Do the Paris killings trump 2,000 slaughtered in Nigeria?

What makes one massacre more newsworthy than another?

France is coming to terms with last week’s terror attacks in Paris that left 17 dead. The country mourned, and global leaders joined an estimated 3.7 million people on its streets to march in a show of unity.

In Nigeria, another crisis was unfolding, as reports came through of an estimated 2,000 casualties after an attack by Boko Haram militants on the town of Baga in the north-eastern state of Borno. Amnesty International described as the terror group’s “deadliest massacre” to date, and local defence groups said they had given up counting the bodies left lying on the streets.

Reporting in northern Nigeria is notoriously difficult; journalists have been targeted by Boko Haram, and, unlike in Paris, people on the ground are isolated and struggle with access to the internet and other communications. Attacks by Boko Haram have disrupted connections further, meaning that there is an absence of an online community able to share news, photos and video reports of news as it unfolds.

But reports of the massacre were coming through and as the world’s media focused its attention on Paris, some questioned why events in Nigeria were almost ignored.

On Twitter, Max Abrahms, a terrorism analyst, tweeted: “It’s shameful how the 2K people killed in Boko Haram’s biggest massacre gets almost no media coverage.”

Musician Nitin Sawhney said: “Very moving watching events in Paris – wish the world media felt equally outraged by this recent news too.”

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16 thoughts on “Do the Paris killings trump 2,000 slaughtered in Nigeria?

  1. Maybe because of the politics. We’re allies with the French, but maybe not so with Nigerians? I think the media tends to focus on things that 1. directly affect us. i never heard of ISIS until the beheadings of those American journalists and the English aid worker. We only seem to hear of things that affect the West directly. So, frankly, maybe we didn’t hear about the Nigerian massacre because Westerners weren’t targeted.

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  2. Breaking News from …. FOX NEWS!

    “Christian Bale (photo) has been attacked and beaten up by Jihadists for refusing to change his name to Muslim Bale…”

    This kind of ‘reporting’ and lies does nothing to help the situation.

    It’s terror … condemn…. terror… condemn…. terror… condemn …

    Maybe we should try and figure out the CAUSES of terrorism so we can stop this cycle.

    What causes everyday normal people like you and me, to find excitement and purpose in joining something like ISIS? I’ve seen them interviewed. And it’s very disturbing hearing them speak. They are not illiterate, but calm, intelligent people making some legitimate points. And that’s what worries me… not the illiterate woman hating, religiously ignorant, influenced, murdering ratbag.
    They’re with us anyway… like it or not. I’ve always been a believer in … “There’s always two sides to a story” … kind of person.

    And I firmly believe no-one blows you up for no reason. “Jealous of our way of life?”

    You’ll have to do better than that … try stealing their land, or interfering with their politics or starting wars over oil disputes , or …. our own domestic issues…. which include Muslims…

    The latest from FOX NEWS?

    “If Dinosaurs are real … how come their bones are still clean when dug up? And the animals can’t be real or their bones wouldn’t have to be wired together in museums”
    Michele Bachmann US REPUBLICAN

    THIS is who ignorant people believe when discussing terrorism and immigration.

    It’s even forced the Pope to speak out. It makes no difference to them though …

    Now they (Fox) call him a Marxist …. get the drift?

    Anyway… let’s try and find the CAUSES of terrorism. Or we’ll be back to …

    Terror … condemn … terror…. condemn … terror … condemn …..

    Over to you ….

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      • What’s really unfortunate is the amount of people that just accept things as an absolute truth because it’s been presented to them through the media in one form or another. Students are frequently admonished for citing the internet as a source of “Facts” without actually knowing from where the information originated.

        I recall after the initial Iraq invasion and oil prices went through the roof, I filled up my car and commented to the young man behind the counter how tough it was with the prices this high. He then went on this giant rant about the great conspiracy between George W and Osama Bin Laden:
        “Yeah! Now there’s proof that Bush and Bin Laden planned this together! secret meeting in the White House where they planned it all out, so Bush could make more money from the weapons companies that he owns and Bin laden gets a big cut out of it too. Irrefutable proof that these guys were in bed together, having secret dinner meetings and everything! The whole lot has been proven! Now all of the evidence has been exposed……Bush is finished!”

        I was puzzled, how could I have missed such explosive headlines? I asked where he had read about all of this: ” Oh you missed it? Don’t worry it’s still on in all of the Cinemas, you know that documentary buy that fat guy……..something….9/11! Go see it, then you’ll know what’s going on!!”

        The John Fogerty song “I saw it on TV” comes to mind as apt with some people.

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    • Hi Jimbo,

      Have you read Rita Panahi’s column? – ‘Radical Islam and western values cannot coexist peacefully’ and in particular:

      “We in the West must stop blaming ourselves for these acts of brutality. There are those among us, the so-called “progressives”, who seek to explain the behaviour of terrorists by pointing the finger at the victims.

