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Aljazeera: Muslims return to CAR to find their homes are gone

There has been an extraordinary amount of violence perpetuated against Muslims in the Central African Republic. At one point all its Muslims had been ‘ethnically cleansed’ and all its mosques essentially destroyed. Ilisha series from a few years ago on CAR is a must read.

Now some of those who were driven out are returning “to nothing.”

Bangui, Central African Republic – M Babakir Ali cuts a lonely figure sitting on a plastic chair outside a rundown cafe in the PK5 district of Bangui.

Once the owner of five houses and 18,000 square metres of land in the Foulbe district of Pk13, on the outskirts of Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic, Ali is now reduced to a pair of jeans and a short white sleeved shirt. The thin vertical stripes are faintly visible beyond the creases. He is a refugee in his own city.

“I left for Chad in January 2014 because of what happened on the streets of Bangui,” Ali says.

Ali says he watched as bodies of young Muslim men were dragged through the streets of the capital and then piled at a local mosque in what was to signal the changing fortunes for Muslims in the country.

He was right.

In early January, Muslims in the PK5, PK12, PK13 districts of Bangui were hunted down, mutilated, burned alive and left on the streets. Muslims in the towns of Bossangoa, Bozoum, Bouca, Yaloke, Mbaiki, Bossembele and others also fled, as Anti-balaka embarked on a reign of terror across the northwest and southwestern regions.

Ali gathered his family, and fled to neighbouring Chad, too.

With the unrest in Bangui lifting in 2016 as the country neared elections, he decided to come home.

But he knew he would face a new struggle on his return.

“I knew my houses and my land, that everything had been taken,” 45-year-old Ali says. “I knew I would be coming back to nothing.”

Ali speaks in short and abrupt sentences. The already battered plastic chair bends and shifts with his every gesture. There is a calm dissonance in his moist, jaundiced eyes even as he explains that his property was sold to a third party by a local chief.

“I am not the only one. So many from my district have returned, and have nowhere to go,” Ali says, looking away.

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  • golden izanagi

    “Muslims are unworthy of the title “Men” because the Muslims that are featured in the news are never there for goodness only for their evil” oh I’m sorry you were saying something about muslims in the news being evil or something

  • Friend of Bosnia

    I didn’t mean to say he is well-disposed towards Muslims. Like I said, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and in that sense Obama was a very good-intentioned president.
    Of course, one thing is what they say and what they do is quite another.
    In a way one could say that the leaders of Daesh and similar are less hypocrite and more honest about their intentions but only a little, and that of course doesn’t make them any better. And I wish on them the very worst.
    As for me, I want that minorities are not oppressed on ground of their ethnicity, faith or identity. Bosniaks were a small and almost insignificant minority in Yugoslavia, that’s why they had to get away from Belgrade’s Greater Serb misrule which threatened them- and continues to do so – with extermination. Oh, surely not under Tito but these days are gone and will never return. Belgrade has been threatening Bosniaks and all other people they consider undesirable with extermination for 26 years. Other authoritarian and not overtly but de facto authoritarian regimes like in CAR and Burma do the same (If the native peoples of Venezuela have fled to Brazil they’ll certainly have a very good reason).
    I have been informed that anti-Muslim militias in Africa have, or at some times had Serb / Bosnian Serb advisers. Not officially of course. Doesn’t surprise me. After all, they need experts in ethnic cleansing.
    As for the spineless liberals, they are as ineffective in the face of fascism, aggression, land grab and genocide and as not interested as they were in the 1930s and 1940s. Nothing new under the Sun.

  • Khizer

    Obama may have had ‘good intentions’, but he was nevertheless a spineless liberal, who continued the ‘war on terror’ at the behest of the American military-industry complex, even if he thought the wars were ‘wrong’. He was just another warmonger American presidents part of the line of post-Reagan (may he rot) US presidents.

  • Khizer

    You aren’t a ‘man’ yourself nazi turd, why don’t you go to reddit or YouTube to spew your bile. It won’t be tolerated here.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Ah, c’mon, you know very well what it’s all about, no need to pretend otherwise.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    So you have come here to provoke, offend and insult. Why don’t you try to be stupid somewhere else?

  • Friend of Bosnia

    I know you don’t call every critic of Islam a loon.
    Of course Muslim society today does have its serious flaws, but it’s up to them to correct them, it’s no good to have Western values (or others) imposed on them from the outside – or what’s worse, use that as justification for military intervention.
    (btw, US/NATO intervention in BiH saved many Bosniaks’ lives if not their country; and US/NATO intervention in Kosovo did likewise for many Kosovars AND it helped to remove Milosevic, and is therefore commendable.
    But US/NATO intervention in Iraq, Libya and Syria caused wholesale destruction of irreplaceable cultural heritage of Mankind, created chaos, killed maybe a million people or more, made Daesh and the murderous extermination campaign of Assad and the stupid senseless bombing of Yemen possible, and is therefore to be condemned. The Americans have gotten themselves into a quagmire, just like the Japanese did in China in 1937, and just like the Japanese when they started their war against America they have gone to war without concrete aims and therefore don’t know how to get out of it. True, the Japanese faced an enemy that was eight times stronger than they themselves were, and the Americans face an enemy that has virtually no defense, but what is common to both is that they don’t have an exact idea what they’re up against, and almost no knowledge at all about the other side, and what little knowledge they have is ignored. In any case then a political solution becomes remote; as for “shocking and awing” the enemy, the Japanese succeeded at that for only six months, the Americans today certainly for less. Don’t mention the atom bombs, Japan was as good as finished when they were dropped. And today? OK, they haven’t used nukes [yet], but it’s like burning down the house to get rid of the fleas.)
    Certainly, all those who justify acts of violence against people who happen to be Muslims, on the pretext that Muslims are “evil” can’t be called anything else but loons.

