On this date, September 7th, in 2001, more than 70 people were killed and thousands fled the city of Jos, the capitol of Nigeria, after a Christian woman crossed the street in front of a mosque where Friday prayers were letting out.
In the previous year, tensions had been high in Nigeria, which is comprised of a mainly Muslim north and a mainly Christian south, after Muslims implemented sharia in the north.
The AP described the attack in Jos:
Frightened Muslims and Christians huddled together for safety at a police training grounds in this northern Nigerian city Sunday after three days of bloodletting between their two communities left smoke rising into the sky and charred corpses in the streets.
Why were Muslims huddling with Christians? Perhaps it was minority Shi'a hiding from majority Sunni?
``Don't you understand? They are killing our people!' implored one of about 30 Muslims stopped by police as they drove through the streets in an open-bed truck. The men, made to kneel in a culvert by a police school, pleaded for merciful treatment by authorities. Arms taken from them -- steak knives, pick axes, swords and clubs bristling with nails -- lay nearby.
On the grounds of the police school, 750 Muslims and Christians -- men, women and children -- crowded together, clutching small bags and other goods grabbed in hurried flight.
Jos, a one-time hill resort of Nigeria's former British rulers, exploded into violence over what some residents said was a simple slight -- a Christian woman trying to cross a street where Muslim men were gathered in Friday prayer.
Crossing the street is not a simple slight, it's not a slight, period.
[...] In Jos on Sunday, police repelled a Muslim gang that attacked some of the few Christians who ventured out for church services. Frightened residents described determined killers keeping up hit-and-run attacks -- singling out victims, then closing in with guns and machetes when armed patrols were out of sight.
The AP makes a strong attempt at morally equating Christians and Muslims in their report of this attack, but every concrete example they give is of Muslims out to kill Christians.
A year later, the Miss World beauty pageant was scheduled to be held in Nigeria, which, as you may suspect, enraged Muslims. A newspaper columnist wrote:
The Muslims thought it was immoral to bring 92 women to Nigeria and ask them to revel in vanity. What would Muhammad think? In all honesty, he would probably have chosen a wife from one of them.
This really enraged Muslims, because they knew that Muhammad wouldn't have chosen "a" wife from them; he and his band of merry men would have stormed the hall, beheaded all the non-Muslim males, and taken all the female contestants as sex slaves to be divided amongst his followers. In retaliation for this simple slight, Muslims killed over 200 people, and burned down several churches (obviously the Catholic Church is in charge of organizing beauty pageants). Or, in AP-speak, Muslims and Christians huddled together as Christian and Muslim gangs killed over 200 people, and burned down several churches.
Previous Days in the "Religion of Peace™":
Sept 6: Algerian Beni-Messous Massacre
Sept 5: Munich Olympics
Sept 4: East Timor jihad
Sept 3: Mongols vs. Mamluks
Sept 2: Richard "Lionheart" vs. Saladin