Saturday, October 20, 2012

In Other News

Lest we allow things to remain too lighthearted, it is important to remember that beyond the amusements of international interspecies intercourse or the remarkably more absurd character of American politics, there is real news going on which ought to affect all of us. For my part, I was troubled by the attack yesterday in Beirut, with its religious undercurrent hovering just below the surface. More disturbing still, however, is the revelation out of Kenya that Muslim groups appear to be converting Christians for the purpose of bombing churches:

Al Shabab, a militant Islamist group with ties to Al Qaeda, is no longer relying on its traditional base of Somali or Swahili Muslims. Instead, the group is recruiting a new multi-ethnic band of recruits, many of whom are former Christians, making it more difficult to identify would be attackers.

“It is the recent coverts who [are] being used to bomb churches. It is not members of the Somali, Boran, or Swahili communities, which have many Muslims, but the other tribes which have been known to follow Christianity, like the Luo, Kikuyu, or Luhya,” says Rev. Wellington Mutiso, the head of Evangelical Alliance of Kenya.

...Analysts say the problem originates with the chronic poverty that faces many young, well-educated, and talented Kenyans. Emmanuel Kisiangani, a senior researcher with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Nairobi, says that poor Kenyan youth are being lured into Al Shabab because of the promise of an income...

Enabling Kenyan youth to deal with poverty, “uprootedness,” and youth disfranchisement could help keep them from turning to extremism, says Nyabera. He says if Christian churches practiced what they preached a bit more, that would also help.

This final observation bears consideration.

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