The Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka says the UK, not Nigeria, should be on the terrorism watch-list.
Read the comments in The Times and you see that almost all responders agree with her. Pretty hard not to actually.
Ever since I told the US website The Daily Beast that Britain was a cesspit and a breeding ground for fundamentalist Muslims, people have been asking me what I meant: “Why do you, a Nobel laureate, say such things? Where’s the evidence?”
So let me clarify: I was responding to a question about what I thought about Nigeria, my home country, being placed on a US watch-list of states deemed to be incubators of Islamist terrorism. The listing — which puts Nigeria into a club whose members include Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen — followed the failed attack by the Nigerian student Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the young man who boarded a plane with a bomb in his underpants.
I believe it was irrational to point the finger of suspicion at Nigeria because this young man — the so-called Christmas Day bomber — was not radicalised in Nigeria. Everything we know about Abdulmutallab suggests that it happened in London, where he went to university.
The same is true of the shoe bomber, Richard Reid. And of the extremists who bombed the London Underground and the buses in July 2005. (A Nigerian was killed in those bombings.) The terrorists who primed a car found outside a London nightclub in 2007 with petrol containers, gas canisters and nails were based in Britain. If Nigeria qualifies for a place on the US list of terrorist countries then, admit it, Britain is overqualified. Continue Reading →