Op-Ed: Islam in Africa: The Invisible Genocide of Christians
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly...
Fom Nigeria to Sudan, it is raging, the “Odium Fidei”, the war of religion.
A genocide epitomized not by the images of Sydney Pollack’s “Out of Africa”, which presents a continent that is rich and attractive, but by the Nigerian village of Dogo Nahawa, where Islamists, armed with machetes, killed 300 Christians, mostly women and children.
The Nigerian Nobel Prize Laureate for Literature, Wole Soyinka, called them “the butchers of Nigeria”.
It’s an invisible genocide where sadistic killers slaughter and execute thousands of Christians.
According to Philip Jenkins, a leading expert on Christianity, in Nigeria, what is at stake is the balance between Islam and Christianity. It’s the largest Muslim country of Africa, a global leader in oil production and a country where the future of religious cohexistence is precarious, since the country is divided in a half between Islam and Christianity.
The Islamic conquest of Africa began in the seventh century, when the Umayyads spread the faith in the Mediterranean lands which had long been Byzantine. But in deeper Africa, the penetration was difficult and for centuries Islam was unable to climb over the Horn of Africa.
Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania are already 90 percent Islamized.
Now, with modern methods of warfare, we are witnessing a wave of Islamization with unforeseeable, tragic consequences. The "Islamic project" is trying to build a unique ‘adan' (Islamic call for prayer) from the Libyan minarets to the Juma Mosque in Durban, South Africa.
Gambia, Senegal and Mauritania are already 90 percent Islamized, the rate decreases as one moves downward, reaching nine per cent in South Africa and almost none in the rest of the southern region - so far.
The goal is creating a big African-Islamic continent. Christians must be killed or expelled.
On January 3, the Islamic groups issued an ultimatum to the Christian community in Nigeria: “You have three days to leave, or you’ll die”.
If on Darfur there was some mobilization in favor of the victims, who cared about the campaigns of extermination sustained by the Christians in Sudan and Nigeria?
The West doesn’t hear the cry of these pariahs, trying to atone for its colonial past by not intervening.
In South Kordofan, Sudan, Christians are still subjected to bombardment, targeted killings, the kidnapping of children, forced conversions.
Over 13,750 Christians have been killed by Muslims in northern Nigeria since the introduction of Sharia laws in 2001.
If the Islamists are dreaming of an Arab caliphate from the Atlantic to the Suez Canal, south of Sahara, Islam is conquering cities and entire populations. It’s collapsing the historical dividing line along the sixteenth parallel, which divided the land of the Cross from the land of the Koran.
All that remains of the “dar al harb”, land of war, must become “Dar al Islam”, land of Islam.
According to the NGO Open Doors, in the northern states that have adopted Sharia law, five million Christians are under severe repression. Islam has planted the idea that the Muslim religion is “original in Nigeria” and that the spread of Christianity is “a threat”, “an enemy to destroy”.
The troubles in Nigeria began back with the Kano riots of 1980, when a Muslim leader named Marwa Muhamadu said to the young people that whoever wore a cross or expensive clothes was an “infidel”.
The election of Miss World in Abuja in 2002 lit the fire of jihad in a haystack, leaving 200 dead on the ground and 10.000 Christians fleeing.
From the Gulf of Guinea to the Red Sea, via northern Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia, Sharia has become the only law in many regions. Today Islam is the first religion in a dozen of African countries.
A year ago, the Nigerian police stopped a shipment of arms directed to the Hisba, the movement that seeks to impose Islamic law in northern Nigeria, and to the faction of Boko Haram.
The cargo came from Tehran, part of the “Africa Plan” launched by the mullahs to expand Iran’s influence in the continent by supporting Islamic governments and groups. These terror groups use guns, gasoline bombs and machetes, they shout “Allahu akbar” (“God is great”) while launching attacks on citizens.
They have so far focused on killing Christian clerics, politicians, students, policemen, and soldiers, as well as Muslim clerics who condemn their mayhem. 500 Christians have been killed since last December. 300 churches have been demolished.
The case of the Anglican Rev. Seth Saleh, in Zamfara, is emblematic. In 2003, the director of the local government knocked on his door and handed him a letter. “The governor - said the letter - informs you that your church will be demolished before his arrival in town tomorrow”.
In Romain Gary’s novel “The Roots of Heaven”, which won the Goncourt Prize in 1956, a Muslim character says: “One day black Africa will be on our side, our religion is younger and has the power of the desert, it will eventually triumph. An Islamized Africa will be an irresistible force for the world”.
A prophecy which seems about to become true. Will the world stand to prevent another Rwanda?