It is not hard to remember man's inhumanity to man in this country.By Our Nigeria Correspondent
JOS, Nigeria, Feb. 1, 2015 (Morning Star News) – The 70th anniversary of the liberation of prisoners of the German concentration camp at Auschwitz on Jan. 27 brought to mind the Holocaust Memorial Museum I visited in Jerusalem in 1992.
I was gripped with fear as I heard recordings of anguished cries of little children echoing off the walls of the museum. In the darkness, I could move forward only by looking down to the floor and following marked arrows. Mirrors reflected candle lights so that they appeared to be millions, representing the lives of children and aged, women and men, who were murdered by the regime of Adolf Hitler. Moving inside the Holocaust Memorial Museum was like walking through a cemetery at night alone.
I was reminded of Psalm 23, “though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death,” and something told me it was the prayer of many who were killed in the camps. I could hear the recitation of this prayer from distant voices over 70 years ago, and this prayer has not ceased as it is prayed across the world every day – especially in Nigeria.
The Holocaust occurred between 1940 and 1945, when more than 6 million Jews were exterminated as Hitler’s terror machine fanned across Europe. As I left the museum in Jerusalem, one thing was on in my mind – will the world allow such a catastrophe to occur again? Will global political leaders allow innocent souls to be destroyed again by some mad men? I prayed then that such an event must never occur.
It appears that we are about to experience another Holocaust, this time in Africa. Terrorism has become more demonic as men gripped by evil have been spreading a theology of evil and killing thousands of people in the name of God. In Africa, we daily read news of bombings and attacks on innocent persons by gun-wielding men who chant religious incantations.
Islamists from the Boko Haram sect are attacking most Christian communities in northeast Nigeria and spreading their activities to other areas – Christian minorities in southern Borno and in the more central Nigerian states of Bauchi, Nasarawa, Plateau, southern Kaduna, Benue, and Taraba have come under constant attacks from Fulani militia in concert with Boko Haram elements. These killings have resulted in the destruction of thousands of lives and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of others.
A lesson the Nigerian government should learn from Auschwitz is that it took just one man, Hitler, to ignite the fire that consumed over 6 million lives. So also one man, Abubakar Shekau, parading himself as the spokesman of Allah and pointing his Quran and the gun at Christians in northern Nigeria, is enough warning for the government to act decisively to put a stop to this madness before we have a replication of the Holocaust here.
Global leaders in the United Nations must be made to understand that Islamic extremism should not be treated with kid gloves, as it is at the moment. Lives are being destroyed, and instead of firm decisions to contain the violence, the politics of self-preservation for political leaders has become the norm. This is pathetic. There is a need to assert that every human life is important before God.
In Joel Rosenberg’s 2014 book, “The Auschwitz Escape,” he writes, “Evil, unchecked, is the prelude to genocide.” Unless appropriate measures are taken to check the evil that has enveloped Nigeria, Africa, and the world, no race, nationality or faith community will escape the same end. Now is the time to act.
Photo: Auschwitz-Birkenau, main track. (C. Puisney, Wikipedia)