  • His question was full of assumptions, so even if I wanted to answer, I couldn’t.

    Do we call everyone who criticizes Islam a loon? Taken literally, that isn’t even possible. There’s an ocean of criticism of Islam and Muslims coming from all directions. If we actually made a point of calling them ALL loons, I think we’ never get anything else done!

    So then you have to ask if he does NOT mean “everyone who criticizes Islam,” what does he mean? How do I know if I call all the critics loons if I don’t know who qualifies as a critic in the first place?

    In fairness I don’t often call people “loons.” I think overall it’s just a dumb question. But I like to get people thinking by turning it around so perhaps they can form better questions going forward. 🙂

  • I’m not “supposed to be” a moderation. I AM a moderator.

    My stupid religion??? For all you know, I’m a Wiccan high priestess.

  • It’s proper in this case to use quotes and in any case, the question stands.

    How do you define “critic”? I can’t answer the question you posted until you answer mine.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    He didn’t reply to you because he has nothing, absolutely NOTHING to stand on. Also, because such cruel, callous people are COWARDS at heart!
    I would love to see such a guy humiliated in a way he can NEVER AGAIN stand up! I would like to see his soul sucked out of his body! To see him turned into an empty human shell.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Read teh rest … on!
    Unfortunately terh comments section of is full of so much genocidal anti-Muslim hate speech … and they all talk like Radovan Karadzic – “Muslims are invaders, they breed like rabbits, the war is their fault” and so on and so on. While in truth, the anti-Muslim genocide in CAR was no different from that on BiH and in Spain during the Middle Ages. It was all about robbery, land grab, dispossession and elimination of an undesired people. Shame on them for not removing such POISON and fascist TRASH!
    Its just as well I don’t get to know people like that, or else I would liek to line them up in a row and see how many of them I can shoot with a single bullet. Because as i have said so often before I don’t believe in turning the other cheek nor letting myself be led like a lamb to the slaughter. And what’s more, I think who makes any such genocidal statements is willing and ready to commit murder and genocide himself and must therefore be removed from circulation before he becomes a danger to others. And in my own personal opinion, such callous, cruel people do not deserve to walk this Earth and have forfeited their right to live. Yes, some people do not deserve to live. And why not? Remember, Winston Churchill once suggested to summarily execute all SS men and all Wehrmacht officers from the rank of major up. Admittedly, in they end they didn’t do it, but they committed Dresden and Hiroshima nevertheless, among others. Decide for yourself what is worse.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Yes, very unfortunate; on the other hand, action is needed, not just words.
    Yet, we need the right words to see what action can be taken.
    As it is, it will be very hard and take much effort and time (not to mention money) to repair the damage this evil man and his acolytes have done – and will continue to do for at least four long years. I doubt I will live to see it. It saddens me to no end that I will die an embittered man in an evil, dark world.
    The lights are going out, not all over Europe but all over the world. Who knows if we shall ever see them light up again.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Very well said. I also think that Trump’s outrageous tweets are nothing but a smokescreen to divert the attention of the public from the fact that he is an alt-right supporter (or should I say he supports worse people?)
    As for Obama, well he had good intentions, didn’t he? (the road to Hell is paved with good intentions …)

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Such people are beyond help. Beyond good and evil, in fact. To me, they’re no more than mad dogs and can only be dealt with like mad dogs. And I say that not out of hate but because their inhumanity is a danger to innocent people, and that danger must be negated.
    Of course that does not mean I or anybody should go out and shoot some Nazis or Cetniks no matter how much they deserve it. But to be prepared to repel their aggression and render them harmless if they should attack. Now if this means that one must kill them, then so be it. But only in legitimate self-defense. If I see someone come at me with a gun pointing at me I will – if I can – shoot first and ask questions later.
    I never have believed in turning the other cheek, not even when I still was a Christian. I’m not giving the enemy the satisfaction that he leads me like a lamb to the slaughter and I have made a solemn promise that if they try to run me out of my house, my hometown, my homeland, as they did with so many Bosniaks in 1992-95 and many times before, I will take down at least six of those swine-faced, pig-mannered thugs with me to the land of the dead (it’s just as well I don’t live in a place where this could happen anytime soon – I hope).
    On the other hand, I am aware that replying to hate with hate only generates more hate. But I just can’t help myself. If the great-grandson of one of those swine who committed teh Greater Serbo-fascist Genocidal Anti-Bosniak crusade should yelp to my face about what a awell job his ancestor did in killing, robbing or raping Bosniaks (or doing all three things), my fists impulse would be to use a samurai sword or a gun on him (should I have one handy) or at least to slap him in the face. Of course it would be more chivalrous of me to ask him, “why do you hate people you know nothing about?” But if he insists on his evil way, then I will know that he is as evil and genocidal as his forebears, and then for reasons of self-protection I’d have to render him harmless – stop-punch him as it were, even if he’d be too young to understand.
    Does that make me a terrorist? Oh yes, for the genocidal anti-Muslims all of us are terrorists, no matter what they do or say. I bet next time around the Serbs want to do in the Bosniaks in BiH or the Sandzak, or teh Kosovars they won’t call them “balije”, “Turks” or “Sipo”, no, sir, they will call them all “terrorists.” I’d bet my wisdom teeth on that. Like for Golda Meir, the Palestinians “didn’t exist”, there were only “terrorists.”
    On the other hand I’m ready to give forgiveness to all who ask for it. But if I ever find out they have cheated me then they can go prepare their burial.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Would you say Radovan Karadzic and those of his ilk are quaint “critichs of Islam”?
    I have a much better definition for such people:

