Killing in the name of Islam or Political Islam is centuries-old global headache that had led to estimated global death of 270 million Christians including animists and ors otherwise called “unbelievers” by radical Muslims and Jihadists in the past 1400 years or 622 AD when the first Muslim Jihad or “legitimate killing of unbelievers and possession of their properties and inheritance” started. This is according to the Religion of Peace or TROP in its research statistics of April 2018. Most of the ancient killings in the name of Islam took place during the first major global wave of Jihad 622 AD-750 AD and its second segment 1071 AD-1683 AD.
Nigeria has also suffered terribly from killing in the name of Islam over the years, losing estimated 300,000 Christians and tens of thousands of Churches and other Christian sacred places of worship and schools since 1945. Most victims of the killing in the name of Islam in Nigeria are native Igbo Christians particularly pastoral Igbo natives who settled in Northern Nigeria to trade, work or school.
The year 1945 in Jos, Plateau State witnessed the first deadly attack by Muslim fanatics against Igbo Christian traders in the area. These killings in the name of Islam in Nigeria since 1945 did not include deaths arising from pre colonial Fulani Jihad in Northern and Western Nigeria as well as deaths arising from Nigeria-Biafra Civil War of 1967-70 during which over 3 million mostly native Igbo Christians and other indigenes of now South-south Nigeria were massacred.
Killing in the name of Islam or Political Islam is perpetrated and perpetuated in Nigeria using sectarian killings through pre election, election and post election violence. Others include use of pogroms or systematic and widespread massacres and organized riots, insurgency and agro-Jihadist violence. Pro Islamic elements in the corridors of security and political power in Nigeria, in part or in whole, also use political violence, physical violence, cultural violence and structural violence including lopsided security and administrative policies; and propaganda, deceit and falsehood to perpetrate and perpetuate Jihadist attacks against Christians in the country.
The import of this statement, therefore, is to open the eyes of docile or sleeping Christian leaders in Nigeria who still watch by and doing nothing while their Christian sacred places of worship and defenceless Christians are indiscriminately attacked and visited with unprovoked violence and death in recurring and untamed circles. Christian leaders in Nigeria have also wantonly abandoned their core duties of defending Christian faith, ensuring its steady growth through conviction and showcasing of Christ-like lifestyles and working for the betterment of the society or doctrinal collectivism and collective security, etc; to chronic pursuit and worship of ill-gotten wealth in the temple of God by hobnobbing with political criminals and killers of their faith members as well as canonization of wielders of ill-gotten wealth such as leaders of organized crimes, human, arms and drug traffickers, murderers, ritual kingpins and pillagers of public funds.
Christian leaders must, therefore, wake up from their slumber and proactively, legitimately and lawfully rise in defense of Christian faith in Nigeria including safeguarding or forcing the authorities to safeguard Christian sacred places of worship or churches and protection of defenceless Christians across Nigeria. It is also the inescapable duty of Christian leaders to ensure that their defenceless Christians dwelling both in rural and urban areas are protected from inter religious attacks and aggression and spiritually guided at all times.
Failure of Christianity and its leaders in this regard, owing to their indifference and incompetence, is most likely to force, if not already forcing their faithful to return to the ancient ways of their forefathers and foremothers including their oracular religion, cosmic spiritual prowess and guidance and accompanied effective self defence mechanisms using African or traditional science. Today, Muslims are counting their Jihadist successes in Northern Nigeria particularly since 2009 having destroyed over 16000 churches, killed tens of thousands of Christians and forced over 1.5 million others to flee their ancestral homes for fear of being hacked to death; while Christians and their leaders are sitting idly counting their losses.
It saddens our heart that despite the abundance of nonviolent and proactive safeguards or mechanisms at local, national and international levels for safeguarding or protecting rights to religious freedom, ethnic identity and existence; Nigerian Christian leaders have remained inactive and reactive; turning blind eyes, sitting idle and doing nothing while their sacred places of worship and members of their faith are indiscriminately hacked to death or destroyed and burnt to ashes across Nigeria on daily basis; thereby making Cultural Revolution including widespread abandonment of Christian faith and revitalization of African or traditional religion and its effective self defense mechanisms inevitable. Cultural Revolution, as an alternative, is urgently needed to fill in the gap created by inactivity and incompetence of Christian leaders in the growing wave of Islamic butcheries in the country and protect the ethnic and religious identities of the Igbo People of Africa.
By Cultural Revolution, it includes widespread return to African traditional defensive mechanisms or benevolent African science and oracular ways of life including noble religion of African ancient forefathers and foremothers especially such maintained by the oracular Igbo People of Africa. The Igbo People of the old, until the coming of western slave trade, religion, and colonialism, were famously noted and known for nonviolence and effective self defense; blended in mysticism and spiritual prowess. The Igbo Landing of May 1803 in Salmon Islands, Atlanta Georgia in USA and its subsequent decades of spiritual witch-hunting which ended in November 2002; is a clear case in point.
