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Monday, October 3, 2011

Islamists and Famine Destroying Africa

The daily news from Africa is heartbreaking.  The Islamist groups are destroying so many lives.  How can people be so EVIL and claim its in the name of God?  Where are the so called moderate voices of Islam?  Why aren't they speaking out against this horror? 

An Al Shabaab soldier stands next to women during food distribution at a displaced persons camp in Shebelle, about 50 km (31 miles) south of the capital Mogadishu, July 6, 2011

al-Shabab has refused to allow Western aid in.  When they have allowed aid in, they charge fees to the aid agencies.  It is estimated that one in ten children under the age of 5 in Somali will be dead by November.  Obviously the Islamists didn't cause this famine, however they make the effects much worse by hampering aid efforts.

Burying the dead

More than 100 Christians Killed in Nigeria’s Plateau State
In Vwang Kogot, 14 Christians were killed, including a pregnant woman.
In Vwang Kogot, 14 Christians were killed, including a pregnant woman. (Photo: Compass)
Entire families slaughtered in month of attacks, apparently with military help.
A rash of attacks by armed Muslim extremists on villages in Nigeria’s Plateau state in the past month have left more than 100 Christians dead, including the elimination of entire families, sources said.

In a guerilla-type “hit and run” attack on the Christian community of Vwang Kogot, Muslim attackers at about 8 p.m. on Sept. 9 killed 14 Christians, including a pregnant woman. Survivors of the attack told Compass that the assailants raided the village with the aid of men in military uniforms of the Nigerian Army.

Many of the victims were members of a single family surnamed Danboyi.
“We heard gunshots in our village and realized that the sound was coming from a neighbor’s house, so we quickly ran to find out what was happening but saw a soldier at the entrance of the house with a gun ready to shoot at anybody who comes around, and at the same time preventing those inside from escaping,” village resident Markus Mamba told Compass. “We couldn’t get any closer because we were hearing gunshots at random, and we had no weapons with us to use to withstand the might of those soldiers, as there were quite a number of them around the house.”

Hiding, Mamba and others could only observe the killing, he said.

“After the soldiers and the Muslims left, we rushed into the place to see the destruction they did,” he said. “We discovered that 14 people were killed. Among them was a pregnant woman who died with a child in her womb – bringing the number of deaths to 15 persons. We also observed that the victims died from gun and machete wounds.”

Gyang Badung survived the attack, but his wife, four children, mother, grandmother and a nephew did not, he told Compass.

“I came home in the evening and had my meal, and right after I finished, I heard strange movement around our house and suddenly heard gunshots everywhere as my house was being attacked,” Badung said.

He jumped through his bedroom window and ran to a farm behind his house, he said.

“I waited in the bush, helpless, not knowing what to do until they left,” he said. “I saw more than nine people who came to attack us leaving into the bush and going away from our village. When I returned home, I found out that my whole family had been killed except for two sons, who were injured but survived, and my father who also narrowly escaped and ran into the bush.”

The ages of the children he lost were 15, 9, 5, and 4. His two injured sons are receiving hospital treatment.

Vou Mallam, another survivor of the attack, was with her husband and children when the raiders broke into their house. She escaped death when she found a hiding place in one of the rooms. Her husband, only son and grandchildren were killed.

“After our evening meal, we prayed and asked the children to go to bed,” she told Compass. “Suddenly we heard gunshots in our house, so I quickly crawled into the children’s room and put off the lamp and crawled again to hide under the bed in another place. I saw a soldier with a gun coming into the room, but he did not see me, and I heard some of them saying by the window, ‘There is nobody here.’

“But it was like they heard a movement and immediately started shooting. That was how they killed my husband in the place he was hiding, and my only son and his children in the other room were all killed.”

She said she heard the assailants speaking the Fulani language. Ethnic Fulani are primarily Muslim nomads in Nigeria whom militant Muslims appear to be enlisting to attack Christian communities due to the Fulanis’ expert understanding of the terrain of rural communities, area Christians said. Having lived their lives as nomads with their cattle, the Fulani have acquired the skills to surmount tough environmental challenges, area residents believe.

Dachung Dagai, pastor of a Church of Christ in Nigeria congregation in Vwang Kogot, told Compass that the village has been attacked three times since he arrived eight months ago.

“I was transferred here on Jan. 5,” he said. “The second day of my being in this place, the Muslim attackers attacked this village, and after two weeks they came again and attacked our village, killing two of our members.”

Dagi reported that assault and two subsequent attacks to security agencies, but no action has been taken, he said.

