The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

Stephen Schwartz
Nigeria, a major oil producer, is the most populous African country with around 130 million people, of whom half are Muslim, 40 percent are Christian and 10 percent follow indigenous faiths. Nigeria has a civilian government, but is troubled by widespread corruption and uneven institutional development.

At the end of September 2005, Nigerian oil production was temporarily stopped by threats of violent protest from the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, headed by an adventurer known as Mujahid Dokubo-Asari. Asari, as he is commonly called, is 40; he was born to a Christian family and named Dokubo Melford Goodhead, Jr. Asari is a member of the Ijaw ethnic group, which counts several million people, mainly Catholics and other Christians, although their beliefs also include local spiritual traditions. They represent a majority in the main Nigerian petroleum zone. Asari became Muslim in the 1990s and, after failing in an attempt to enter the legal profession, embarked on an equally unsuccessful political career. But notwithstanding his Islamic rhetoric and reported devotion to the faith and his militant stance, his goals are separatist, rather than theological or ideological [1].

Furthermore, as a southerner and Ijaw, he is out of touch with the majority of Nigerian Muslims. It is increasingly clear that Nigeria has been a target for aggressive, radical Sunni Muslim agents supported by religious charities and other outreach (da’wa) groups headquartered in Saudi Arabia. In recent times, the main aim of Islamists in Nigeria has been the establishment of extreme Shari’ah, along the lines of the Wahhabi sect, as the exclusive law in the Muslim states of the north.

In addition to penetration across the border with Chad, the activities of Saudi, Sudanese, Syrian, and Palestinian representatives in Nigeria is cause for concern. More important, “scores of Pakistanis” have been arrested in the West African country and charged with inciting violence since September 11, 2001, and early in 2004 a rebellion by a group calling itself “Taliban” broke out in Yobe state, on the northern frontier of Nigeria [2].

A “Taliban” cleric, Alhaji Sharu, told police he had received funds for the Nigerian network from al-Muntada al-Islami [3], an agency headed by Dr. Adil ibn Muhammad al-Saleem and based in Britain, but associated with the official Saudi state charitable and da’wa institutions, the Muslim World League (MWL), World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), and al-Haramain Islamic Foundation. All these groups are alleged by American and international investigators to be terror-financing bodies. Including al-Muntada al-Islami, they are together represented in the U.S. by the “Friends of Charity Association,” with a website at, and by the Washington attorney Wendell Belew.

In a recent statement, Belew disclosed, with no-doubt-unintended humor, “FOCA’s representatives have met with senior Bush administration officials to offer cooperation in the form of exchange of financial, human resource, organizational and other information about our members. Though these offers have been declined by the administration so far, we are actively cooperating in similar efforts with various members and committees of Congress” [4]. Belew also represents Dallah al-Baraka Holding Co., a Saudi business giant.

In turn, Dallah al-Baraka is headed by Saleh Abdullah Kamel, whose name appears in the “Golden Chain,” a roster seized by Bosnian authorities in Sarajevo in March 2002, which records Saudi donors to bin Laden and his associates. Kamel is listed in the “Golden Chain” as a supplier of funds to Adil Abdeljalil Batterjee, founder of the Benevolence International Foundation, also designated a terror-financing entity by the U.S. Treasury Department. Kamel and Batterjee continue to walk the streets of the kingdom unmolested. In the aftermath of the al-Muntada al-Islami scandal in Nigeria—in which Nigerian police charged that “millions of dollars” had been sent from Saudi Arabia to finance local religious conflict—the influential Nigerian branch of the Qadiri Sufi brotherhood held demonstrations calling for the expulsion of Wahhabis [5]. Qadiris are known for their Islamic activism and participation in combat in locations as diverse as Kosovo, Chechnya, and, recently, in Iraq.

Given the status of Nigeria as an ideological arena for radicals, it should perhaps come as no surprise that a prominent cleric from the ranks of the Shi’a Muslim minority in the turbulent northern state of Kaduna, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky, recently told the Daily Independent, a major national paper: “Al-Qaeda does not exist, please. It is non-existent. It exists only in the records of the CIA. Otherwise, Al-Qaeda does not exist anywhere in the world. Similarly, bin Laden does not exist. Those sites in the Internet have been traced to Texas in the United States of America.” Asked if he believed bin Laden is alive, sheikh Zakzaky commented, “I don’t know whether he is alive or not…The United States government, which claims to be the strongest in the world, is fighting someone who does not have a base, no government, no anything, no palace, why can’t they go and fight China?” On the topic of the July bombings in London, he declared, “Nobody planted those bombs in London except Tony Blair. The British government is behind it” [6].

