By Roni Drukan
Nigeria, one of Africa’s stronger nations and its most populated one, is the focal point of the battle between Islam and Christianity. Nigeria’s 160 million people are roughly divided between Muslims and Christians, who mostly live side by side in peace.
But Boko Haram, an Islamic organization with proven links to Al Qaeda, wants to see Sharia law imposed across Nigeria. To achieve that means Boko Haram has launched a series of terror attacks targeting churches and killing scores of innocent victims.
The latest attack which took place on Christmas day left at least 42 people dead in the bombings of churches and other targets. As a result of this latest attack Nigeria’s President declared a state of emergency shutting down international borders in Boko Haram’s region.
These attacks are specifically targeting Christians in their churches and villages. A few days ago gunmen have shot dead a three-year-old girl and her parents in their Christian-dominated village, Jos.
Jos, in Nigeria’s volatile “Middle Belt,” is historically a religious and ethnic tinderbox in the country’s sensitive North-South divide between Muslims and Christians.
The line dividing Christians from Muslims runs along a rocky valley in Jos. It may not be visible to the eye, but it burns in the minds of local people. The mosque lies barely 200 meters from the main church and women in Muslim headscarves politely greet men wearing shiny crucifixes.
While most people can live in peace with each other despite religious differences, the radical terrorist group Boko Haram is not in agreement and has been increasingly active over the last year. It seems that the aim of the church bombs is to ignite a sectarian civil war in a country split evenly between Christians and Muslims.
Arab Spring events have brought Islam to power in Tunisia and Egypt. Syria may be the next place where Islam will rise to power. These events create an opportunity for Al Qaeda to extend its operation into Africa and create havoc and instability to enable the spread of radical Islam.
Al Qaeda is doing that by working with Boko Haram and the Al-Shabaab. These groups along with the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) are the major terrorists groups in Africa.
The US has pledged support to Nigeria in fighting off this terror threat. In conjunction with the assistance to Uganda in the fight against the LRA terror group this is yet another notch in US’ involvement in Africa. Terror is a global threat. Radical Islam’s goal of establishing an Islamic regime all over is a global threat. African nations cannot fight this war alone. Rest assured if we lose this war against radical Islam in Africa we will face it in Europe and the US.