A Religious War

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War is very complicated. Often tensions are are already prevalent in a particular region, due to religious or ethnic differences, and then they suddenly boil over.

Background of Nigeria’s Civil War:

  • Side A- Armed Forces of the Nigerian Government
  • Side B- Northern Nigera Islamic fundamentalists
  • Goal of Side A- keep the country unified
  • Goal of Side B- establish a separate country in northern Nigeria where the sharia legal system is the law

When former president Musa Yar’adua, a Muslim from the North, died in office in 2010 and Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the South, finished the term, northern Muslims were not happy.

They were especially not happy when their candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, lost to Jonathan in the 2011 presidential election. They promised to make the country “ungovernable” for him.

They are very organized, operating as an army and wreaking havoc across Nigeria, killing hundreds of civilians. It is apparent that they have the upper hand, and the government is failing to protect its’ citizens.

Their primary goal is to instill the Muslim religion in Nigeria.

Something that I find interesting is that they say they are killing for their god, Allah.

He recounted and attributed the many victories his group has had over the Nigerian Armed Forces to Allah’s help. He described how the bodies of Nigerian soldiers and civilians were strewn everywhere on the ground after his group’s Bama military barrack’s attack. He said; “Had Allah allowed us to eat them we would have eaten them . . . As for killing, we will kill (for) Allah, if he says we should decapitate, we should amputate the limbs, we should mutilate.”

It is unfortunate that something that means so much to people (religion) could be used to cause so much misfortune. Words of the Bible, the Quran, or any other religious book are twisted to fit the ideologies of the different parties. Religion is supposed to unify, but instead it divides. Hate shouldn’t spring from something meant to show people how to love. “Religious war” should be an oxymoron, but the Islamic fundamentalists proudly say that this war has nothing to do with poverty, corruption, or leadership- it is strictly religious.

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