Zakzaky summarized the 45-year legacy of Nigerian independence as one of bad leadership because people are bad. But other Islamists in Nigeria have embarked on a campaign against the country’s Shi’a minority. Sunni-Shi’a conflict had already broken out in the northern state of Sokoto in May 2005, when Sunni fanatics attempted to prevent Shias from entering a local mosque. A considerable Nigerian immigrant community resides in the U.S. cities of New York and Washington, and Shias among them are perturbed by a late report from the large northern city of Kano, posted on a popular Nigerian Islamic website,

The report’s author, Mahmoud Mustapha, warns, “Since Malam Ibrahim Shekarau assumed office as the third civilian governor of Kano state on May 29, 2003, Shi’a followers in this Sunni-dominated city have been under threat of attack from bloodthirsty Wahhabis that have taken control of the machinery of government… [T]he government sponsored a systematic and sustained media campaign against Shi’a followers on its radio station, which refers to suicide attacks by Iraqi Wahhabi dissidents against Shias and their places of worship as Jihad. With this campaign they intend to instill in the minds of the people of Kano the desire and the zeal to attack and kill Shias in the name of Jihad, knowing very well the strong support and respect the Iraqi dissidents enjoy from the majority of the Sunnis in Kano” [7].

The Kano state government allegedly seeks to use 9,000 sharia militiamen or hisbah to harass Shias. The hisbah draw a monthly budget from Kano state of 54 million naira ($385,714) and now work as traffic officers. But Abdullahi Tanko, head of the state Sharia Commission administering the hisbah, has initiated an effort to label Shias a threat to public order by equating them with the “Maitatsine,” a millenialist and militant reform sect with a few thousand adherents, derived from Islam but extremely heterodox. The sect was founded by Alhajji Muhammadu Marwa, a Cameroun-born figure, and was blamed for bloody clashes in northern Nigeria in 1980 and 1982.

Tanko complained on official Kano state radio in mid-September 2005, “The Shi’a are fast gaining ground in Kano, like wild fire… in every nook and corner of this state, and if we don’t act fast and decisively we will be faced with a disaster worse than Maitatsine.” Mahmoud Mustapha, writing on these developments, argued, “It is no coincidence that Tanko made this statement a day after Al-Zarqawi, the leader of the terrorists in Iraq from whom the Wahhabis take [their] lead in fighting Shias all over the world, declared a war against the Shi’a in Iraq.” Mustapha further predicted, “Once the attacks start in Kano, they will be extended to other ‘sharia implementing states’ with similar hisbah outfits. Al-Qaeda in Nigeria is born!” [8]

Although such a portrait of the Nigerian situation may seem sensationalized, it is clear that as the dominant power in the entire West African region, the country will remain a major focus of extreme Islamist attention. In addition, Muslim activists in the West African diaspora living in the U.S. insist, in dismay, that Nigeria, which lacks the widespread influence of Sufis and other mystics found in the coastal Francophone states such as Senegal, is especially susceptible to radical agitation. Finally, Nigeria is also characterized by polarization of Muslims against Christians. In these conditions, Nigeria must be considered a country at serious risk of becoming a major new front for Islamist terrorism.

Tags: Extremism, Islamic, Nigeria, Rise, in, on, the

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Replies to This Discussion

Where are our professionals in all of this? Where's the Foreign Office? MI6? the Home Office? You know, those people we pay lots of money to, and give offices, staff, budgets and powers, so they can organise our defence against all threats to our freedom?
Why are we studying this stuff and not them?

In the biggest urban centre in northern Nigeria a new [islamic] terrorist group has inflicted a steady drumbeat of violence since carrying out the deadliest attacks in its history.

The local police – despised and demoralised – virtually disappeared from the streets after suicide bombers destroyed two of their stations, a regional headquarters and the official residence of their most senior officer last Friday.

The police stayed out of the way as Boko Haram, the Islamist extremists who claimed responsibility, pressed on with their offensive. On Tuesday night, another of Kano's police stations was destroyed; on Thursday morning, a bomb concealed inside a drinks can exploded at a crowded bus station, wounding five people and causing thousands to flee in panic.

