DTT: Amnesty International said on Friday that Muslims from the Western part of Central African Republic are being forced to hide their religion or convert to Christianity under the threat of death by the Christian Militia.
It is been documented by human rights organisations that there are widespread human-rights abuses committed by Christian Militia known as anti-Balaka, who have targeted thousands of Muslims and have sent tens of thousands innocent Muslims fleeing to neighbouring countries.
Muslims have told Amnesty International that they have been forced to convert to Christianity or hide their faith for fear of being killed.
“We had no choice but to join the Catholic Church. The anti-balaka swore they would kill us if we didn’t,” said a 20-year-old man from CAR, whose name was not given for fear of his safety.
A Muslim trader said it was illegal to pray.
“We have to hide, do it quickly, and do it by ourselves,” he stated.
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.
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