The attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping centre is perhaps the greatest tragedy of the recent months. It has been all over the news, but here’s a short recap: an al-Qaeda-linked group Somali followers of the religion of peace, known as al-Shabab, took the “Kuffar” (non-Muslims) shopping in Westgate hostage and proceeded to wreak havoc. The siege finally ended on Tuesday, with 61 confirmed civilian deaths.
Al-Shabab are known to have a vendetta against Kenya ever since Kenyan forces dislodged the group from the Somali port of Kismayo in 2012.
Recently, news of what happened on the inside have been emerging. Probably the most harrowing findings have been of alleged torture. A doctor who did not wish to be named told the Kenyan newspaper The Star, “Those are not allegations. Those are f****ng truths. They removed balls, eyes, ears, nose. They get your hand and sharpen it like a pencil then they tell you to write your name with the blood. They drive knives inside a child’s body. Actually if you look at all the bodies, unless those ones that were escaping, fingers are cut by pliers, the noses are ripped by pliers.”
Dreadful, but unsurprising. The attack was well-planned and the target chosen for several reasons: high-profile shopping centre favoured by the Kenyan elite and rich foreign expats, owned by Israelis.
The terrorists were prepared and well-armed, and their exclusive targeting of non-Muslims is exceptionally poignant.
This should be a wake up call to Western governments, who believe they can arm Islamist insurgents in Syria and not suffer the obvious consequences. If Obama &co give more guns and ammunition to Syrian rebels, Assad might fall, but so might more shopping centres, in Israel and beyond. Radical Islamists see non-Muslims as sub-humans, deserving of torture, death and hellfire. Giving them weapons is like signing a death sentence.