September 7, 2012 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Kenya, Africa is a largely Christian nation. According to the generally reliable CIA Factbook the country is 88% Christian, with 45% of the population Protestant, 33% Catholic, Muslim 10% and an additional 10% professing various indigenous religious beliefs.
Kenya is one of the continent's few economic success stories, Having gained its independence from Great Britain in 1963, its current GDP exceeds $70B.
In recent history Christians and Muslims tended to co-exist [with many instances of Christian charity extended to desperately poor Muslims] over the last year though this has changed for the worse.
According to Reuters, Kenya Charges Cleric With Inciting Mombasa Riots:
"...A Kenyan Muslim cleric accused by Washington of supporting al Qaeda-linked militants in Somalia was charged on Monday with inciting violent protests that rocked the port city of Mombasa last week. Abubaker Sharif allegedly urged protesters to burn down churches and kill police officers in Kenya's second-biggest city during riots that killed five people, including three police..."
On August 27 a radical imam, Aboud Rogo, was apparently assassinated by Kenyan government forces in an attempt to halt al-Qaeda influence which has been imported from Somalia.
Rogo was free at the time but had served time on previous terrorism charges and is suspected of having been involved in numerous other terror related bombing incidents. He is widely believed to have been a member of the Somali franchise of al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab.
Since Rogo's death other Islamist imam's have stepped in to stoke anti-Christian mayhem, which has resulted in an increasing campaign of Muslim led violence against Christian churches.
A dispatch from McClatchy Newspapers, Kenya Church Attacks Latest Sign of Tension Between Christians and Muslims:
"...At least five churches, including the Salvation Army one in the poor Muslim district of Majengo, were attacked during heavy rioting, local religious leaders say. Other churches have been attacked with grenades in separate incidents over the past year..."
Unfortunately this trend does not appear to be going away, al-Qaeda/al-Shabaab being dedicated to violently imposing Shari'a wherever it can.
Africa has been targeted for a number of reasons.
On average it is a desperately poor continent - albeit one with a few relatively upwardly mobile nations, Nigeria and Kenya being examples - and thus has many failed states, witness Somalia. This is the perfect environment within which insurgents can thrive.
Additionally Africa's politics are largely ignored by DC and the continent seems to reel from one disaster to the next, many of them centered on violent confrontations, sometimes of tribal origin, but now largely involving the continuing jihad being led by al-Qaeda and its various factions.
These events should provide proof enough that al-Qaeda is quickly recovering its vitality after its setbacks in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The State Dept. has said little regarding the brewing Kenyan religious warfare.
At the August 27 State Dept. briefing, the following exchange took place
"...QUESTION: On Kenya?Another case of Team Obama being asleep at the switch.
MS. NULAND: Kenya, yeah.
QUESTION: There was a militant suspect called Aboud Rogo who was shot in Mombasa, and I wonder if you have any information about that. Apparently, he’s suspected to be a member of al-Shabaab, and his wife is claiming that the Kenyan police shot him.
MS. NULAND: Matt, I don’t have anything on that. Let me take it and see if we have anything to get back to you on..."
Al-Qaeda is on the march in Africa and the West had better start paying serious attention.