Only in the fourth paragraph of “Anti-Muslim Riot in Nigeria Turns Deadly,” an AP story (thanks to all who sent this in), are we told that these rampaging Christian mobs were responding to deadly attacks on Christians, which they had provoked in no way whatsoever except that they shared the religion that has been mostly cast off by the citizens of the country in which twelve cartoons of Muhammad were printed in a newspaper.
Only in the ninth paragraph of this story are we told that Muslim rioters in Nigeria have burned down 30 churches, and that in all 18 people have been murdered, “most of them Christians,” and that “the Christian Association of Nigeria said at least 50 people were killed in the violence.”
Note also that “anti-Christian” does not appear in the headline of this AP story reporting on the initial Muslim attacks.
I am not condoning the actions of rampaging mobs of any religion. I am condemning the biased AP coverage that, as it has so many times in the past, portrays unprovoked Muslim attacks against Christians and the Christian reaction to those attacks as “Christian-Muslim violence,” as if both sides were equally responsible.
LAGOS, Nigeria – Christian mobs rampaged through a southern Nigerian city Tuesday, burning mosques and killing several people in an outbreak of anti-Muslim violence that followed deadly protests against caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad over the weekend.
Residents and witnesses in the southern, predominantly Christian city of Onitsha said several Muslims with origins in the north were beaten to death by mobs which also burned two mosques there.
“The mosque at the main market has been burnt and I’ve counted at least six dead bodies on the streets,” Izzy Uzor, an Onitsha resident and businessman, told The Associated Press by telephone. “The whole town is in a frenzy and people are running in all directions.”
The violence appeared to be in reprisal for anti-Christian violence Saturday in the mostly Muslim northern city of Maiduguri in which thousands of Muslims protesting caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad attacked Christians and burned churches, killing at least 18 people.
Another Onitsha resident, Isotonu Achor, said one badly beaten Muslim man ran into his office from the streets to escape the violence.
“There is blood all over him and I’m scared they’ll come for him here. If he doesn’t get urgent treatment he will die,” Achor said.
Police and government officials were not immediately available for comment.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country of more than 130 million people, is roughly divided between a predominantly Muslim north and a mainly Christian south. Thousands of people have died in religious violence in Nigeria since 2000.
Saturday’s protest over the cartoons of Prophet Muhammad in Maiduguri marked the first violent demonstrations over the issue in Nigeria. Police say at least 18 people, most of them Christians, died, and 30 churches were burned down. The Christian Association of Nigeria said at least 50 people were killed in the violence.