“No help or relief from the government has been received by our people,” Dagai said. “We’ve just been living with the horror of not knowing what will happen next.”

Dagai said their main concern is that Nigerian army soldiers have been involved in each attack.

“What is the government doing about the soldiers?” he said. “In some places, enough evidence has been found against these Muslim soldiers and nothing has been done. Can’t the soldiers be withdrawn from the state? We are not in a war situation on the plateau, and the soldiers were brought for peace-keeping, but they are the ones leading attacks against us. Why can’t they be withdrawn? The government officials have always said they will look into the problems, but nothing has been done.”

Adamu Tsuka, community leader in Vwang Kogot, told Compass that Christians killed in the attack were Mallam Danboyi; Zaka Danboyi; Ngyem Danboyi; Hjan Badung; Naomi Gyang; Rifkatu, 15; Patience, 9; Ishaku, 5; Nerat, 4; Dauda Badung, 22; Martha Dauda, 20; Mary Dauda, 6; Isaac Dauda, 4; Mafeng Bulus, 18; and the unborn child.

“This is the fifth time our people have been murdered,” Tsuka said. “There is nothing we can do. Many of my people have been killed. Please, we want the government to help us do something; if not, we can’t live here again.”

The January attack in Vwang Kogot village left no casualties. The second attack took place in the same month, resulting in the killing of Baba Wang Mwantap. The third raid this year took place in May, when two Christians, Bulus Pam and Irimiya Maisaje, were killed, area residents said.

On Sept. 10, Muslim extremists stormed Vwang Fwil village at about 3 a.m. and killed 13 Christians. Several others were being treated at Vom Christian Hospital, sources said.

On Sept. 8, Muslim extremists attacked Tsohon Foron village, killing 10 Christians, all members of the family of Danjuma Gyang Tsok. The attackers, surviving members of the community say, were assisted in the attack by armed military personnel of the Nigerian Army.

Those killed included Danjuma Gyang Tsok; Polohlis Mwanti; Perewat Polohlis, 9; Patience Polohlis, 3; Blessing Polohlis, 5; Paulina Pam, 13; Maimuna Garba; Kale Garba; Hadiza Garba, 10; and Aisha Garba, 3.

In the village of Zakalio in Jos North Local Government Area, at about 2 a.m. on Sept. 5, Muslim extremists killed seven Christians. The same day another group of Muslim attackers raided the Christian communities of Dabwak Kuru and Farin Lamba in Jos South and Riyom Local Government Areas, killing four Christians.

On Sept. 4, Muslim extremists attacked Tatu village near Heipang, killing eight Christian members of a family – Chollom Gyang and his wife Hannatu and their six children, including a 3-year-old, sources said. They were shot and then butchered with machetes.

The attack on Tatu village occurred less than three weeks after the killing of the family of a Christian identified only by the surname of Agbo and a staff member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God at Heipang on Aug. 15. In addition, on Aug. 20, three Christians were killed at Kwi village and one at Loton village.

Emmanuel Dachollom Loman, chairman of the Barkin Ladi Local Government Council, told Compass that there was no doubt that those who attacked were Muslims.

“I was sleeping when I received a phone call at about 12:30, shortly after midnight, that some unknown persons came to attack and killed all members of a family,” he said. “A few weeks ago, seven members of a family were killed in a similar attack. This is becoming too much to bear; the government should help us in this local government before Muslims come and wipe all of us out one day. I can’t contain this anymore; it’s too much.”

Loman said he has repeatedly reported the attacks to security agencies and the Nigerian government, but nothing has been done to protect his people.

“We have made appeals to the federal government,” Loman said. “We have told them that the Muslims in the area of Mahangar village have lots of sophisticated weapons, and that they are the ones attacking my people, but the federal government has refused to do anything about it.”

He complained to a federal government delegation that came to investigate the killing of eight family members of another family last month, he said, “but our concerns and fears have been ignored.”Other villages attacked in the past month were Rassa and Rabwat.

Muslim extremists bent on ridding Nigeria’s volatile middle region of Christianity killed five Christians in Niger state on Thursday (Sept. 22) and three others the previous week in the north-central state of Kaduna, including a 13-year-old girl, sources said.

Suspected militants from the Boko Haram Islamic sect in the Niger state town of Madala went to shops owned by Christians at a market at about 8 p.m., ordering them to recite verses from the Quran, eyewitnesses told Compass. If the Christian traders were unable to recite the verses, the gunmen shot and killed them, they said.

The sound of the gunshots compelled Christians to call police in nearby Suleja, and officers arrived to find five Christians had already been killed. Richard Adamu Oguche, a spokesman for the Niger State Police Command in the state capital of Minna, confirmed that five Christians had been killed.

