Charlie Hebdo: Niger Protesters Set Churches on Fire

BBC News, January 17, 2015

At least three people have been killed and six churches attacked in Niger amid fresh protests against French magazine Charlie Hebdo’s cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad.

Protests began outside Niamey’s grand mosque and reportedly spread to other parts of the country, a day after five were killed in Niger’s second city.

Niger’s president condemned the violence and appealed for calm.

Last week, Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo’s offices.

The cover of the magazine’s latest edition, published after the attack, featured a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad weeping while holding a sign saying “I am Charlie”.

Seven million copies of the edition are being printed in view of extraordinary demand, distributors announced on Saturday. The magazine’s print run before the attack was 60,000.

Many Muslims see any depiction of Islam’s prophet as offensive.

In Niger, a former French colony, hundreds of demonstrators gathered at Niamey’s grand mosque, shouting “God is Great” in Arabic.

At least six churches were set on fire or looted in Niamey and regional towns. Bars, hotels and businesses under non-Muslim ownership were also targeted.

Two charred bodies were recovered from a church on the outskirts of Niamey, and the body of a woman was found in a bar, Reuters reported.

‘Everything has gone’

Pastor Zakaria Jadi, whose church was burnt down in the capital Niamey, said he was in a meeting with church elders when he heard of the attacks.

“I just rushed and told my colleagues in the church to take away their families from the place,” he told the BBC World Service. “I took my family to take them out from the place. When I came back I just discovered that everything has gone. There’s nothing in my house and also in the church.”

Niger’s President, Mahamadou Issoufou, was one of six African heads of state to attend a unity march in Paris after the attacks against Charlie Hebdo.

“Those who loot these places of worship, who desecrate them and kill their Christian compatriots . . . have understood nothing of Islam,” he said after Saturday’s violence.

During Friday’s demonstration in Niger’s second city, Zinder, protesters raided shops run by Christians and attacked the French cultural centre.

The centre’s director, Kaoumi Bawa, said an angry crowd of around 50 people had smashed the building’s door and set fire to the cafeteria, library and offices.

The death toll in Zinder rose from four to five when emergency services found a burned body inside a Catholic Church.

Protests against the Charlie Hebdo cartoon were also seen on Friday in Pakistan, where protests turned violent in Karachi, the Sudanese capital of Khartoum and the Algerian capital, Algiers.

People in Somalia took to the streets on Saturday.

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  • AmericanCitizen

    I’m curious, if anyone knows please tell me this: Does France have the same kind of apologists like we do in America for bad black behavior, no matter what? Do they have the sickening Lib/Progs we have who explain that crime is caused by a racist system enforcing racist laws by racist policemen?

    • Anna Tree

      The problem is in France it is illegal to give stats by race, including crime. But like here, there is the art of noticing and so yes there are the same apologists than here, who will not call a spade a spade. Don’t look further than France’s own Justice Minister, Christiane Taubira, who is a staunch feminist liberal communist and black. There are many whites too: off the top of my head, most of the politicians and media.

      Like all the others, Sarkozy is not pro-white but he actually called those with the bad behavior (blacks and Muslims), “racaille”, i.e. scum, rabble. He said he wanted to clean the ghettos of scums with high-pressure hose. Unfortunately, he didn’t. Marine Le Pen doesn’t specify what she will do.

  • Bryce Armstrong

    I had to look twice at the headline, it says ‘Niger’, not what I hoped it said.

    • Interestingly, in the runup to the second Iraq war, this country played into the narrative. Supposedly, Saddam Hussein got or tried to get some sort of uranium fruitcake from Niger. The media kept pronouncing the name of the country “Nee-JAIR,” not “NYE-ghur” as one would expect. I think they were deliberately trying to pronounce it in a way such that they could easily accidentally say the word with one extra “g.”

      • Jaggers

        I heard them say Nee-JAIR, on NPR (of course). Apparently both pronunciations are correct.

    • Simonetta

      oh yeah… those proper ladies and gentlemen of NPR are oh-so careful to always pronounce this word as “neee – zhair” whenever they are required to say it on the air (usually in reference to some massive atrocity that the locals are so keen on in those parts).

      The BBC blokes will say ” Nai – jir ” like the neighboring country “Nai – jir – ee ah”.

      • Christorchaos

        vowel-shift mania

      • Charles Martel

        Like Obama saying Pock-ee-stahn to show how worldly and well educated he is.

    • ElComadreja

      I did the same thing, lol.

  • superlloyd

    The religion of Peace shows its true colours again.

  • David Ashton

    You got away with that title to this piece – an anti-racist spell-checker?

  • The rallying cry of this event:

    “What do we want? The seventh century! When do we want it? Now! Allah-u-akbar!”

  • The Dude

    “Those who loot these places of worship, who desecrate them and kill
    their Christian compatriots . . . have understood nothing of Islam.”

    I actually agree with him on this. In Islam, you don’t burn churches; you make Christians and other dhimmis pay the jizya tax in exchange for security. Kind of like the old mafia of Little Italy.

    • Anna Tree

      True but Christians and other dhimmis won’t pay that jiziyah unless they are forced, i.e. terrorized. So indeed first, the Muslims, following the example of “prophet” Mohamad, will kill and burn until the non-muslims are in fear and agree to submit, then they pay the jiziyah as a punishment to not convert and indeed as a protection-tax.
      As per the sahih ahadith, “Prophet” mohamad himself burned a couple of alternative mosques (with the people inside.)

  • Christorchaos

    Help from Google search: “Did you mean: Niger Protesters?”

  • Bill Moore

    Hello,

    Don’t these citizens have any guns to protect themselves and their property?

    Seems like the “protesters” just run rampant without anyone to stop them. It must be fun for the “protesters” to have some poor soul beg for their life, and then shoot them in the knee, then the shoulder, then in the belly, and then in the head.

    In France and in in Niger, seems like none of the “protesters” faced any opposition.

    I say to arm the citizens, and let them take care of the “protesters”.

    Just My Thoughts,
    Bill Moore

  • MartelsGhost

    The title is missing a letter “G”………………….

  • The staff of a minor, left-wing French publication is murdered in Paris, and I’m all the way south in Niger. Let’s see: “We gots ta be burnin’ some local churches, gnome sayin’?”

    For a picture of what blasphemy really looks like, I offer a photo of this artillery shell hit on the beautiful cathedral at Reims during World War One:

    • Rhialto

      Let’s consider: 60-80 IQ, high testosterone, and Islam. It’s surprising there hasn’t been more riot destruction in sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

    Who cares, as long as the dead are blacks, the white nations should not bother.

  • Caucasoid88

    I always see that third word in the headline and do a double-take.

  • Christorchaos

    Who is Charlie Hebdo? Some Alabama sheriff?

    Charlie Hebdo: Niger Protesters Set Churches on Fire