Masked ‘Mujahedeen’ belonging to al-Shabab stormed a busy shopping mall in Nairobi on Saturday. After they besieged it, they made an announcement that those among them who could prove they were Muslims by either reciting a prayer or showing their ID, they could go outside. Others, largely Westerners including Canadians, Britons, Americans, relatives of Kenyan President and sadly among them, a Ghanaian poet Kofi Awooner were ruthlessly massacred. Dozens of injured who escaped related how the gunmen were saying prayers out loud as they fired the bullets on the people. At least 68 were dead, the number could rise owing to dozens badly injured. The gunmen were holed up inside the mall holding an unknown number of hostages at the time of writing.
What we are seeing in Africa we have already seen in Afghanistan and other such places. The Kenyan President Kenyatta stated on Sunday that it was not a Kenyan war but an international war, a fact that is often ignored, mostly by leaders from the Muslim world.
The writing is now too deeply etched on the wall for anyone to overlook. The whole multitude of sins that religious radicalism has unleashed are very far from showing any signs of abating, a reality that does not get accepted in much of Muslim world because of dangerously conservative societies that they have become.
Pakistan should draw its lessons; it is the worst hit country but it looks as though we have no such intention. There is neither any plan nor strategy to isolate those who preach violence in the name of religion even though what happened in Nairobi has been happening here for a long time. Harrowing tales of how passengers travelling from one province to another are shot dead because of their sects, appearances and places they belong to have sadly gone unnoticed. The Kenyan massacre should not merely be seen as its internal security problem; it should serve as a spur to deal with the malaise afflicting many if not most of the Muslims countries.