Sunday, Boko Haram, a Muslim organization that advocates instituting Sharia law in Nigeria, once again attacked Christian worshippers in two cities. At least 20 worshippers were killed in the attacks.
The attacks took place in the NorthEast town of Maiduguri, and in Kano, the country’s second largest city.
While no group has officially claimed responsibility for the attacks, the methods are similar to those used by Boko Haram in a series of attacks around the country.
“Boko Haram who were six in number came in a Volkswagen Golf car and shot the pastor and three others while they were about to administer the Holy Communion to worshippers,” Maiduguri police spokesman Samuel Tizhe said.
In the Kano attack the method was similar; gunmen arrived on motorbikes at a university lecture theater being used for Christian services and threw small homemade bombs into the building. They then proceeded to shoot worshippers as they attempted to flee the devastation.
Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, condemned the “murderous terrorist attack” on worshippers.
“President Jonathan deeply regrets this utterly heinous descent to new depths of calumny by the perpetrators of the attack on one of the nation’s most hallowed citadels of academic endeavour and its members,” his office said.
The group has engaged in a series of attacks around the country including bombings on Christmas and Easter.
In January, the group, whose name means, “Western education is sacrilege,” issued an ultimatum to Christians in the north telling them to leave the area in three days or be attacked.
Under Sharia Law, non-Muslims are considered to be second class citizens and any attempts to speak disparagingly against Islam such as saying, “Jesus is the only way to Heaven,” is considered blasphemy and could be punishable by death. It is often forbidden from attempting to get anyone to leave Islam.
Following the ultimatum, rather than respond with violence, Christians responded to the Muslim threats with prayer. On Jan. 20, 26 days after the deadly Christmas Day massacre, Boko Haram killed 185 people in a string of coordinated attacks.
A spokesman for the Muslim group conveys a different attitude to those of another faith besides his own.
“I enjoy killing anyone that God commands me to kill the way I enjoy killing chickens and rams,” the spokesman said in a video released online.
In America, the Council on American Islamic Relations has vigorously fought every attempt to pass legislation ensuring that Sharia law cannot be used as the basis for court decisions.
The group claims Sharia law is compatible with the Constitution and there is no danger of blasphemy laws being implemented in America. However, there have been several cases where Sharia law was used, including in a New Jersey case where a judge refused to grant a restraining order to a woman sexually abused by her husband stating the husband was simply acting according to his Muslim beliefs.
A Muslim judge in Pennsylvania dismissed assault charges on an atheist who was dressed as a zombie Muhammed. The judge not only dismissed the charges but instead dressed down the victim saying he should be grateful he did not live in a Muslim country where the penalty was much worse.
In another case, a judge in Ohio ruled that a decision by prison officials to remove pork from the menu to avoid offending Muslim sensibilities did not constitute an establishment of religion by the state since everyone was required to eat the same food.
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