He told Compass the attack was linked to members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect who have recently bombed Christian sites.

Killed in the Madala market attacks were Sunday Emmanuel, John Kalu, Uche Nguweze, and Oliver Ezemah. The identity of the fifth Christian was not immediately known as witnesses could not identify him.

Kaduna Massacre

Suspected Muslim extremists killed three Christians in a Sept. 17 midnight attack on a Christian community in Kaduna state, sources said.

In guerrilla style typical of recent Islamic extremist attacks in northern Nigeria, about 15 gunmen stormed three houses in Ungwan Rana Bitaro village in the Jaba Local Government Area of Kaduna, leaving three dead and eight wounded.

“Three houses were attacked by the attackers before they retreated into surrounding bushes,” a resident of the village told Compass by phone. “When the Muslims came, they brought out the members of these families and started shooting them and cutting some of them with machetes. The sound of gunshots forced us out of our houses, and we took to our heels since we could not fight armed men when we do not have arms like them.”

Killed were Monday Hassan, 55, his 13-year-old daughter Godiya, and his 35-year-old nephew, Istifanus Daniel. The eight who sustained injuries received treatment at Kwoi General Hospital.

A medical staff member at Kwoi General Hospital who requested anonymity confirmed the village residents’ account.

“Most of the victims brought to the hospital had gunshot wounds and machete cuts,” the hospital worker said. “Some of them with more serious injuries have been referred to the Kafanchan General Hospital.”

Dr. Danladi Gyet Maude, Jaba chief and an area Christian community leader, said the attack was reported to police.

Kaduna city police also confirmed the attack and the number of casualties, with officials saying they have ramped up the search for the attackers. Aminu Lawan, spokesman for the Kaduna State Police Command, said police have begun investigating and officers are on the trail of the assailants.

“Three persons were killed, and some others were injured as a result of the attack, but we have drafted our men to the village with a view of arresting the perpetrators,” Lawan said.

The murders follow similar Islamist attacks on Christian communities in Kaduna state’s Fadiya Bajju, Ungwan Yuli and Ungwan Yaro villages. The attack at Ungwan Yaro and Ungwan Yuli left no casualties, but many were injured. The assault at Fadiya Bakut village in Bajju district left two persons dead.

The attack on Ungwan Rana Bitaro village brings the death toll in Kaduna state to five Christians in three weeks.The recent guerrilla attacks by Muslim extremists in southern Kaduna state have also been typical of assaults on Christian communities in Bauchi and Plateau states.

Amid this spate of attacks, reports from Internet activist group Wikileaks have surfaced indicating a mosque in the city of Kaduna, commonly known as Yahaya Road Mosque, runs an Islamic school where Muslim teenagers are allegedly trained to become terrorists; most of those trained in the mosque, according to the Wikileaks report published in Nigerian media Sept. 4, are allegedly members of the dreaded Islamic sect Boko Haram.

Nigerian newspapers have quoted Wikileaks as reporting that U.S. Embassy personnel found Muslim teenagers were being indoctrinated with hate theology against Christians and Western nations, particularly the United States and European countries.

Mosque leaders deny it. Alhaji Garba Ibrahim, chairman of the management committee of the mosque, issued a statement to media in Kaduna on Friday (Sept. 23) asserting that it was unfortunate that Wikileaks portrayed the mosque as hypnotizing students with Islamic extremism and organizing them to do violence.

“Ordinarily, this ought not to bother us in view of the source of the information, the United States, leader of the Western nations against Islam and Muslims, but for the records, and to reassure parents and government of Kaduna state, the report is nothing but a tissue of lies,” Ibrahim said. “It was curious that a mosque situated in … a neighbourhood of serving and retired top public officers, both Muslims and non-Muslims, would undertake unlawful activities unnoticed except to the eyes and ears of the American Embassy.”

Ibrahim said the school was opened in November 1979 after approval from the state government with a curriculum designed by an Islamic association known as the Association for the Propagation of Islam.

“The mosque’s management, however, invites Nigerians to visit the place of worship and see things for themselves, rather than being cowed by the malicious American report, which has strengthened our faith and commitment to observe and propagate the tenets of Islam within the sharia [Islamic law] and laws of our country,” the statement said.


Boko Haram Attacks
The Madala attack last week was Boko Haram’s fourth such assault in Niger state this year, including a July 10 bombing of the worship center of the All Christian Fellowship Mission in Suleja that killed three Christians.

