Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Nigeria: Boko Harem Attack.

with 9 comments

Nigeria unrest: Mosque attack death toll over 100

More than 100 people died in an attack on a Nigerian mosque on Friday, local government and hospital officials say.

The president of Nigeria has vowed “to leave no stone unturned” in tracking down the perpetrators of the gun and bomb attack during Friday’s prayers in the northern city of Kano.

Goodluck Jonathan urged the nation “to confront the common enemy”.

No-one has so far claimed the attack but officials say it bears the hallmarks of Boko Haram militant group.

Kano’s Central Mosque, where the attack took place, is where the influential Muslim leader, the emir of Kano, usually leads prayers.

Emir Muhammed Sanusi had recently called for people to arm themselves against Boko Haram, and there have been suggestions that the attack was in response to that call.

However, on Saturday the emir dismissed the claims, saying it must have taken at least two months to plan the attack. He made the comments during a visit to the mosque.

BBC

Today an update report continues,

The tension is palpable in Kano, after bombers and gunmen struck killing more than 100 people at the central mosque.

No-one here is in any doubt that Boko Haram did it.

It seems people do not know where to vent their anger now but hostility hangs in the air.

Inside the mosque, the sight is shocking.

Beyond the blood-soaked steps, the floor is strewn with debris: scattered prayer mats, beads, smashed spectacles and pages from the Koran.

There are bullet marks on the pillars and the suicide bombers’ blood can be seen splattered across the walls and right up inside the dome.

“We heard a loud sound outside, but people said let’s continue praying,” said Adamu Magashi, who was inside facing the imam who had just finished his sermon at the time of the attack.

BBC

There are those who explain Islamist violence as a ‘blow back’ at Western intervention.

Or as a struggle for a better world in a religious form….

How does this tragedy fit into their preconceptions?

Written by Andrew Coates

November 30, 2014 at 1:41 pm

9 Responses

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  1. Reblogged this on auazubuike.

    auazubuike

    November 30, 2014 at 1:54 pm

  2. Has anyone tried to explain Boko Haram in terms of “blowback”? People have certainly used the “blowback” model – and rightly so – when looking at the longer-term consequences of the US policy in the 1980s of encouraging and equipping certain Islamist fighters to undermine pro-Soviet regimes, notably the PDPA government in Afghanistan. The emergence of ISIS could be seen as another case of blowback to a certain extent. But Boko Haram? I’ve never heard that one.

    The point is that “Islamist violence” is not just one single thing. There are lots of struggles going on around the Muslim world, with lots of different armed groups articulating or exploiting the grievances of lots of different populations under the banner of Islamist ideologies. They all have certain features in common, but they are not all one and the same.

    Francis

    November 30, 2014 at 4:50 pm

  3. ” anyone tried to explain Boko Harem in terms of ‘blowback’?”

    According to Seumas Milne, *everything* done by Islamists id “blowback”:
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/27/facebook-terror-war-tyranny-britain-fosters-fear-racism

    Jim Denham

    November 30, 2014 at 7:06 pm

  4. It’s not clear how Beslan was a ‘blow back’ at Western intervention. Or Bali. Or Mumbai. But for some people it’s an article of faith that anything bad in the world is the fault of the West, and one more Islamist atrocity is not going to shake their faith.

    Bob-B

    November 30, 2014 at 8:11 pm

  5. “But for some people it’s an article of faith that anything bad in the world is the fault of the West…” A particularly crass ans obvious case in point: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/nov/27/facebook-terror-war-tyranny-britain-fosters-fear-racism

    Jim Denham

    December 1, 2014 at 9:35 am

  6. I think Francis that ‘Islamism’ as such is often explained in terms of a reaction to the ‘West’. I made a very simple point: that it cannot be thought of in this way.

    How would you explain the rise of the FIS in Algeria in these terms?

    This documentary on Algeria, on Al Jazeera, goes some way to giving a real history:

    It is quite astonishingly accurate, as least as far as we can judge from the outside.

    Andrew Coates

    December 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm

  7. “How would you explain the rise of the FIS in Algeria in these terms?”

    I wouldn’t. I see the rise of various forms of Islamism largely (but not entirely) as a reaction against the perceived failures of the secular nationalist regimes which took power across much of the Muslim world after decolonisation. In some cases Western powers tried to use such movements in pursuit of certain geopolitical goals (e.g. Afghanistan), in some other cases Western powers helped create a power vacuum by toppling secular nationalist regimes, into which Islamist forces have moved (e.g. Libya, Iraq). To that extent, the problems these forces are causing for Western powers can be seen as blowback. Of course, these problems pale into insignificance compared with the far greater problems they are causing for their local populations.

    To say that the whole phenomenon of Islamist violence everywhere is all the fault of the West would be silly. To say that the Western powers played no part in its rise anywhere would be equally silly.

    Francis

    December 1, 2014 at 10:28 pm

  8. “To say that the whole phenomenon of Islamist violence everywhere is all the fault of the West would be silly. To say that the Western powers played no part in its rise anywhere would be equally silly”: agreed!

    But whereas plenty of people on the “left” *do* try to argue the first proposition, who (apart, perhaps from Tony Blair) argues the second?

    Jim Denham

    December 2, 2014 at 12:47 am

  9. It is indeed as you say Jim, the default position of many people in the Stop the War Coalition.

    Andrew Coates

    December 2, 2014 at 5:04 pm


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