The spiritual powers of the oracular Igbo People and their self defense prowess were so evidential that the then Oba of Benin Empire told his visiting Portuguese Ambassadors in 1498 that “in the deepest southern part of my Empire (Igbo hinterland) covering thousands of miles from here, there exists a pre Christian Pontiff so spiritually powerful that without him you can never be a king, because he is the sole and divinely anointed giver of holy sceptre (Offor) to any emerging king”.
We therefore make bold to say and warn that unless Nigerian Christian leaders particularly the clergies and Christian politicians holding executive, legislative, judicial, policing, military and other security offices in South-south, Southeast, North-central and Northeast immediately turnaround and proactively work out legitimate and lawful practical modalities including forcing the present central authorities in Nigeria to respond to and tame the growing wave of killings and destruction or conversion into Mosques of Christian churches; in the name of Islam in Nigeria using various forms, patterns and trends; otherwise the two coming generations particularly those to be borne by the present kid generation, between newborn and five years may most likely not meet and practice Christianity in South-south and Southeast Nigeria. At best Christianity will become an acutely minority religion with Islamic Caliphate in charge!
In Northern Nigeria where the estimated 30 million Christians have faced steady threats, fears, forceful conversion and death in the hands of Jihadists over the years, the next coming generation or generation that will be produced by the present kid generation between newborn and five years may most likely not meet and practice Christianity. Christian leaders must also turn their offices and pulpits into research centres using available, rich and cheap ICT and web resources so as to be in the know of the realities of global patterns and trends of killing of Christians in the name of Islam and the fact that the wave of such killings in Nigeria is carefully planned and systematically executed with no end in sight until history and existence of Christianity is completely erased.
Such research centres are also capable of recovering the mindsets of Nigerian Christian leaders presently engulfed and dominated by crude material pursuit including possession and worship of ill-gotten wealth and re-channel same into true work of evangelism including growth and expansion of Christendom to the full glory of God. Christian leaders must also balance their libertarian or individualist Christianity ministration with egalitarian and welfarist religiosity. There is also need for benevolent or moderate political Christianity.
The call on Christian leaders to wake up and take charge is also occasioned by the body language of the present central Government in Nigeria which appears pro Islamist in all its policies and actions. Relying on the said Government to end the killing in the name of Islam in the country may most likely be a costly mistake. Christian leaders must also be reminded that the worst crime against humanity and human conscience is denial or encroachment or forceful removal of the rights of every citizen to existence, ethnic identity, conscience, thought and religion as well as his or her freedoms from want and fear.
The far reaching danger of allowing for continuation of killing in the name of Islam in Nigeria is that for every Christian killed, possibility is very high that eight to ten members of his or her lineage will be too fearful to continue to pray or profess their Christian faith in the open; thereby making them potential Muslims by fearful conversion against their conscience and will.
For the purpose of putting the records straight and further countering the present central Government of Nigeria’s deceits and lies by describing the ongoing wave of killing in the name of Islam in Nigeria as “Fulani Herdsmen-Farmers Clashes”, below are short statistical accounts of patterns and trends of killing in the name of Islam across the world as recently given by the Religion of Peace.
According to the group, a total of 32,955 deadly attacks including suicide bombings by Muslim fanatics and Jihadist groups were carried out against Christians worldwide after September 2001 terror attacks in USA leading to death of 217, 976 Christians and injuring of 307,834 others. The deadly terror attacks against global Christians, according to TROP, were successfully launched in average of 40 countries each year.
Also by TROP account, killing in the name of Islam or Political Islam is dated back to 622 AD or past 1400 years when “the first major wave of Jihad (622 AD-750 AD)” started. Prophet Muhammad was born in 570 AD and he died in 632 AD. He was replaced by “the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs”; namely Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali. Prophet Muhammad was also said to have received the Holy Quran from “Archangel Gabriel in about 610 AD”.
Killing in the name of Islam which includes annexation of sacred places of worship for Christians and their conversion to Mosques after purification rituals is also called “Political Islam” especially by some western writers. Since then, according to TROP, killing in the name of Islamic Jihad had wrecked havoc and destroyed a Christian Middle East and a Christian North Africa. The Jihad was also visited against the Persian Zoroastrians and the Hindus. The history of political Islam also includes the destruction of Christianity in the Middle East, Egypt, Turkey and North Africa where half of Christianity was lost. Before Islam was born in 600s, North Africa was the Christian southern part of Europe (part of the Christian Roman Empire).