  • You need help.

  • How do you define a “critic” of Islam?

  • cmyfe .

    Nah, skin is too dark and religion is too different.

  • Khizer

    Many….and American liberals should stop circlejerking about it, and finally grow spines and actually demand and fight against Trump’s terrible policies, instead of fussing over tweets.

    They should also start to do something about their goverment destroying any stable Middle East countries, but they don’t. All they do is tweet about trump’s moronic tweets, fuss about his ‘manners’ and how ‘un-american’ he is and other worthless ‘patriotic’ crap. They fussed about Bush’s stupidity and only lightly touched upon his wars with Iraq and Afghanistan, only calling them ‘bad’ and ‘unfortunate’ and that was it, that was their condemnation. They didn’t change a damn thing. When ‘liberal saviour’ Obama was president, he continued Bush’s policies in the Middle East, except less troops on ground and more drones. Liberals were too proud and succumbed to their own farts too realise this and instead were praising Obama for his ‘progressiveness’ of loving Muslims (whose countries he constantly bombed and families killed), caring for blacks and other minorities (even though the police was still heavily predjudiced and abusive to minorities, especially blacks) and making America ‘tolerant’ and ‘accepting’ again (even though America, and most countries, never were in the past). When Trump was elected, liberals started tripping themselves and making a fool of themselves. They and their pathetic news sites, *cough*The Guardian*cough* started praising Obama having nostalgia for him and ignored his less than ‘ideal’ policies. Liberals have even STARTED TO FUCKING MISS GEORGE ‘GOD TOLD ME TO BOMB IRAQ’ BUSH. go to any fucking liberal news site, and you will find a ’10 reasons we miss Bush’ article, and you will also find, “sure he was bad (bombing countries to the Stone Age) BUT HE HAD MANNERS!!!!”

    Liberals and their ‘news’ sites are disingenuous and absolutely lacking in any self-awareness. When trump won, they blamed those ‘ignorant backwater’ worker class red states for voting for Trump, when in actuality their fucking Democratic Party was just as trash as the republicans. Those ‘backwater workers’ voted Trump because he was the only candidate to acknowledge them, Hillary ‘Neo-liberal leech’ Clinton didn’t even acknowledge them and their declining economic situation while Trump (pretending, he didn’t actually give a shit about them) did. The Democratic Party took Hillary ‘neo-liberal’ Clinton over Bernie Sanders because he was ‘too socialist’ (I.e gave a shit about the poor and declining middle class) and didn’t lick corporation boots, which Hillary is a master at. Liberals blamed everthing on everyone else instead of the actual problem, Hillary herself, a petty neo-liberal leech who anyone NOT a rich or smug upper middle-class cunt not suffering from any economic problems, didn’t want to vote for. Most who actually voted for her did it out of fear for Trump’s neo-fascism, especially the minority voters.

    And here we fucking are, instead of realising that the American system is a decaying capitalist mess that needs to be broken down and replaced with something better, liberals insist on ‘fixing’ it (spoiler: you can’t fix a sinking ship, just save yourself and others and find a new and better ship). They don’t give a rat’s ass about the exploited people in the Middle East and in Africa, or even in their own country, they only care about being ‘right’ and feeling smug about it. The only people who actually want to, you know…IMPROVE the country and stop it’s impearealistic fantasies are the actual leftists (socialists and the like). Liberals’ reluctance to bring any valuable change is what got conservative alt-shite trash popular.

    News like this will be ignored, because liberals are too busy pontificating about Cheeto Benito’s manners (rather than his policies, both domestic and foreign). Actual genocide and oppression is not important to them. And bringing actual change to the world and their own country isn’t either.

  • Yausari

    Yeah, but how many times has that happened before?

  • Khizer

    Actual liberal breaking news in America:

    “Trump says something stupid on Twitter in a very UNPROFESSIONAL WAY! IS THIS THE END OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY?!?!?!!?”

  • Yausari

    This should be braking news!

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