Nigeria: Intolerance In The Name Of Islam

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July 25, 2007: It's becoming more common for kidnapping attempts to fail, as more numerous, better armed and steadfast bodyguards fight back. This has led to gun battles in crowded cities, as kidnappers often like to grab their victims and get away in the chaotic traffic. The gangs in the Niger Delta oil region are becoming more numerous and bolder. There's easy money to be made, and the major gangs no longer act with restraint. Most of these large gangs got their start as hired muscle, and were organized by politicians to intimidate opponents and help rig elections. But in the Delta, there were other sources of income, and the gangs have become independent of the politicians, and now challenge their former masters. At least some of the time. A lot of the strife is about how to share the large amount of money still being plundered from the government.

July 19, 2007: In the north, an anti-Shia Sunni cleric was shot to death, and the Sunni majority responded by seeking out and attacking Shia. The violence between Sunni and Shia has been around for centuries, and has become more violent in the last decade, as al Qaeda encouraged more violence against Shia (who Sunni extremists consider to be heretics.) Police eventually arrested over a hundred people in an effort to short circuit the violence. The violence eventually left at least half a dozen dead, and dozens wounded. Islam, despite describing itself as the "religion of peace," it is actually the most violently intolerant religion around these days. Violence against other religions, and even between different sects of Islam, is common. Iraq is not an exception, it is the rule.

 

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