Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Muslim Radicals Target Christians In Fatal Stealth Attacks

08/13/2011 Nigeria (WND)-There's no pattern and little evidence, but periodically, and without warning, another Christian is shot or stabbed – almost always fatally – in the Nigerian town of Maiduguri.
Experts on the persecution of Christians in that part of the world say the Nigerian Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram has been implicated in the murders, which have happened intermittently in the Christians' own homes.
Open Doors USA President Carl Moeller says Boko Haram's motive for the killings is simple: The Muslim group wants to take over in the north.
"Our co-workers in the city have said basically [Boko Haram] continues to use attacks to disrupt the public peace and have people literally flee, particularly the Christians, flee from these cities," Moeller said.
"It's more specifically something like religiocide or religious cleansing. They recognize no other possibility of society based on anything other than Shariah law," Moeller said.
International Christian Concern analyst Jonathan Racho agrees that the group wants to establish Islamic law in the north. He also says that while Boko Haram pushes Shariah, they also try to win influence by portraying Christianity as a "foreign religion."
But Racho added that Boko Haram has an even more sinister purpose.
"One of their goals is to eliminate Christianity," Racho said.
Moeller agrees that one of Boko Haram's objectives is to eliminate Christianity from Nigeria. He also says the group's level of extremism pits them against the government of Nigeria.
"They're at odds with the government of Nigeria and other parts of Nigeria where even moderate Muslims would admit the presence of Christianity. Boko Haram is truly one of those groups that wants to see Christianity eliminated from the country of Nigeria," Moeller said.
Racho added that Christians aren't Boko Haram's only target.
"Even moderate Muslims have been killed by this group," he said.
Moeller agreed that Boko Haram is using fear as a weapon on the region's Christians.
"There's a great deal of ongoing tension and Boko Haram continues to exploit and play on the fears of people in the area," Moeller said.
Moeller also believes that many Americans don't understand the dynamics of Nigeria's religious rivalry.
"The question of motivations is almost lost on us in America because we don't really grasp the intensity of the religious hatred that goes on in the division between [Muslim] northern and [Christian] southern Nigeria," Moeller explained.
While both Moeller and Racho agree that the aim of the terror campaign is to force Christians out of northern Nigeria, Racho believes the one-at-a-time method has another purpose.
Moeller said the terrorist group is more than willing to take advantage of the departure of more Christians.
Moeller added that the terror group has its sights on the predominantly Christian southern half of the country as well. He saaid that's especially tragic because of the growth of the Christian church in the south.

"The southern part of that country is one of the most vital, powerful, growing churches in all the world. So, this is a formula for an extreme amount of confrontation, violence and death in the area," Moeller said.
Moeller added that the government is attempting to prosecute the perpetrators when they are able to find and capture them. However, he said Nigeria's Christian president Goodluck Jonathan is acting to avoid the appearance of showing favoritism to Christians.
"He has to promote general peace because extremists in his country would exploit any support that he would show to Christians as confirming their inaccurate statements that the president is actually trying to eliminate Islam from the country," Moeller stated (Source).

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