Nigeria: Islamic extremists set fire to Christians homes and businesses in Bauchi


by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – Young Islamic men in Nigeria’s Bauchi state set Christian homes and businesses state on fire Friday as they searched for a Christian woman rumored to have made a blasphemous comment insulting Muhammad, Morning Star News reports. The incident happened days after a mob of Islamic extremists in Soroko state murdered Christian student Deborah Emmanuel, after accusing her of insulting Muhammad in a WhatsApp comment.

Triggered by rumors that a medical staff member of the Warji Local Government Area in Katanga, Bauchi state had published a blasphemous comment about Muhammad, a group of young Muslims went on a rampage to destroy buildings they knew belonged to Christians, MSN reports.

“A Muslim claimed he saw a comment written by one Rhoda Jatau, 40, a Christian woman, insulting Muhammad,” local resident Bitrus Yaro told MSN. “This information the Muslim man passed to Muslims in the town made them set fire on houses and shops belonging to Christians.” A police spokesman confirmed that a mob of young men set fire to six houses and seven shops, injuring 20 people, MSN said.

Jatau herself was able to escape Katanga to safety, MSN reports, although Yaro added: “Christians are also being attacked. Pray that those that want to throw this nation into religious chaos change their ways.”

In a statement about ongoing violence against Christians by Islamists who falsely accuse them of blasphemy, the Rev. Joseph John Hayab, vice-president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Northern Nigeria Chapter told MSN: “We know and have evidence of how some of these allegations of blasphemy are false and just for blackmail or settling scores with perceived enemies or well-mannered young girls who have refused sexual advances by the opposite sex from another religion. We are also aware of how fanatics have in the past raised lies in the name of blasphemy.”

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