Kony’s Deleted Christian Fanaticism
Joseph Kony, the brutal commander of the Lord’s Resistance Army, has been introduced to millions through a video on YouTube. But that denunciation of his war crimes skirts his claim to be motivated by Christianity, an omission not applied to violent extremists who embrace Islam, notes Mamoon Alabbasi.
By Mamoon Alabbasi
There is no doubt that the 30-minute video “Kony 2012” by the advocacy group Invisible Children has raised much awareness regarding the relatively under-reported atrocities committed by the Ugandan rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).
It is also true that the video, which boasts over 80 million views on YouTube so far, has been subjected to much - I think fair - scrutiny. Criticism of the motives, accuracy and objectivity of the video’s makers has stirred a rather healthy debate on the issue, where alternative ways forward were discussed.
Graphic for the group, Invisible Children
However, I could not help but wonder how Invisible Children - whose founders are reported to have evangelical leanings - would have fashioned their video had the LRA been a Muslim extremist group (instead of being a Christian one, whose former name was the “Uganda Christian Democratic Army”).
I am not suggesting here that the group’s professed Christian beliefs are behind their abduction and enslavement of more than 30,000 children over the period of 25 years, where some of the boys become child soldiers, forced or brainwashed into murdering their own parents, and many of the girls end up as sex slaves after being captured.
The LRA fighters would chop off the arms, legs or ears of their victims. Sometimes they would padlock their lips. As a result of their terrorising violence, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced.
The group does - bizarrely - claim to be fighting for the establishment of the rule of the Ten Commandments in a theocratic Uganda (although they have been active in three other African countries: South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic).