Tanzania: Zanzibar Islamists Riot, Burn Down Christian Churches (Again)
Over the past ten years, Islam has erupted like an angry volcano — particularly since the rise of the “Arab Spring” in 2011 — with Christian persecution and the elimination of Christian places of worship yet again and again in Zanzibar and elsewhere becoming a spontaneous, habitual Islamist tendency. Considering all the layers of ashes now accumulating throughout the Muslim world, it seems to me that we have a convincingly good reason for Webster’s to now include “Islam” alongside its definitions of “destruction” and “lawlessness” …
By Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala, Reuters – “Hundreds of supporters of a separatist Islamist group set fire to two churches and clashed with police during protests in Zanzibar over the weekend against the arrest of senior members of the movement, police and witnesses said.
Police accused the Uamsho (Awakening) group of ordering its supporters on to the streets – but the movement’s leadership denied having any part in the unrest.
Clashes broke out in the historic commercial and tourism centre of Stone Town on Saturday night and continued until Sunday afternoon, witnesses told Reuters.
The reports of attacks on churches will raise fears of an escalation in religious tensions in the predominantly Muslim island ruled by a semi-autonomous secular government. Several bars were attacked last year.
Shops remained closed and people stayed in their homes on Sunday as riot police patrolled the streets of Stone Town, witnesses said.
‘There is a lot of tension, people are hiding in their houses. All the streets are empty, it’s the only the police who are out there,’ resident Mai Zuberi told Reuters by phone.
‘There were clashes all night on Saturday and the violence continued until noon today. All the roads were blocked in the Stone Town area,’ Zuberi added.” Read more.
Flashback: Tanzania: Muslim Family Severely Beats and Threatens to Kill Christian Convert – “On Tanzania’s semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar, Christians live in a climate of fear. It’s a place where a young man flees the island to escape death threats from his Muslim family, and a Christian who accidentally burned pages of the Quran opts for jail by entering a guilty plea rather than face certain death from a furious mob. Yusuf Abdalla, 23, fled to Moshi, mainland Tanzania, after his family threatened to kill him in June. Having converted to Christianity in October 2010 after hearing the gospel on the radio, he was enrolled at a vocational school in Zanzibar city to learn tailoring when his family found out in March that he had left Islam.” Read more.