Senegal has long had a reputation for religious tolerance. Then again, so has Indonesia, demonstrating that no Muslim-majority country is invulnerable to the resurgence of intolerance, deceit, and eventual violence that accompanies a resurgence of interest in Sharia law (see also: Aceh).
Further illustrating the potential erosion of the vaunted tolerance of Senegal, the association of local imams said the head imam had asked the youth to “march” for some reason not named below, and that they “did not endorse the destruction, ‘but they do think that the youth had reason’.” Such indifference to violence against unbelievers is endemic in other purportedly “moderate” nations, even among those not taking up arms themselves, and it enables those who do.
“Hundreds of Muslim youth in Senegal burn a church, destroy bar in capital neighbourhood,” from the Associated Press, June 26 (thanks to Ima Freeman):
DAKAR, Senegal – Witnesses say hundreds of Muslim youths burned a church in a neighbourhood on the northern part of the capital.
Mama Faye, 24, says she and hundreds of others on Sunday went to a Jehovah’s Witness church on the fringes of their Yoff neighbourhood and interrupted a sermon with rioting. She says after churchgoers left they burned the church. She says they also destroyed a nearby bar.
Faye says riot police arrived and started clashing with the rioters on the streets.
A doctor at a local hospital said at least 37 people were injured in the clashes. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to speak to press.
Theirno Mbeugne, spokesman for a local imam association, said the head imam had asked the youth to march. He said the imams did not endorse the destruction, “but they do think that the youth had reason.”