Below is a rather stunning microcosm of the ideological issues between Islam and Christianity. We see of course that in Kenya as elsewhere, Christians are willing to die for their faith while Muslims are willing to kill for theirs.
As strategies go, the Islamic one is much more sound. To paraphrase General Patton, ‘The idea isn’t to die for your country. Its to make the other poor bastard die for his’.
Morally of course given that this article is accurate, and I have every reason to think it is, as the Muslims are behaving to the letter of Quoran, (that no church or other institution of religion may be repaired or rebuilt if damaged by Muslims etc), Christians clearly have the higher moral ground. But it will certainly lead them to being buried in it. As admirable as the Christians are in this instance, I think it would do them and frankly the rest of the world good if they set clear limits on the behavior of competing Muslims and those limits should be the same as ones for any group at all.
A longstanding effort to replace a church with a mosque in Kenya’s northern town of Garissa culminated in an attack by 50 Muslim youths recently that left the worship building in ruins.
The gang stormed the building of Redeemed Gospel Church on 14 September and pelted the congregation with stones, sending many Christians fleeing while others became embroiled in fistfights. Ten Christians received hospital treatment for minor injuries and were released.
Church leaders said the Muslim mob also destroyed pews, damaged the church building’s walls of corrugated iron, smashed the glass-mounted pulpit and burned the church banner with its stand, reports Compass Direct News.
“We had just started the Sunday service when, without warning, a rowdy group of about 50 Muslim youths invaded the church, pelting stones at us and destroying our structures,” said the church youth chairman, identified only as Suma.
Local media reported that the 10 church members were hospitalised, but a district nurse at the hospital told Compass that no-one was admitted due to the violence.
A church elder at East Africa Pentecostal Church in Garissa, about 249 miles from Nairobi, confirmed that the church members were treated at the hospital and allowed to go home.
Tensions between Christians and the Muslim-majority population in the semi-desert town of 20,000 people began simmering after Muslims built a mosque next to the church plot. Purchasing its land on in November 1999, the church had begun worshipping there by early 2001, eventually growing to 400 members.
Church leaders complained to the district commissioner in June 2007 that the new mosque was built too close to the church – only three metres separate the two structures – and that it was blocking the church entrance.
Officials had ruled that no further permanent structures were to be set up on the land by either party until a later date to be determined by the district commissioner.
“The church faithfully obeyed, but the Muslims defied the orders and began immediately to put up a permanent structure,” according to the letter church leaders wrote to the district commissioner. The building of the mosque was allegedly sponsored by a wealthy Muslim in Garissa, according to the letter.
“The problems between the church and the Muslims began and have escalated since then,” it states.
Government security intelligence had reported that Muslims planned to destroy the church if it continued to operate within the residential area, District Commissioner (DC) Alois Okango told Compass.
The administration had proposed a new site for the church to worship, Jamhuri Club, but two days before the attack church leaders wrote two letters to Okango saying they would remain worshipping in their building.
Okango told Compass that to avert a crisis, the administration has decided that the church should relocate temporarily to a site near an agricultural showground. The government also advised the church to sell its property near the mosque and buy another piece of land, preferably outside Garissa town center.
This suggestion, Okango told Compass, did not augur well with church members, who felt they had already established the church at the site and that it was the mosque that should be moving.
“The Christians threatened to go and worship in the ruined premises if no action was taken,” Okango said. “They said they were ready to die for the sake of their faith.”
The government is striving to avert further incidents by preventing the Christians from returning to the ruined structure, according to a Provincial Police official.