Rorate Caeli

Islam: Territorial Advances on the Western African Front
Nigerian Cardinal: Young Muslims are Joining Boko Haram

3,000 miles from Mosul (Iraq), and Raqqa (Syria) in the "Islamic State", and 1,800  miles from the new "Islamic Emirate of Benghazi" (itself just 400 miles from Athens or Sicily), Islamist armies are now conquering Nigerian cities in which Christians have lived together with Muslims since the time of the first missionaries.

See below several of their conquering moves in at least three different Nigerian states in the past few weeks, up to this Saturday:

Aug. 12:
Boko Haram Militants Appoint Emir For Captured Gwoza As Women Bury Their Dead

With most of their menfolk killed or on the run, women in the town of Gwoza, Borno State, have taken on the grim task of burying dozens of residents massacred in last week’s assault by insurgents belonging to the Islamist group, Boko Haram.

In telephone interviews, two sources in the town said the women of Gwoza were burying men, women and children who lost their lives when a vicious band of Boko Haram fighters descended on the town last week in an orgy of death and destruction.

“We are very fatigued,” one of the women told our correspondent. She added, “We are almost resigned to fate in our tedious and unusual work of burying scores of dead bodies that still litter our town.” (Source)

And Gwoza is not a small village -- before being conquered, it had around 300,000 inhabitants.

Aug 21:

Boko Haram insurgents have seized Buni Yadi town, headquarters of Guja Local Government Area of Yobe State, and hoisted their flag at the palace of the district head. (Source)

Aug. 21:

Northern Nigeria's riot police training academy has been overrun by Boko Haram Islamist militants, a witness in Borno state has told the BBC. (Source)

Aug. 23:

Boko Haram Insurgents Overrun Madagali Local Government in Adamawa State. ... hundreds of the militants arrived at the local government headquarters led by armored vehicles they had earlier seized from Nigerian troops in Gwoza, Borno State. (Source)

Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja, spoke to Vatican Radio (Italian section) on Friday:

"[Cardinal:] Following the last victories of Boko Haram, the fact that is surprising is that, instead of stopping, it seems that these militia are still capable of proceeding to new conquests. They have taken control of a village that, let's say it, is in fact a city. But now so many people have fled that city, it not being safe. Boko Haram, in fact, had already made several incursions. What is worse now is that the military patrol, that should be there, was removed, and it's not known why.

"Interviewer: Over 100 young men were kidnapped last week...

"Cardinal: But, truly, we don't know what to think anymore. The fact is that, because of next year's elections, everything is being instrumentalized by politics. We don't manage to see anymore in a clear way what's truly going on. What seems certain to me is that many young Muslims from that area are supporters of Boko Haram and many place themselves at their disposal: enrolling, or working for them in the villages. Now, it's not understood if these are kidnappings or people who go to their side out of their own will. Naturally, there are young people, especially Christians, who want nothing to do with Boko Haram. It seems that Boko Haram has succeeded in establishing a strong break between Christians and Muslims, who lived for so many years as brothers and sisters in the same villages. This is worrisome.

"Interviewer: Boko Haram take their cue from the Islamic State...

"Cardinal: Naturally, when we hear about what's happening in Iraq, we are appalled and even fearsome. One can see what an Islamic State means. Boko Haram, at least up to now, thank God, is not sufficiently consistent to represent a great danger to the Nigerian state. The danger is that, if this way of thinking increases among the people, one may arrive at a situation similar to that in Northern Iraq. My bitterness is that of not seeing, in the way in which our government acts, the perception of the seriousness of the situation. The fact remains that the Nigerian situation is not as the Iraqi one: the number of the Christian population in Nigeria is almost the same of the Muslim one. The problem in Nigeria is not that of the persecution of Christians by Muslims, the main problem is that of stopping the activity of the terrorists, who kill all, Christians and Muslims.

Let's be honest: much of the rest of the world (what Muslims call the "Dar al-harb"), is under siege by well-funded territory-conquering Muslim armies, Christians are the most widespread victims, and the Fifth Column is plentiful and eager to make a move when they are called up to act. At the very least, the name "Islam" cannot be simply ignored by some Church authorities regarding these curiously synchronized moves...