Around 60 million Christians were slaughtered during the jihadist conquest in North Africa. Half of the glorious Hindu civilization was also annihilated and 80 million Hindus killed in Asia. The first Western Buddhists were the Greeks descended from Alexander the Great’s army in what is now Afghanistan. Jihad destroyed all of Buddhism along the silk route. About 10 million Buddhists died.
The conquest of Buddhism is the practical result of pacifism. Zoroastrianism was also eliminated from Persia. The Jews became permanent dhimmis (second class citizens who serve Islam) throughout Islam. In Africa over 120 million Christians and animists have died over the last 1400 years of jihad. Approximately 270 million nonbelievers died over the last 1400 years for the glory of political Islam. These are the Tears of Jihad which are not taught in any school https://www. thereligionofpeace.com.
In Nigeria, killings in the name of Islam particularly against native Igbo Christians in Northern Nigeria or anti Igbo pogroms orIgbo massacres had occurred in 1945 in Jos located in present Plateau State. Others had also taken place in various parts of the North including Kano, Maiduguri, Kafanchan, Kaduna, Niger, Abuja, etc in 1953, 1966 (pogrom with official statistics of killing put at between 45,000 and 50,000 native Igbo Christians), 1967, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014.
Over 4000 other innocent Igbo lives who were all Christians were lost to Islamist Boko Haram insurgents between 2009 and 2014. Islamist Fulani insurgents have between 2015 and 2016 massacred additional 70 native Igbo Christians in Igbo Land especially Enugu State. The present central Government of Muhammadu Buhari also ordered and supervised the massacre of over 400 native Igbo Christians and some indigenes of South-south Nigeria between August 2015 and September 2017 during which over 400 others were shot and injured by soldiers and other members of the Nigerian security forces.
Recent killings in the name of Islam in Nigeria have further escalated and got worse since mid 2015 when the present central Government came to power. Killings in the name of Islam perpetrated through sectarian violence including anti Christian riots, pre election, election and post election violence as well as Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen insurgencies have resulted in the death of over 50,000 mainly, if not mostly Christians since 1999; out of which Boko Haram accounted for over 23,000 having killed over 20,000 between 2009 and 2014.
Terror Fulani Herdsmen is the second largest killer of Christians in Nigeria accounting for estimated 12,000 Christian deaths since 1999 including 2,500 killed between 2013 and 2014, 1,229 killed in Benue State between 2013 and July 2016. The terror agro-Jihadists also killed not less than 1000 Christians and destroyed over 20 Churches in Southern Kaduna in 2016 alone and had cumulatively killed over 4300 Christians since June 2015 when the Buhari Administration came to power.
In less than past five months between December 2017 and April 2018, terror Fulani Herdsmen have killed over 800, if not 1000 Christians in Kogi (over 120), Benue (over 200), Taraba (over 200), Adamawa (over 80), Plateau (over 60) and Southern Kaduna (over 40). There are also other pockets of killing of Christians in different parts of Nigeria by the terror Jihadists in the past four months leading to death of scores of defenceless citizens. In Zamfara State, killing of rival Muslims in which the terror group is also fingered has also led to hundreds of deaths in the past four months of the year or January to April 2018.
By Ms Arne Mulder’s research account of 2015 in her 154-page research findings for the Open Doors Int’l, “over 13,000 Christian places of worship (Churches) have been destroyed in Northern Nigeria as at December 2014 by Boko Haram insurgency. Over 1500 Christian Schools were also destroyed; with 11,500 Christians killed and over 1.3m of them fleeing their areas in the same period to escape being hacked to death by Boko Haram Jihadists”.
By the account of the Christian Association of Nigeria in Benue State, over 500 churches have been destroyed in the State by Fulani Herdsmen since 2011. By our independent credible estimates, over 16,000 churches and 1600 Christian schools have been destroyed in Northern Nigeria by the duo of Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen insurgencies since 2009.
Also in the sectarian and religious violence instigated in furtherance of killings in the name of Islam that plagued Jos in Plateau State between 2001 and 2011, including those of May 2001, 2004 (Yelwa) and November 2008 (with loss of 700 lives each) about 5000 mostly Christian lives were lost. In the Kano and Kaduna religious riots of 2000, 2001 and 2002, estimated 3000 Christian lives dominated by native Igbo Christians were lost.
In 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011 election violence, over 1800 mostly Christian lives were lost. These included 300 lost in 2003, another 300 lost in 2007 and 1200 lost in 2011. The mostly 1200 Christian lives lost in the post 2011 Presidential Election violence included 50 Southern Christian members of the NYSC posted for national service to Northern Nigeria. Instances are too many to mention.
Emeka Umeagbalasi is board chairperson of a leading human rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law at a Grassroots Lecture Organized by the JDPC for Parishioners of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Fegge, Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria on July 12, 2016. Emeka can be reached by HERE.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.