The Central African Republic (CAR), where Muslims and Christians used to live in unity and friendship in the past, has for some time become a place where Muslims are being subjected to systematic persecution. Following the election of Muslim Michel Dijotodia as the prime minister, anti-Muslim incidents surged in the CAR.
Much effort is made to lay the groundwork of a disinformation campaign by constantly mentioning the election of a Muslim leader while the cabinet is actually mainly made up of Christian ministers. According to the Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, the number of Muslims in the country dropped to 900 whereas it was around 145,000 previously; the majority of the Muslim population in the region were either forced to immigrate or martyred.
In many parts of the world, civil wars are ongoing. With all continents harboring at least one conflict zone, practically the entire world has turned into a giant conflict zone. All of these conflicts stem from either from civil wars or struggles between groups within countries. This is also the case for the CAR.
However there is an aspect of the CAR which renders it different from other conflict points. Despite the existence of the French Peacekeeping Forces in the country, this Muslim minority can not be protected from roaming gangs coming forward with an allegedly Christian identity and calling itself Balaqa but referred by the Western media as “anti-Balaqa”. The coups, political strife and internal problems that started in 2013 – which have continued unabated so far – caused armed groups to get fight with one another. In the face of this situation France, upon the approval of the UN, sent a new Peacekeeping Force of 1,600 soldiers to the country but following this, incidents surged rather than diminished.
The French intervention into the CAR initially appeared as a joint operation against the armed groups but as France reported, this intervention received reactions, particularly from the Muslim groups, upon which France launched a disarmament policy among the villages where armed groups were deployed. Collecting the arms, which in principle was applicable both to Muslim and Christian groups, was actually a positive approach; its application could indeed be a temporary solution, but France collected only all the firearms and sharp objects in the Muslim villages. Consequently, this disarmament policy was applied unilaterally and aggression among the groups proceeded towards Muslims. Muslim villagers remained unprotected against aggressive groups and according to the reports, they were not watched over by French soldiers. Hundreds of Muslims were martyred due to this malpractice.
This being the case, the protection of the Muslim minority is of great importance. For this reason, it is apparent that together with French troops, UN forces – including forces of the Muslim countries – must be present in the CAR as well, at least as observers. There is indeed a step being taken in this direction but this needs to be urgently realized. This will both ensure the security of the people of CAR and eliminate any doubts about France’s operation. At this point it is essential to urgently secure the protection of Muslims. Meanwhile the anarchist groups that present themselves as Christians – thereby defaming real Christians – must be divulged. In this region primarily, the terror caused by the communities in question must be put to an end and then a special education and reconciliation program that will ensure the coexistence of people of different views in the community must be put into practice.
Surely Muslims also have a great role in realizing this. The morality displayed by Muslims is of great importance in preventing the surge of the events.
When Muslims display tolerance, a beautiful acceptance and amity to non-Muslims, despite the prejudices of the other party, possible brutalities may be hindered. God wants Muslims to be people of moral perfection and quality who embrace everyone with love and respect, who befriend both East and the West, and who value the arts, sciences and all manner of beauty in the world.
In this sense, a joint effort of Turkey and France that will provide the right education in the CAR can ensure peace and tranquility among the conflicting groups. It goes without saying that the Peacekeeping Force of the UN – accompanied by the Muslim countries – must remain in the CAR to ensure the peace. In this way the operations of France can also be supervised, making her free from the dubious allegations being put forward against her. But for a long-term solution, a process based on education must absolutely be put into practice.
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