Nigeria: When Passions Spill Over

When Passions Spill Over

For almost 15 years, Nigerian officials have avoided taking a census for fear that religious passions would be inflamed by the probable discovery that Muslims, not Christians, now make up a majority of the population. No matter. Last week violence exploded anyway after a student in the northern city of Kafanchan criticized the Koran. Ensuing clashes between Muslim and Christian students led to a week of turmoil that left 13 dead, countless injured, 489 arrested and a trail of burned property, including twelve churches and two mosques in five cities. When peace was restored, officials blamed the unrest on "misguided elements"...