Christians are being murdered in Nigeria, but for the BBC, President Trump was wrong to point that out: “The US president showed little understanding of a very complicated and intensely politicised crisis.” It seems that President Trump has a bad habit of defending Christians: “Mr Trump has always been quick to jump to the defence of Christians in conflicts such as Syria and Iraq and comments like this play well to his base among Evangelical Christians in the US.”
What is so complicated about the conflict in Nigeria? “It is a widely touted refrain that the conflict between farmers and herdsmen constitutes a ‘genocide against Christians’. It is hard to support this claim with any fact: there have been many killings on both sides in this conflict.”
This is wildly misleading. Christians have been massacred frequently in Nigeria, as you can see here. On a small number of occasions, Christians have fought back. But the BBC’s contention that this is a conflict in which both sides share equal responsibility is flatly false.
Note also that in the video above, Buhari thanks Trump for decimating ISIS, with which Boko Haram was affiliated. That doesn’t make the BBC report, which does its best to make Trump sound moronic. Actually, Trump’s question to Buhari was about the girls that Boko Haram kidnapped, and Buhari answered it as the serious question it was.
“How Trump stirred controversy in Nigeria,” BBC, May 1, 2018 (thanks to Damian):
Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari became the first president from sub-Saharan Africa to visit Donald Trump’s White House on Monday. But even after they neatly avoided Mr Trump’s alleged comments about “shithole” African countries, the US president managed to stir controversy in Nigeria, writes the BBC’s Stephanie Hegarty from Lagos.
Perhaps warning bells rang when Mr Trump started off asking Mr Buhari how he was getting on with “that Boca Haram”, a reference to militant Islamist group Boko Haram.
But then again, maybe that slip of the tongue was predictable.
Less so was what he said next, as the former reality television star weighed in on the conflict between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria’s Middle Belt – or the way in which he would frame it.
“We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria,” Mr Trump said. “We are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen.”
The US president showed little understanding of a very complicated and intensely politicised crisis – one which has a battle between nomadic cattle herders and settled farmer over access to land and grazing rights at its centre.
But perhaps it should not come as any surprise. Mr Trump has always been quick to jump to the defence of Christians in conflicts such as Syria and Iraq and comments like this play well to his base among Evangelical Christians in the US.
But his point of view also plays into popular feeling among some Nigerian Christian groups.
It is a widely touted refrain that the conflict between farmers and herdsmen constitutes a “genocide against Christians”.
It is hard to support this claim with any fact: there have been many killings on both sides in this conflict.
But the recent attack on a Catholic church by suspected Fulani herdsmen and the murder of 17 people, including two priests, have added fuel to the flames of those who want to frame the conflict in this way.
After that attack a priest in the area told the BBC he was doing what he could do prevent young Christian men from his parish launching random reprisal attacks on Muslims. Clearly then, Mr Trump’s words then make for dangerous rhetoric….