And we know from the behaviour of the Norwegian police at Utoya Island, and the behaviour of the British police during the riots last August, that when things kick off in Europe, the police will stand back and let it happen.  The same thing has been documented in Denmark, Germany and Belgium.  As soon as things get a little bit hairy, the people who are supposedly there to protect us, will just disappear.

Also from the Telegraph article:

In 1999, nine northern states adopted Sharia as the basis of civil and criminal law. In practise, however, the authorities have trodden carefully and Sharia punishments are rare.

Nonetheless, the Christian minority in northern Nigeria – perhaps 5 per cent of Kano's population – feels increasingly threatened. "What we have seen is a confirmation that Islamisation is growing wings in the north," said Bishop Ransom Bello, head of the Kano branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria. "This is all part of the effects of this radicalisation over the years."

Note that it pre-dates 9/11. Note that, as in Egypt, a Bishop is speaking out.  And where is the outcry from British Bishops?  Bishops Carey and Runcie seem like pitbulls, compared to the current un-washed, hairy inhabitant of Canterbury.  We know that if there was a sustained attack across the globe by christians on muslims, that liberal-left would be all over it.

Terry Jones threat to burn a Koran got 100x more publicity than what is happening to the Copts or the Nigerians.

I think it comes down to the mechanics of gangsterism again.

The Christian grouping is hopelessly weak and just stands by while its members are massacred, or even worse (like Archbishop Rowan Williams), takes the side of the Islamic gangsters against his own people because its safer.

The police 'gang' is strong in places like China, but hopelessly weak and confused, thanks to decades of liberal group think, in the West, so is also unable to protect the people.

So the answer must be to join the strongest gang.  All those Nigerian Christians should become Muslims, then they will be protected.  Eventually the North will be entirely Muslim, then its strength will be undisputed (with no internal divisions, like we suffer from), and it can attack and subdue the South.

Then, finally, we will have peace in Nigeria, and all the Leftist Loons can say "See! I told you: Islam is a religion of peace".

As an alternative proposition, we could look at Pope Urban as a model for what needs to be done.  Whilst the leading British liberal academics of The Crusades find the violence and belligerence of the 11th century christians "bizarre" and "incomprehensible", in the context of the living jihad we are witnessing in Nigeria/Thailand/Sudan/Israel, such decisive violence is indeed comprehensible.

But one thing looks pretty certain.  Extreme violence is coming to Europe, and on a scale that has not been seen for at least 500 years, and maybe 1000 years.  I'm sure in 2070 people will look back on 1970 and curse every single politician.  The civil unrest in Ireland will look like an era of peace and love, compared to what is going to sweep all across Europe.

Alan Lake said:

So the answer must be to join the strongest gang.  All those Nigerian Christians should become Muslims, then they will be protected.  Eventually the North will be entirely Muslim, then its strength will be undisputed (with no internal divisions, like we suffer from), and it can attack and subdue the South.


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Most Western societies are based on Secular Democracy, which itself is based on the concept that the open marketplace of ideas leads to the optimum government. Whilst that model has been very successful, it has defects. The 4 Freedoms address 4 of the principal vulnerabilities, and gives corrections to them. 

At the moment, one of the main actors exploiting these defects, is Islam, so this site pays particular attention to that threat.

Islam, operating at the micro and macro levels, is unstoppable by individuals, hence: "It takes a nation to protect the nation". There is not enough time to fight all its attacks, nor to read them nor even to record them. So the members of 4F try to curate a representative subset of these events.

We need to capture this information before it is removed.  The site already contains sufficient information to cover most issues, but our members add further updates when possible.

We hope that free nations will wake up to stop the threat, and force the separation of (Islamic) Church and State. This will also allow moderate Muslims to escape from their totalitarian political system.

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These 4 freedoms are designed to close 4 vulnerabilities in Secular Democracy, by making them SP or Self-Protecting (see Hobbes's first law of nature). But Democracy also requires - in addition to the standard divisions of Executive, Legislature & Judiciary - a fourth body, Protector of the Open Society (POS), to monitor all its vulnerabilities (see also Popper). 
1. SP Freedom of Speech
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An additional Freedom from Religion is deducible if the law is applied equally to everyone:

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