In a context of confusion and flashy journalism, rigour becomes a precious value.
The Religious Liberty Commission has published a statement warning about the terrorist groups that “compete with each other in revealing their evil intent.”
The World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) has condemned “the cowardly, senseless, inhuman, targeted killing of innocent Christian students at Kenya’s Garissa University College by masked gunmen from the Al-Shabaab terror group.”
In the statement, they encouraged Christians to keep fighting against these acts: “This deep sorrow should now impel us to defeat terrorism in Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere.”
“We cannot look at terrorism in isolation, be it Kenya, Somalia, Iraq or Syria”, WEA Religious Liberty Commission Executive Director Godfrey Yogarajah said.
“Al-Shabaab, which claimed responsibility for the shameless killing, as well as groups like al-Qaeda, Islamic State (ISIS) and Boko Haram are transnational terror groups or aspire to become one, and appear to be either cooperating or competing with each other in revealing their evil intent”, the Director explained.
AL-SHABAAB TERRORIST ATTACKS
Kenya shares a long, porous border (700 Km) with Somalia and has long suffered from instability in its neighbourhood. Kenya also has several coastal towns, which can facilitate movements of terrorists from Somalia. Al-Shabaab controls southern parts of Somalia, where the common border exists.
Al Hijra is Al Shabaab´s Kenyan affiliate, which exploits perceptions among sections of Muslims regarding their marginalization by the primarily Christian administration of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Al-Shabaab has been seeking to retaliate for Kenya’s decision to send troops to Somalia in 2011 to fight the terror group. It is estimated that Al-Shabaab killed at least 400 people and injured over 1,000 in more than 100 attacks between 2011 and 2014.
The same terror group also attacked Nairobi’s Westgate Mall on September 21, 2013, causing at least 68 dead and 175 wounded. This week’s attack was even more brutal.
YIHAD THREATS TO CHRISTIANS
Yogarajah stated that this terrorist attack “is an unfortunate race among terror groups to cause destruction of human lives to maintain their relevance at a time when ISIS is causing unprecedented bloodshed”, and all this “demands that the international coalition fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria should expand their mission to include other terror groups as their targets – of course, not with airstrikes or troops on the ground”.
“World leaders should join hands to defeat terrorism by cooperating with each other and treating the end of terrorism in every country as a common objective”, he added.
KENYA NEEDS MORE
The Religious Liberty Commission Director believed that Kenya “must make changes in its counterterrorism strategy, which currently appears to be mere pursuit of heavy-handedness”, because “the alleged targeting civil society, curbing civil freedoms, extra-judicial killings and abductions and random raids in Muslim areas will not only not help, but may also make the country a fertile ground for radicalization and recruitment for terror groups”.
“The international community and world leaders working towards peace and stability in all terror-torn regions and helping governments fight all terror groups could be the best way forward”, Yogarajah said.
CALL TO PRAYER
“We, as Christians, believe in the power of prayer, and we must be on our knees for the victims and survivors and the governments and the international organizations that are committed to sincerely help eradicate terrorism”, the statement concluded.