Convert or die: Ethnic cleansing in CAR

Convert or die: Ethnic cleansing in CAR

Mainstream media has long neglected the humanitarian plight of black victims, particularly on the African continent, writes Beydoun. [Getty]

Khaled A Beydoun

Muslims are only newsworthy when behind the gun, not in front of it.

Modern journalism continually reaffirms this baseline with regards to domestic crises and, perhaps even more so, international human rights calamities.

The systematic targeting of Muslims in the Central African Republic (CAR), a nation ravaged by strife since March of 2013, has devolved into massive scale ethnic cleansing.

However, few outside of the African nation and beyond the human rights community are even minimally aware of this humanitarian crisis.

In the past several weeks, armed militias have roved through the western part of the nation, intimidating and brutalising Muslims.

Anti-Balaka, a fundamentalist group comprised of animists and Christians, is forcing Muslims to worship in private, remove religious garb, and convert at gunpoint.

Brandishing religious fervour

While the term fundamentalism seems reserved exclusively for Muslim actors, Christian and animist militias in CAR have brandished religious fervour in one hand, and endless rounds of ammunition in the other to terrorise the nation’s 750,000 Muslims – which make up 15 percent of the nation’s population.

Anti-Balaka’s aim is as plain as it is gruesome: rid the nation of its Muslim population. At any cost.

For More: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/08/convert-die-ethnic-cleansing-car-150811130050880.html

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