Friday, 22 April 2011

The Times today has an article (subscription) about the persecution of Christians around the world. Of course, it exerts itself to be even-handed and avoid placing the blame exclusively on Muslims.

Muslim and Hindu extremists are leading the campaigns against Christians

Virtually all of the most murderous persecution cited, however, of course involves Muslims. Most of the atrocity exhibition will be familiar to anyone who regularly reads the Counterjihad blogs. There was one idea I hadn't come across before, though: the Tenth Parallel.

Nigeria falls squarely across the Tenth Parallel, the line on the map that roughly separates the southernmost reaches of Islam from Christianity, introduced by colonial-era missionaries. This line stretches from West Africa to East Asia, through the Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. And in all these countries, religious conflict has been fuelled by poverty, unemployment, the rise of fundamentalism (on both sides) and a clash of cultures.

Apparently this line on the map constitutes the front line of the jihad across much of Africa and even Asia.

There is a book about this confrontation called "The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Faultline Between Christianity and Islam" by Eliza Griswold, which I now intend to read. The review of the book in the New York Times notes that the author "candidly admits that she has discovered no neat theory to explain why people fight over religion", however, so I don't expect much in the way of deep analysis of the jihad, but hopefully it will contain some interesting information.


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