Fear of Islamism in Nigeria
Nigerians aren't afraid of writing 'politically incorrect' articles about Islamism, as we see in Ukamaka Olisakwe's article, "Growing Up Fearful in Nigeria" (New York Times, December 1, 2014):
My father arrived in Kano one cold morning in the 1970s, with the dry, dusty harmattan wind blowing south from the desert. He was 23, and like many young Christians from Nigeria's lush southeast, he had gone to the Muslim-majority north after surviving the bloody civil war of 1967-70. [The northern city] Kano was a new business frontier then. But it was uneasy, too: While Muslims and Christians lived side by side, so did hope and fear. [Fear increased i]n December 1980, [and] hope took a terrible blow when Yan Tatsine, a group led by the Islamic preacher Maitatsine, took to the streets in a blaze of violence. Like Boko Haram today, Maitatsine reviled Westernization. He had declared himself a prophet and clashed with the police, but was supported by some Muslim clerics. My father remembers shuddering in fear alongside other Christians in their neighborhood, Sabon Gari, as the bloodshed snuffed out 4,000 lives. Eventually, the Nigerian Army arrived, Maitatsine was killed, and his followers fled to neighboring states to continue their insurgency . . . . One day in October 1991, when I was not quite 9, I walked toward a large mosque near our home. It was a Friday, and the street was closed. From afar, I could see worshipers on prayer mats in the road. The mosque's loudspeakers spewed out anger, and I wondered if this anger was why my parents warned us to stay away. Then, suddenly, worshipers spilled from the building, chanting in Arabic, punching the air with their fists . . . . I ran home dazed . . . . [Peaceful years passed.] Up north, we [now] hear, Boko Haram is the group that spreads fear today. But it has taken cruelty a step further. It focuses its rage on Western education. So its victims are often children.Those of us elsewhere in the world hear about Boko Haram, too, and that's why I'm writing about it here, why I post so often about Islamism.