27 January 2012
has prised open crevices where ethnic, religious and socioeconomic fault lines intersect
A bombing campaign is reductionist by design. Complex societies with long and painful histories end up being reduced to simple dichotomies : north v south, Muslim v Christian, poor v rich. Or in Boko Haram
's case, the righteous v the apostate. There is something particularly chilling in the interview which we publish today with a representative of the Islamic militant group, whose campaign of violent jihad has claimed hundreds of lives already this year. It is when he claims that Nigeria 's 70 million Christians would be "protected" under the group 's envisioned Islamic state but goes on to deliver the following threat: "There are no exceptions. Even if you are a Muslim and you do not abide by sharia, we will kill you. Even if you are my own father, we will kill you."