World View: Central African Republic Muslims Flee Christian Revenge Killings
- Central African Republic: Christians aim to get rid of all Muslims
- Reader complaints about Central African Republic and Syria
Central African Republic: Christians aim to get rid of all Muslims
Thousands of Muslims are fleeing for their lives from
Bangui, the capital city of Central African Republic, and
from towns across the country. They're escaping in convoys
being guarded by troops from Chad, a Muslim country.
The violence began after a March 2013 coup that brought
a Muslim to the presidency. Muslims formed "Seleka militias"
and committed deadly attacks on Christians. Christians
formed "anti-balaka" (or "anti-machete") militias and began
revenge attacks late in 2013. By now, the revenge attacks
are in full force. According to one reporter:
It's horrific, actually. You have a country that is
essentially falling apart. Neighbor killing neighbor on a daily
basis in the most brutal, horrific fashion I have ever
seen. Lynchings, people attacked by mobs, people having their arms
cut off, people burnt with tires around their necks like we saw in
South Africa in the 1990s. ...
I just saw today 10,000 Muslims forced to flee from Bangui and
surrounding towns north toward Chad, because they are in fear for
their lives. They are getting hacked to death, attacked in streets
by mobs, the districts they live in and their houses and mosques
are being looted and burned, so they have no choice but to
But it's the most violent and hateful environment I've ever
documented in 16 years. And I've covered every conflict in Africa
over that time, but I've never documented anything this bad.
There is so much hatred. Yesterday I was in a town that had eight
mosques and over 30,000 Muslims, but now the mosques have been
burnt and there are only 300 Muslims left there, hiding in a
mosque surrounded by French peacekeeping forces who are trying to
keep them alive.
France has 1,600 peacekeeping troops in CAR who are working with
4,000 African Union peacekeeping troops. The United Nations expects
to send thousands more. But this is a generational crisis war, a
force of nature, which can't be stopped by any number of troops until
it's run its course. BBC and National Geographic
Reader complaints about Central African Republic and Syria
I'd like to address some reader complaints that have been
sent to me recently when I've written about Central African
Republic and about Syria's president Bashar al-Assad.
Bashar al-Assad is the worst genocidal monster so far this century,
comparable to Mao, Hitler, and Pol Pot of the last century. He's a
Shia/Alawite Muslim who conducted "industrial strength" torture and
extermination on his own civilians, who used sarin gas against his own
people, who is allied with the Muslim terrorist group Hezbollah, and
who is allied with Iran, which some people call the worst
terrorist country on earth.
And yet when I call al-Assad a "genocidal monster," I get bizarre
complaints that I'm excusing al-Qaeda terrorism. That's ridiculous,
as I write about al-Qaeda terrorism all the time, especially in
But what's most bizarre is that many of the people who make this
complaint are in the community that perceive Muslims negatively,
sometimes referring to all of them universally as "murderous." That's
not true of more than a small minority, but if you really believe that
all Muslims are "murderous," then you should be aware that al-Assad is
the most murderous one of all.
So if you're one of those commenters who are holding those two
contradictory views simultaneously, then I suggest you ask your
doctor for anti-psychosis pills, because the cognitive dissonance is
going to drive you crazy.
This is actually very familiar. College kids in the 1960s praised Mao
Zedong as a god, even carrying copies of his "Little Red Book" in
their back pockets and quoting from it from time to time. This was
going on at the same time that Mao was starving, torturing, and
executing tens of millions of Chinese people in the Great Leap
Forward, and then again in the Cultural Revolution.
There are still people today who consider Mao to be a god, and they
still praise him to the skies. And we all know that there are
Holocaust deniers who says that the evidence of the Holocaust was all
manufactured. These are all the same to me as lovers of al-Assad.
The situation in Central African Republic is drawing a number of
complaints because there are Christians committing atrocities on
Muslims. One accusation is that I'm excusing the atrocities of
Muslims, which is absurd.
I will agree with the commenters to the following extent: Large-scale
Christian atrocities are so rare at this time in history that there is
increased focus on the one in CAR, while there are so many Muslim
jihadist atrocities that any individual situation is not a major
Another complaint was related to my contrast of the CAR war versus the
Syria war, when I said that the violence in CAR was more personal.
Let's go back to the Rwanda genocide in 1994. There were many stories
similar to the following: Two families lived together in peace and
harmony for years. Then when a Hutu leader announced over the radio,
"Cut down the tall trees," the man from the Hutu family picked up a
machete, went next door to the Tutsi family, killed and dismembered
the father and children, raped the wife, and killed and dismembered
her. Similar stories came out of the Bosnian war genocide in 1995.
This is the kind of thing that's beginning to happen in CAR, and it's
NOT happening in Syria, where something quite different is happening.
Even the atrocities of Muslim jihadists are rarely as personal as
described in the above story about Rwanda. That's why I'm saying that
the atrocities in CAR are "more personal" than in Syria. This is
an important distinction in generational theory, because this is
one way to distinguish generational crisis wars from non-crisis wars.
Getting back to the Christians committing atrocities on Muslims, it
may not be what I want to hear or what you want to hear, but it's
happening. The Generational Dynamics methodology does not respect
ideological or religious beliefs, except as they define identity
groups, and analyzes what happens among the different identity groups.
If you look at the last century, you can easily find genocidal wars
that were Muslim versus Muslim (e.g., Iran/Iraq war), Christian versus
Christian (e.g., World War II), and Buddhist versus Buddhist (e.g.,
Cambodia's "killing fields" civil war). Of course, there are hundreds
more examples with different kinds of populations. Generational
Dynamics looks at all of these examples, analyzes them, and uses the
analyses to try to predict what's going to happen in the future.
And right now, we can say with some certainty that the situation in
Central African Republic is going to get very bloody, and by the time
it's over, neither Muslims nor Christians will look good.
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Central African Republic, Bangui,
Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Mao, Hitler, Pol Pot,
Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail