[Editor’s note: Make sure to read Robert Spencer’s masterpiece contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
The news out of Uganda Saturday was horrifying. The Associated Press reported that authorities in that country had “recovered the bodies of 41 people, including 38 students, who were burned, shot or hacked to death after suspected rebels attacked a secondary school near the border with Congo.” The rebels were members of the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), which despite its name is actually an Islamic group with ties to the Islamic State (ISIS) and aspirations of establishing a caliphate in Central and East Africa. While the world’s attention has been focused on Ukraine, climate and COVID hysteria, and the alleged crimes of Donald Trump, the global jihad, which most Americans regard as a relic from 2001, has been newly resurgent in Africa.
The massacre, according to AP, took place at Lhubiriha Secondary School in the town of Mpondwe, which is near the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The ADF, says AP, “has been launching attacks for years from bases in volatile eastern Congo.” Mpondwe-Lhubiriha Mayor Selevest Mapoze “said that some of the students suffered fatal burns when the rebels set fire to a dormitory and others were shot or hacked with machetes.” By the time soldiers arrived on the scene, the entire school was ablaze and there were “dead bodies of students lying in the compound,” according to Ugandan military spokesman Brig. Gen. Felix Kulayigye.
Uganda’s New Vision reported Saturday that only three students survived the attack. One of them, a young man named Mumbere Bright, recounted that “the rebels immediately shot dead the student who was at the entrance after entering the dormitory.” He added, “The rebels asked for Muslims among the students, but there were none. The rebels said they do not kill fellow believers.” After that, “they slaughtered every student in their sight using pangas, axes and sharp objects.”
The fact that the rebels hoped to separate Muslims from the other students before beginning their massacre is noteworthy. The Qur’an forbids Muslims to kill fellow Muslims (4:92); regarding non-Muslims, however, it repeats the injunction to “kill them wherever you find them” (2:191, 4:89, cf. 9:5), although subjugating them under Islamic rule is also offered as an option (9:29). There have been many instances in which jihadis separated Muslims from a crowd before killing the non-Muslims. Even in the U.S., a jihad terrorist in Minnesota in 2016 asked mall shoppers if they were Muslim and then stabbed non-Muslims.
Similarly, in April 2022 in Nigeria, jihadis stormed a brothel, telling people to recite the Qur’an, and murdering ten people who could not do. Also in Nigeria, in January 2022, a man recounted that Fulani jihadis stopped him and started beating him. Then they asked him if he was Muslim or Christian; when he said he was Christian, they intensified the beating. In Burkina Faso in November 2021, jihadis asked villagers if they were Christian or Muslim, then killed the Christians. In Mozambique in June 2021, jihadis hunted for Christians door-to-door. In the Philippines in February 2019, jihadis murdered a man for failing to recite Qur’an verses, while releasing six others who could recite them.
In Mali in 2015, jihadis screaming “Allahu akbar” took hostages, freeing those who could recite the Qur’an. In September 2013 at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, jihadis murdered people who couldn’t answer questions about Islam. In June 2014, jihadis murdered people who could not pass an Islam quiz. In a Bangladeshi restaurant in July 2016, jihadis spared those who could recite from the Qur’an. In July 2017 in Kenya, jihadis asked their captives to “recite Islamic dogmas” and murdered those who couldn’t do so. In May 2018 in Belgium, a jihadi who murdered four people told a hostage that he wouldn’t harm her since she was Muslim and was observing the Ramadan fast. In September 2018 in Kenya, jihadis murdered two non-Muslims for failing to recite the Qur’an.
It is noteworthy that so many of those incidents took place in Africa. If the jihadis succeed in attaining their goals, Christians and other non-Muslims all over the continent will be forced into a humiliating inferior status featuring all manner of institutionalized discrimination. The second-class status prescribed for non-Muslims under Islamic law makes Merrick Garland’s two-tier justice system look like Blind Justice personified.
Now we see the same phenomenon of Islamic supremacism and jihad violence in Uganda. Meanwhile, jihadis strike virtually every day in Nigeria, and are active in Somalia, Mozambique, and elsewhere in Africa as well. The governments of the various states in which the jihadis operate seem unable (or, in Nigeria’s case, unwilling) to stop them. It could be that a distracted world could someday soon find to its horror that ISIS, a group that most people thought had been stamped out years ago, has established a new caliphate comprising much of Africa. This would give a whole new piquancy to the mass migration of young African men into Europe, and have far-reaching geopolitical implications. But hey, let’s not forget the really important stuff about these jihadis: what are their pronouns?