Je Suis Baga?
“Je Suis Charlie” is the popular rejoinder chanted by thousands across the world in the wake of the terror attacks on the offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Habdo. The sound of unity echoing from Europe to America rings hollow when contrasted with the silence of the international community in response to continuing violence across Nigeria and Cameroon that has been committed by the al Qaeda off-shoot Boko Haram.
Slowly but steadily, the group has been amassing territory and now controls some 20,000 square miles, which is about the size of Belgium or Slovakia.
Their latest conquest was the fishing town of Baga on the shores of Lake Chad, which fell to the Islamists last Wednesday. Je Suis Baga?
“For five kilometres (three miles), I kept stepping on dead bodies until I reached Malam Karanti village, which was also deserted and burnt,” one surviving fisherman, Yanaye Grema, told London’s Daily Telegraph.
“If Isil can declare a Caliphate, then so can we. Boko Haram want to be seen by their peers as grown-up jihadis. They want to show ‘we can control territory, we can control a Caliphate’,” said Andrew Pocock, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria.
Today, satellite images were released which appeared to show the destruction inflicted by Boko Haram.
In attempting to explain the lack of coverage by Western media, China Okasi writes on MSNBC.com that the Nigerian government shares responsibility because it has betrayed its own citizens and has not brought passion to the inhumanity against them.
“But in Nigeria, everything unimaginable, everything wrong, everything unjust, has now become par for the course. To phrase that reality any other way would be a further disservice to the people of Nigeria. The singular truth of the Nigerian condition is that its people have been unapologetically robbed, abused, and left to die by their government,” Okasi contends.
Speaking specifically to the murders in Paris, George Friedman, an analyst with Stratfor, argues that the radical Islamic terrorism has nothing to do with poverty, as some have alleged. In fact, he says, many of those Muslims who have come to Europe have not made an effort to assimilate.
“These killings have nothing to do with poverty, of course. Newly arrived immigrants are always poor. That’s why they immigrate. And until they learn the language and customs of their new homes, they are always ghettoized and alien. It is the next generation that flows into the dominant culture. But the dirty secret of multiculturalism was that its consequence was to perpetuate Muslim isolation. And it was not the intention of Muslims to become Europeans, even if they could. They came to make money, not become French. The shallowness of the European postwar values system thereby becomes the horror show that occurred in Paris last week,” Friedman clarifies in a lengthy piece in Stratfor.