Friday, March 24, 2006

Something odd about the two-day mourning period

There's something that doesn't quite make sense about some recent comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, in defense of Nigerian Primate Peter Akinola in his potentially inciting role in Christian violence against Muslims in the southern Nigerian city of Onitsha. Comments by Williams were reported on today (March 24) by the Church Times.

Archbishop Williams' comments came from a long interview he gave to the Guardian Unlimited. I posted briefly on that interview here. Williams:
[What Archbishop Akinola said] was taken by some as, you know, open provocation, encouragement, a threat. I think I know him well enough to - to take his good faith on that, what he meant. He did not mean to stir up the violence that happened. He's a man who will speak very directly and immediately into crises. I think he meant to issue a warning, which certainly has been taken as a threat, an act of provocation. Others in the Nigerian church have, I think, found other ways of saying that which have been more measured.
Think what you like about Williams' language, I don't think it's a stretch to surmise that Williams does not feel like now is the time to be criticizing Akinola, given the impending schism in the Anglican Communion.

But why should he criticize, anyway? Hasn't the Anglican Church of Nigeria, in cooperation with its Catholic sister, called for a two-day period of mourning for those who died in the violence in late February?

The problem is that nowhere in any press release or story about the violence or the two-day period of mourning does anyone mention the retaliatory violence by Christians against Muslims in Onitsha.

William: "I think I know him well enough to - to take his good faith on that, what he meant." Then why hasn't Akinola included those who died in Onitsha as worthy of mourning?

1 comment:

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

It's like the loud clamour in certain quarters over the Afghan convert - they would never have bothered if this man had been a convert to Buddhism, or some other religion, equally forbidden.

One for them!

That's the rallying cry.