      According to these enlightened souls, homegrown terrorism is really our fault. We are to blame for not being welcoming enough, for creating an underclass of disenfranchised young men, for being part of the US-led coalition in the Middle East, for supporting Israel’s right to exist, for printing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, for raising the terror alert level … indeed, if you rationalise hard enough, any act can be considered provocation to Islamic extremists. For some tyrants, free speech is itself an incitement to violence.

      This mass-scale victim blaming is an insult not only to the victims but also the overwhelming majority of Muslims migrants who appreciate the abundant freedoms and opportunities available to them in countries like Australia.”

      http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/miss-judgement/index.php/heraldsun/comments/column_radical_islam_and_western_values_cannot_coexist_peacefully/

      You should—read it.

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      • Pretty much love everything Rita Panahi writes – cuts through the bull and says it like it is!

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      • Of course radical Islam and western values cannot exist peacefully. ANYTHING radical cannot exist peacefully with most societies. If you believe in good and evil , or ‘baddies and goodies’ as our PM puts it.. ‘The smoking gun… or Axis of evil… black and white, that’s fine. Terror is committed and we’re the goodies and they’re the baddies. I agree. No question. Shocking. Dreadful. But “We in the west must stop blaming ourselves for these acts of brutality…” Where did that come from? Who’s she kidding? It’s more like “We in the west must stop blaming Muslims for everything, believing Fox News, and helping to promote US republican propaganda…” THAT helps promote terrorism.
        We should look for the CAUSES. Why is that in the too hard basket?

        World poverty, unequal distribution of resources, climate change, stagnation and debt : THESE… I believe, as do many others… actually have a more significant moral dimension.

        We can’t win. There’s nothing to win anyway…. that’s the stupidity.

        A Coca-Cola executive told me the other day that his corporation actually invented Santa Claus… see? There’s no end to it …

        Corporations, on the other hand, always win. And just between you and me…

        I think we’re being well and truly conned.

        But that’s another story …….

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      • You’re right Jimbo. We need to examine the underlying causes of terrorism.

        Actually, the coca cola guy is right in a sense. The company did invent the modern version of Santa. Before 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. Coca Cola used the jolly bloke in a red costume in ads and it took off.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I agree that there is no justification for bravery awards here, except for the manager – “The only man really there was the man wrestling with the gun,” he said, referring to Mr Johnson, who reportedly tried to seize Monis’s weapon during the siege.. Apparently Nile did not mean to say that the “only man” involved in December’s Sydney cafe siege was the gunman.

        Not a fan of F.Nile, and neither do I blame those who fled, but this act I do consider one of courage.

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  3. And: Fred Nile says male Sydney siege hostages should not be given bravery awards for fleeing the scene. Mr Nile later told Fairfax Radio that he thought hostages should get recognition for what they suffered as hostage but he didn’t think they should get bravery awards.

    “Maybe they could have done something more to protect the women. Normally bravery awards are given for an act of bravery – that somebody actually does something. They haven’t done anything.”

    Giving bravery awards to those male hostages who fled would diminish the worth of the medal, he added.

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has requested Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove support a push to honour the victims, surviving hostages and emergency services with bravery awards.”

    The Reverend has a point.

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    • The Reverend certainly does have a point. It’s sickening. Let’s have bravery awards for all the Bali bombing victims. It could be a free government sponsored trip for the Bali families annually. Just like Anzac. Then maybe a public holiday in honour of ‘Siege day’ I don’t think the government would know what to do if it wasn’t for these pesky Muslim terrorists. That’s probably what the Reverend WANTED to say ….

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  4. You’re to be commended for putting this up Bryan …. no-one else seems to care. First up, I should apologize if I offended any Bali bombing family victims with my sarcastic remarks on Fred Nile.
    That was certainly not the intention.
    Fred… God bless him…. getting a caning from the right wing shock jocks. LOL

    Listening to our western leaders is akin to little boys reading Lone Ranger Comics….
    “The smoking gun…. axis of evil … goodies and baddies….”

    Look at Paris …. so they send a French battleship to help the Americans with ISIS after 17 people got murdered by terrorists. Nigeria gets 2,000 people murdered by terrorists and no-one says boo. Nigeria is about to become the next Islamic state. The president hasn’t the resources to deal with thousands of terrorists … Boko Harem boasts African COUNTRIES he has taken and/or ‘founded’ … he boasts the 200 schoolchildren he kidnapped are now sold off as wives for his soldiers. Is it just me? Someone first of all, should explain to these little lone rangers that Boko Harem, Taliban, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, ISIS, … and whoever else chooses to join them … are all talking to each other. It’s not rocket science… THEY’RE ON THE SAME SIDE !

    They travel from country to country freely…. and I believe our government has no idea what’s going on…. and they don’t care much. They don’t care about climate change, or our health and education but SO concerned about us getting attacked by terrorists? LOL

    It’s like … the terrorists tell us where they are and what they’ve done and we believe them.

    That’s why we’re going to ISIS and not going to Africa …

    Because we’re stupid.

    It’s not illegal … but can be deadly.

    As we have discovered by electing Abbott.

