The world has lost over two-hundred lives this week to mindless sectarian violence; Kenya, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, and the never ending silent suffering of those we do not even know about all over the world.
Iraq, a country that has been ravaged by violence for years, and yet so easily forgotten.
September 22 | Suicide bombing at a Sunni funeral, kills twelve.
In another part of Iraq, a suicide bomb, targeting a Christian MP, wounded forty-seven people including three of his children when the bomb blew up a vehicle near his home and a government building. | KUNA, NOW.
September 20 | Two blasts ripped through Sunni mosques killing eighteen. Musab bin Omair mosque is near Samarra and north of Iraq.
The attacks in Iraq have affected everyone; Sunni, Shi’ite, Christians, and government buildings and personnel. Led by militant groups, the attacks are reviving a fear of sectarian violence and retaliation.
According to Reuters, “Iraq’s delicate sectarian balance has come under growing strain from the civil war in neighboring Syria, where mainly Sunni Muslim rebels are fighting to overthrow a leader backed by Shi’ite Iran. Both Sunnis and Shi’ites have crossed into Syria from Iraq to fight on opposite sides of the conflict.” |Reuters
In the past three days around 133 have been killed.
Somali militant group al-Shabab opened fire at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya killing more than sixty-eight people, injuring over 175 and holding an unknown number of people hostage in the mall for the third day. They first struck on September 21. When first attacking, allied to Al-Qaeda, the al-Shabab gunmen ushered Muslims out of the mall, targeting only Christians. | Mashable
Al-Shabab quickly claimed responsibility after the begining of the attack and flaunted the attack on twitter. The reason for the attack is specifically for the advances Kenya made on Somalia in 2011. | The Guardian
AP in Kenya published “10 things to know about al-Shabab” explaining why they attacked and more on who they are. | AP
Word has been published that the “White Widow,” Samantha Lewthwaite, was among the gunmen who attacked the mall, commonly glorified-news-style as the “one of the most feared female terrorists in history.” | Mirror
Sunday, September 22, was also witness to a deathly attack in Pakistan. After church at the 130-year-old Anglican All Saints Church in Peshawar, two suicide bombs struck killing at least seventy-eight people.
“Islamist violence has been on the rise in Pakistan in past months, undermining Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s efforts to tame the insurgency by launching peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban. Within hours of the attack, Sharif toughened his stance considerably but fell short of calling for outright military action against insurgents holed up in tribal areas on the Afghan border – an option supported by Pakistan’s all-powerful army.” | Reuters
Completely consumed in civil war, minority groups in Syria are suffering from the weight of the conflict, as well as from sectarian violence. Amnesty published in January that the sectarian violence was targeting “Alawite, Druze and Shi’a Muslims, along with Christians.”
On September 11, AFP reported that one man was forced to convert to Islam at gunpoint. This story from Maalula was released after people escaped the town after Jihadists overran it and is now a point of conflict between the army and this Jihadist opposition group. | AFP
Some deny that sectarianism will damage their relationships with the other religions or sects as reported by AP on one group of Syrians who are fighting to maintain unity.