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nigeria riots

CTV.ca - More than 50 dead, 200 injured in Nigeria riots: More than 50 people have been killed and 200 injured in violent demonstrations in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna. Muslim rioters stabbed onlookers and torched churches in the protests, which were sparked by an article about the upcoming Miss World pageant. More than 50 people were stabbed, bludgeoned or burned to death in Kaduna's predominantly Muslim neighbourhoods and at least four churches were destroyed, Nigerian Red Cross President Emmanuel Ijewere told The Associated Press. [...] The riots were sparked by a newspaper article published in ThisDay newspaper, which questioned the reasoning behind Muslim groups' objections to the Miss World pageant, which is scheduled to be held Dec. 7 in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. "The Muslims thought it was immoral to bring 92 women to Nigeria and ask them to revel in vanity. What would (the prophet) Mohammed think? In all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife from among them," said the article, which appeared in the paper Saturday. The riots began Wednesday, when Muslims torched ThisDay's Kaduna office in retaliation.

Good grief. All of this over an article.

If a pageant had been protested here, it would only ever have been a protest by groups objecting that the pageant objectified women. And it would likely have only ever been a protest.

Apparently, to protect women from the effects of their vanity and to avenge the insult to the prophet, it's necessary to kill quite an astounding number of people who had nothing to do with the pageant or the article or anything else relevant. Some of whom were Muslim themselves, in all likelihood; the violence seems to have been thoroughly indiscriminate.

You know ... it's not even necessary to have a sense of humor about one's religion to realize that a reaction like this to an article is simply wrong. Of course, the article was, in all likelihood, just an excuse. According to the BBC (see the sidebar on Sharia), this is a region of Nigeria prone to sectarian violence -- more so than the rest of the country, even -- and many of these rioters were probably just waiting for a trigger, an excuse of any sort. And it is true that the area had been on a slow boil about the pageant for months, and the pageant had run into other difficulties as well.

But still ...

THISDAY (Nigeria) Online - An Apology to All Muslims...To all our Muslim brothers and sisters, Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahamatul-Llahi Wa Barakatuhu. May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon you all. With all sense of responsibility, sensitivity and respect for all Muslims, the staff, management, editors and Board of THISDAY Newspapers apologise for the great editorial error in last Saturday's edition on Miss World Beauty Pageant. We are sorry that the portrayal of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (SAW) in a commentary written by one of our staff was not only unjustified, but utterly provocative. The supervising editor made an attempt to remove the offensive portion during the editing process. But we must say that this time, technology failed us, and gravely too. When we realised that the publication had gone to the market, we did not wait to be reminded. The Editor promtply issued an apology and retracted the story . This was published on the front pages of Monday and Tuesday editions. But many thought the apology was insufficient... We therefore seek the understanding of our Muslim brothers and sisters and sincerely hope that in the spirit of the Holy month of Ramadan, and in the interest of our beloved country, Nigeria, we would show forgiveness and understanding.

Unfortunately, a hope in vain.

UPDATE, 11:37am CST

Red Cross: About 100 killed in religious rioting sparked by Miss World article: Christian youths retaliated against Muslims in this northern city Friday in the third day of riots triggered by a newspaper article about the Miss World pageant. Red Cross officials said about 100 had died and 500 were seriously injured in the violence.

Protest Violence Spreads to Nigerian Capital: Violence in the northern Nigerian city of Kaduna over the Miss World beauty contest has spread to the capital. Muslims took to the streets of Abuja following Friday prayers, setting cars and shops ablaze and erecting barricades. The French news agency reports paramilitary police are on the scene. The unrest took place not far from the hotel where beauty contestants are staying.

How nice. Waiting until after Friday prayers to go riot. Sets a lovely example, really.

Posted by iain at November 22, 2002 01:40 AM



Worse yet, the Muslim officials/imams have not condemned these riots and killings. This can only
mean that condoning of killing innocents is NOT the provence of a small minority of Mulims.

Posted by at November 25, 2002 01:12 PM

I find it appalling that some 40 years on the Nigerian people have been unable to gather their wits about them and drag themselves up out of the gutter and join the ranks of a civilised society. Hopefully Muslim extremists will fall into the category of winners in the Darwin awards competition. Their inferior genes will hopefully be eliminated from the gene pool by fatwa's amongst themselves.


Posted by at November 26, 2002 11:15 AM

Cry the beloved COUNTRY........

Posted by at December 2, 2002 07:06 PM

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