because the founding fathers of the United Nations, having digested the unhappy experience of the League of Nations decided in their wisdom that unless five great powers see eye to eye on some world issue decisions would not be efficient. That’s why the right of veto was included in the UN Charter on the very strong insistence of the United States. The Syrian civil war is becoming increasingly sectarian, as Sunni-majority rebel forces fight government troops supported by country’s religious and ethnic minorities, a new UN human rights report has revealed.
[if Israel, and, Nazi Salafi, for sharia imperialism, could not, both, in drag in World War III? would never have been created! ] The report – which is based on interviews with Syrians who fled the country and covers the period between September 28 and December 16 – said that foreign fighters with links to extremist Sunni groups are infiltrating Syria to fight against the regime of President Bashar Assad. The foreign fighters, described as “militant, radical Islamists, or Jihadists,” are reportedly operating independently but coordinate with the Free Syrian Army, an armed opposition group supported by Western nations. “The commission is extremely worried by the presence of foreign fighters… who are not fighting for human rights and democracy,” said Sergio Pinheiro, the head of the independent UN commission that produced the report.
[if Israel, and, Nazi Salafi, for sharia imperialism, could not, both, in drag in World War III? would never have been created! ] While they are fighting against government forces, they are not doing so “with the same agenda as the Free Syrian Army,” continued Pinheiro. “By their own admission, they are very proud of their breaches of humanitarian law.” More than 20,000 people have been killed on both sides of the Syrian conflict since the fighting began, according to UN estimates. Most of the casualties in the nearly two-year war were civilians, and both sides are responsible for human rights abuses such as torture and executions, Pinheiro said. The rebels have hidden in Syrian cities among the civilian population, resulting in deadly government artillery and air strikes, the report said. Evidence suggests that government forces do not take sufficient precautions to avoid civilian casualties,
[if Israel, and, Nazi Salafi, for sharia imperialism, could not, both, in drag in World War III? would never have been created! ] and that the resulting attacks are “disproportionate to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated,” the report continued. The conflict has also continuously drawn in other minority groups – especially Christians, Armenians, Druze and others – who mostly support President Assad. The main divisions in Syria are between the Sunni and Alawite communities; most of Syria’s senior government and military leaders belong to the latter. As the fighting between government and rebel groups approaches the end of its second year, the conflict has become overtly sectarian in nature, the report said. The commission has received credible reports of anti-Assad groups attacking Alawites and other minority communities.
[if Israel, and, Nazi Salafi, for sharia imperialism, could not, both, in drag in World War III? would never have been created! ] In response, some of them have formed armed self-defense groups known as “Popular Committees” to defend their neighborhoods.
“We think this is a war where no military victory is possible,” Pinheiro said. “It is a great illusion that providing arms to one side or the other will help end it.”
As the conflict drags on, the belligerents have become “ever more violent and unpredictable,” leading to conduct that is increasingly in breach of international law, the report concluded.