“Religion-torn.” It just might as well be followers of the Flying Spaghetti Monster as any other set of beliefs. We don’t even get the usual, catchy, alliterative “sectarian strife.” No, religion did it.
The headline could have been: “Muslims claim retaliation in machete attack on Christian village, 6 dead.” But stories like this are par for the course: when Muslims attack non-Muslims, the mainstream media highlights reciprocal “tensions.”
JOS, Nigeria — Authorities say machete-wielding attackers have killed six people in two attacks on Christian villages in central Nigeria.
The attacks occurred Sunday night south of Jos with attackers armed with machetes and firearms targeting two Christian villages.
Violence between Christians and Muslims has claimed more than 500 lives over the last year in Jos and surrounding areas.
Officials say the raid was in retaliation for a New Year’s Eve attack on a van full of Muslims returning from a wedding that left at least eight people dead.
The implication there is that Christians fired the first proverbial shot in this round of violence. There is nary a mention of the massive casualties — at least 86 dead — in the Christmas massacres carried out against Christian worshipers. And of course, there is no mention of the drive to impose Sharia law across Nigeria.
But wait, it’s not really about religion except when it sort of is:
Sectarian violence has been on the rise in recent weeks. The attacks often have more to do with politics and economics, though violence frequently falls across religious lines.