A Sunday of Silence: peace of the grave yard in Nigeria’s churches today

This morning there were no reports of church bombings in Nigeria. We will have to wait till tomorrow to see if this will be the first Suday this month that Christians were not blown up by Islamist terrorists while worshipping.

A year ago I was in a church in Jos, Nigeria where women were not allowed to bring in their bags. Then across the north and even in the capital Abuja, people can only bring in their bibles to church. Today in Kaduna Christians reportedly took machetes and sticks to church. “Will sticks and stones prevent bombs?” Someone asked. Another replied “well after the bombs Boko Haram ambushes fleeing Christians so we have to be prepared with something, anything!”

The silence for me today was anticlimactic. Instead of monitoring the developments, I am trying to catch up on the list of Christians killed by the terrorists in one town alone. Some where killed on “my birthday” my assistant helping with the collation says. Tears well up in my eyes – these are not statistics or figures. These are mums, sons, daughters, fathers, brothers…Someone has opened up a memorial page on Facebook for the victims of Boko Haram. Look it up and see. If you know any, please update the page with that info. We must not dehumanize them further merely as a coping mechanism.

But Boko Haram has not been completely silent today. They are clarifying that it is false that they attempted to bomb a mosque on Friday. The terrorists emphasize that they only attack churches. This is important because part of the US state department’s propganda has been that Boko Haram attacks “churches and mosques” trying to provoke a war. Boko Haram is not seeking a war. It has started one. Christians just have not signed up for a war but that hasn’t stopped them from dying.

Accordingly media reports, Boko Haram has denied the story reported in the media last week that it attempted to bomb the Fagge mosque located on Murtala Muhammad Way in WAPA area of Fagge Local Government which is the second biggest Eid (Sallah prayer) mosques in Kano.

They claimed that they are on a Jihad and so will never bomb a place where God is worshipped. In their statement which appears below they said “how can we bomb where Allah is being worshipped?”.

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for bombing several churches and killings hundreds of worshippers, but they have never been known to bomb a church.

Below is their statement;

“Blessed and thanks be to Almighty Allah and merciful. And to also his Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). After this we wish to react to what we heard in the media yesterday Friday that some people attempted to plant bomb in one of the Friday mosques in Kano City. This jihad being advance by Jama’atu Ahlissunnah Lidda’awati Wal-Jihad wish to distance itself from this atrocity, and we are aware that it is such mischief being orchestrated and in line with the operations of SSS like their counterparts in other parts of the world; all in the bid of blackmailingMujahedeens. And they will not succeed by the power of Almighty Allah, because everybody knows that we are doing only Jihad towards ensuring adhering to Muslim system. It is because of this that we were being said to be “Islamic Extremists”, and so how can we bomb where Allah is being worshipped? Because of this, it is just mischief of those kicking against the realization of Islamic state, and they will not achieve their sinister plot with the power of Allah on our side.

“We are happy to express our happiness and joy because of the gallantry Almighty Allah granted our brother Habibu Bama, we are hoping Allah accepts this act of martyrdom and his sacrifice to Jihad, dying in the field of war is a pride and most cherished last pride of a real Muslim.

“Again, we are warning the media up to now to brace up, because like they know we are working very hard to avoid face up with them. But up to now some of them did not understand us. Because like we put it as a condition to them, any media outlet that knows they will not report our messages as we put in correct form, it should not disseminate it completely, even from the government side concerning us and even if it is Goodluck Jonathan that talk about us. They shouldn’t make a mistake and report it. And if they make mistake and report it, then whatever that befall them, they should cry with themselves.”

The State Dept should take notice that Boko Haram is not thrilled that they are being falsely accused of mosque attacks. Amb Carson should correct his remarks so as not to “radicalize” or tick off these sensitive, poor, economically-deprived, world-domination-seeking jihadists.