Nineteen members of Boko Haram are on trial in Abuja in connection with the bombings of Madala and Suleja churches. Apart from the attack on the Christians and their churches, these militants are also on trial for the bombing of the United Nations office in Abuja that resulted in the death of 23 persons.

Boko Haram, which has declared a jihad on the government in a bid to impose a strict version of sharia on the country, reportedly formalized links with Al Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb last year. Sharia is already in force in 12 northern states, where Christians are supposed to be exempt but are often compelled to comply by various sectors of society. Borno state, where Boko Haram has its base, is one of the states implementing Islamic law.


Christians in Somalia Bear the Brunt of al-Qaeda-Linked Terror Group
By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service
 (ANS) -- The decapitated body of a Christian man, Juma Nuradin Kamil, was found in Bakool region of Southwestern Somalia on Sept. 2.

According to a report by Fernando Perez for the World Evangelical Alliance’s Religious Liberty Commission (WEA-RLC), the killing, one of the numerous such incidents in recent years, comes at a time when tens of thousands of Somalis have died. In addition, about 750,000 more are at risk of death, some of them Christians who are being denied aid, in the wake of the 21st century's worst drought in the Horn of Africa.
WEA said the Christian, whose head was severed and put on his chest, was killed by the Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen (Mujahideen Youth Movement), commonly known as al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-linked terror group that controls and runs a de facto “government” in most of southern Somalia.
The group is also restricting international aid from reaching the starving population in territories under their control, especially to the Christians, WEA-RLC has learned.
 
WEA-RLC said the al-Shabaab splintered from a now defunct group of Sharia courts, the Islamic Courts Union. It is fighting to overthrow the Transitional Federal Government, created in 2004 backed by the African Union, the United Nations and the United States. Since the outbreak of the 1991 civil war which overthrew President Siad Barre's regime, most parts of Somalia have had no formal government. The transitional government controls only a small part of the country.
 
WEA said the al-Shabaab, which generally wages war against “enemies of Islam,” was created after the Islamic Courts Union was ousted by forces from neighboring Ethiopia in 2006. It had the backing of Iran, Libya, Egypt and others in the Persian Gulf region, according to a UN report. And after Ethiopia withdrew from Somalia in 2009, the al-Shabaab grew stronger and turned even more extremist. Somalia tops the Failed States Index 2011 by Foreign Policy magazine.
 
WEA-RLC said, the al-Shabaab imposes an extremely strict version of Sharia, or Islamic law, in southern parts under its control. In 2008, a 13-year-old girl accused of adultery, but actually gang-raped, was buried up to her neck in the field of a soccer stadium packed with spectators, and then stoned to death, according to an article in The New Yorker.
 
 WEA-RLC said the al-Shabaab particularly hates the minority followers of Sufism, which it dubs “heretic,” and the very few number of Christians, who it labels as “agents of Ethiopian intelligence agencies.” The Christian-majority Ethiopia supports the interim government, although it had troubled relations with Somalia.
WEA-RLC said Agence France-Presse recently quoted an al-Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, as saying that providing aid during calamities was a “strategy” of the United Nations to “transport them (Somalis) abroad, especially in Christian countries like Ethiopia and Kenya, so that their faith can be destroyed and that they could be staff and soldiers for the Christians.”

WEA-RLC said al-Shabaab's hatred for Christians surpasses its concern for the lives of over four million people, the majority of them Muslim, who are affected with the drought. The group is distributing aid as it is able with its limited capacity, but no one who is a Christian, or suspected to be one, is receiving any aid, some Christian groups have reported.
 
The famine has also hit the al-Shabaab, as hundreds of thousands of people who pay protection taxes to the outfit have fled its territories to Kenya and Ethiopia. And many, WEA-RLC said, even within the terror group's leadership and powerful local clan leaders, are holding the al-Shabaab responsible for the crisis, according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
 
 
Moreover, the Transitional Federal Government occupies Somalia's seat in the United Nations, maintains embassies in 19 countries, and has fairly good relations with the West, and yet it could not be prevented from enacting laws that violate international law or encouraged to show respect for religious freedom.
 
Concerning the al-Shabaab, WEA-RLC said, is extremely difficult to deal with the group. But inaction is definitely not the correct response it requires. Perhaps, efforts should be made to reach out to the militants, or their various factions, for the sake of the innocent people living in the territories under its control, even if that involves making some concessions initially. If that doesn’t work, WEA-RLC said, a strategy should be made to gain control over al-Shabaab territories.
 
More on this tradgedy in the coming days and weeks.  Please Pray for the people of Africa who are having to endure this horror!
 









 

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