On the heels of the Pope’s visit to Cameroon, where he lauded the generally peaceful relations between Christians and Muslims, this report reveals that, not only is “wahhabism” (i.e., literal and thus violent and intolerant Islam) becoming more mainstream, but the fact that there has been relative peace is mostly due to the authorities keeping Muslims at bay.
“Growing Concern in Cameroon Over Wahhabite Muslims,” by Nieves San Martin for Zenit, March 19:
YAOUNDÃ‰, Cameroon, MARCH 19, 2009 (Zenit.org).- A Cameroon university center that specializes in the study of Islam is noting a growing concern over the influence of Wahhabite Muslims who have arrived in the country from Sudan and Nigeria.
The concern was expressed to ZENIT by Father Krzysztof Zielenda, director of YaoundÃ©’s St. Joseph Mukasa Institute, a university for religious of 14 congregations.
According to Father Zielenda, a Mary Immaculate oblate, who has lived for many years in the country and who is a professor of Islamic religion at the institute, “in Cameroon, Islam is changing its physiognomy.”
He explained that “it is moving from the traditional Islam of fraternities, to an Islam marked by the Wahhabite movement,” a Muslim sect founded in Arabia in the 18th century by Muhammad ibn-Abdul Wahhab.
The priest explained “these are more fundamentalist movements that have arrived in Nigeria from Sudan and are now coming here from Nigeria. So the Muslim world is being reformed in Cameroon.”
He said Cameroon’s Islam community “has always been very linked to Nigeria because the first Muslim communities came from there.” He added, “And now the influence coming from there is not good because they are more fundamentalist groups.”
Father Zielenda asserted that up until now Muslims and Christians have lived together in harmony in Cameroon in a large extent due to the attitude of the political authorities.
In other words, not because Cameroon Muslims are tolerant, but because the authorities keep them in check. Read on:
He noted: “If coexistence between religions is good here, it is because the government watches over that coexistence. For example, in 2004, in a city in the north, there was a problem because a group of young Muslims virtually called a war against Cameroon’s Christians. All the administrative authorities were involved to try to calm spirits.”…