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ZC jh Clear Vision Needed Against Unchecked Violence In Nigeria - French Film Maker And Journalist; Bernard Levy Gives Report - Nobelie


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Clear Vision Needed against Unchecked Violence in Nigeria – French film maker and Journalist; Bernard Levy Gives Report

Posted by on February 17, 2021 — Drop A Comment


Renowned French film-maker,
journalist and philosopher Bernard-
Henri Levy, hardly a right-wing
“Islamophobe,” is among those who
have made reports that indicate
funding from Islamist organizations
abroad is behind the radicalization of
mosques in Nigeria.
Radical mosques and Islamic schools
(madrassas ) contribute to the kind of
violence perpetrated by Fulani
herdsmen, leading to the well-founded
fear of slaughter that many Christian
villagers in north-central Nigeria
experience each night.
“Such fear is hardly ‘phobic.’ It
indicates a very real and increasing
danger that cannot be overlooked,”
writes Lela Gilbert, senior fellow for
religious freedom at the Family
Research Council, in a recent report .
“And such danger should not be
ignored by those who have the power
and means to confront and contest it.”
In her report, “The Crisis of Christian
Persecution in Nigeria,” Gilbert notes
that international media contribute to
the ignorance of the ongoing
slaughters in Nigeria among people in
the United States.
“Because many reporters and others in
the media often operate from a
secularist worldview, religious concerns
are frequently overlooked by ill-
informed commentators and analysts,”
she reports. “Worse yet, far too many
incidents remain unreported altogether.
This lack of reporting is occurring while
one of the 21 century’s worst
atrocities unfolds.”
Gilbert calls for the creation of a U.S.
Special Envoy for Nigeria who could
consistently document violence in the
country.
“Standardized templates for reporting
need to be developed and training
provided so that facts appear in a
consistent format – documenting
attacks, deaths, arson, kidnappings,
rapes, property destruction, and
whatever information is deemed
relevant,” she reports. “Once such
information is made known, it will be
more difficult for the U.S. Embassy,
ambassadors, and other American
representatives who serve in West
Africa – not to mention Foggy Bottom
– to ignore it.”
Hard-hitting sanctions against Nigerian
President Muhammadu Buhari and
officials doing his bidding are essential
and appropriate, she says.
“The Global Magnitsky Act and other
religious freedom and human rights
tools offer significant options that can
help move these concerns from talk to
positive action,” Gilbert says. “Cuts in
foreign aid should also be under
consideration.”
SPECTER OF CIVIL WAR
The decades of horrific bloodshed that
Christian farmers have suffered at the
hands of Muslim cattle herders in
Nigeria has reached a new level, and
it’s threatening to turn into civil war
within a few years.
While mainstream media continue to
ignore the burgeoning genocide or
perpetuate the false narrative that the
violence is “tit-for-tat” guerrilla hits
between Christian tribes and Muslim
tribes fighting over land, herdsmen
attacks increasingly take the form of
terrorist strikes designed to instill fear.
Armed with sophisticated weapons,
Muslim Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria’s
Middle Belt attack the homes of
predominantly Christian villages in late-
night raids to slaughter parents,
children and grandparents before they
can get out of their beds. They
dismember, slash throats or stab
Christians with machetes and spray
them with the gunfire of AK-47s. They
purposely leave some villagers alive to
spread word of the terror.
Christian farmers have neither the
means nor the access to obtain arms,
and legally neither group is allowed to
possess them. The herdsmen have
long had resources to buy high-
powered weapons, and that capacity
appears to be increasing. The
herdsmen appear to be obtaining their
sophisticated weapons from Islamic
extremist terrorist groups or corrupt
Muslim Nigerian soldiers. Kidnappings
are more frequent, indicating they are
obtaining ransom money to pay for the
arms.
Christians in both central and northern
areas of Nigeria are convinced that
week after week of uncontested
attacks could not be happening without
the collusion or involvement of corrupt
Nigerian police, military and
government officials. They refer to the
government itself as attacking them.
They feel utterly defenseless, and their
occasional retaliatory attacks then feed
the mainstream media narrative that
the violence stems from sectarian
conflict over scarce resources.
“The attacks have, on occasion, led to
retaliatory violence, as communities
conclude that they can no longer rely
on the government for protection or
justice,” Baroness Caroline Cox of
Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust recently
wrote. “However, we have seen no
evidence of comparability of scale or
equivalence of atrocities.”
Cox notes that researchers report more
military capability and Islamist fervor
among the herdsmen than in past
years. Fulanis may seize Christian
farmers’ land for their cattle, but their
jihadist cries of “Allahu Akbar ” (“God is
greater”) and the level of terror inflicted
points to equally fundamental religious
motives.
“Growing numbers of Fulani have
adopted a new land-grabbing policy –
motivated by an extremist belief
system and equipped with
sophisticated weaponry – which has
led to the massacre of thousands of
people and to the permanent
displacement of vulnerable rural
communities,” Baroness Cox wrote.
While mainstream media continue to
parrot weakly supported assertions by
governmental and watchdog groups
that violence in Nigeria amounts to tit-
for-tat fights over land, Aid to the
Church in Need (ACN) was one of
several organizations that recently
informed the United Kingdom’s All-
Party Parliamentary Group for
International Freedom of Religion or
Belief (APPG) of the fundamental
religious motives behind Islamist
attacks.
“While not necessarily sharing Boko
Haram’s vision of a Muslim caliphate
in northern Nigeria, the evidence
suggests the Fulani herdsmen are as
committed as Daesh [Islamic State]
affiliates to eliminating Christians in a
region where the church has grown
fast,” the ACN told APPG officials .
Likewise, the Nigeria-based Stefanos
Foundation told the APPG, “the
violence is primarily for Islamic
territorial expansion and the
advancement of Sharia (Islamic law)…
the perpetrators of the violence are
Muslim extremists who cannot submit
to any other law apart from Islamic
law.”
The Nigerian government has largely
ignored complaints by church leaders
in the country and by international
human rights organizations that the
administration has done virtually
nothing to stop the carnage. In
President Buhari’s public comments, he
dismisses the violence as “sectarian”
or “communal” conflict between
herdsmen tribes and farming tribes,
and Nigerian journalists are under
government pressure to perpetuate the
false narrative; they routinely describe
unprovoked, uncontested violence by
Muslim Fulani herdsmen as attacks by
“bandits.”
By denying the religious motives of
one-sided attacks, Buhari is trying to
prevent fervor that could lead to civil
war, but Christian leaders in Nigeria
warn that very outcome will result from
failing to rein in assaults by herdsmen,
increasingly called “Fulani militia.”
Fears are growing that, like Boko
Haram, the Muslim Fulani herdsmen
have the same agenda of inciting a
civil war that would attract greater
funding from Islamist regimes abroad
for the establishment of Islamic law
nationwide.


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