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  5. Jimbo,

    One issue you have missed in your argument is that of racial prejudice. If we speak against the Nigerian Crisis, we are accused of “middle-aged white men” meddling in African Affairs. Australian soldiers who undertake peace keeping duties in African countries, often complain that they cannot take action to prevent atrocities because it would be misconstrued by the leftist side of politics as whites versus blacks.

    White South Africans who were alive or their parents were alive during the inception of apartheid in South Africa reported that one of the problem between the blacks was tribal animosity. The Zulus and Xhosi (Mandela’s tribe) were perpetually at war with each other. It took apartheid to unite traditional enemies against a common enemy (in this case the whites) to make them put aside their animosity.

    To solve the problems of Africa one needs to unite different traditional enemies against a common foe. So shall the white man play the role of the bad guy to do this? Do you want some form of apartheid achieve unity between Africans that transcends their religious hatred?

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  6. BANGUI, Central African Republic – Tens of thousands of Muslims are fleeing to neighboring countries by plane and truck as Christian militias stage brutal attacks, shattering the social fabric of this war-ravaged nation.

    In towns and villages as well as here in the capital, Christian vigilantes wielding machetes have killed scores of Muslims, who are a minority here, and burned and looted their houses and mosques in recent days, according to witnesses, aid agencies and peacekeepers. Tens of thousands of Muslims have fled their homes.

    …………………………………….

    On Friday, thousands of Muslims hopped aboard trucks packed with their possessions, protected by soldiers from Chad, and drove out of Bangui, as Christians cheered their departures or tried to loot the trucks as they drove through Christian areas. At least one Muslim man, who fell from a truck, was killed by a mob. Meanwhile, thousands more Muslims huddled at the airport in a crowded hangar, waiting to be evacuated.

    “They are killing Muslims with knives,” said Muhammed Salih Yahya, 38, a shopkeeper, making a slitting motion across his throat. He arrived at the airport Wednesday from the western town of Yaloke with his wife and five children. “I built my house over two years, but the Christians destroyed it in minutes. I want to leave.”

    Christians have also been victims of violence, targeted by Muslims in this complex communal conflict that U.N. and humanitarian officials fear could implode into genocide. Several hundred thousand Christians remain in crowded, squalid camps, unable or too afraid to return home.

    But attacks on Muslims in particular are intensifying, aid workers said.
    …………………………………………………………………………..

    IOM officials are concerned about those leaving. The vast majority, roughly 50,000, are headed to Chad, a mostly Muslim country that is also among the poorest in the world.

    “What kind of support will they get from the Chadian authorities? Are they going to be able to reinsert themselves into society there?” said Giovanni Cassani, the emergency coordinator for IOM. “50,000 is a small town. And there is more on the way, and there will be more, unless the situation improves here.”

    …………………………………………………………………………………
    At the airport, Muhammad Abdirahman, 62, was waiting to leave. His village, Jbawi, had been burned down by the anti-balaka and nearly everyone was dead, he said. Fortunately, he had left with his wife and 12 children before the massacre, and arrived at the airport last week. Originally from Chad, he has lived here for the past 50 years.

    “I don’t even know Chad,” he said. “But what can I do? If I stay, the Christians will use every opportunity to kill me and my family.”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………….
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/tens-of-thousands-of-muslims-flee-christian-militias-in-central-african-republic/2014/02/07/5a1adbb2-9032-11e3-84e1-27626c5ef5fb_story.html

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  7. The issue here Bryan is freedom of speech.

    In every instance where persecution has occurred, freedom of speech was the one point which was attacked first. Hence the importance of the world seeing Charlie Hebdo incident as more worthy than the massacres in Africa.

    Secondly, this incident is important because it unmasks atheism for what it is.

    Atheism has always claimed that religion is an ideology of irrationality. You cannot sit down with a religious person and have a rational discussion. Charlie Hebdo has often been guilty of drawing poor and tasteless cartoons at the expense of Christianity, Islam, etc. By this it’s shown the world that Atheism cannot act rationally either.

    Atheism has always held up religion as a cause of war and destruction, whilst atheism has been held up as an ideology of sanity and peace. So then knowing that Islam would react badly to cartoons which it deems offensive, the question would be, why stir the pot and provoke violence where there is peace?
    France had no problem with Muslims living in their midst. 16% of the population supports and encourages Muslim immigration. Until the atheists decided to engineer a situation to provoke war and terrorism!

    Rather than religion being the cause of wars and terrorism, atheism has proven that ideology and politics rather than religion itself is the cause of so much destruction in the world. Ideologies like atheism and communism.

    In looking at this incident I was reminded that God works in similar ways. You can say that death, destruction and disease are more important than letting the devil live. Yet He who demands an obedience born of love from His creatures does not see it this way. Rather than serve God from a sense of impending fear, He gave His creatures an evidence of what Lucifer’s government is like, in order that Satan could be unmasked and rejected.

    In the same manner we and the Muslim community should give institutions like Charlie Hebdo the same privilege of having enough rope to hang itself.

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