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WHEN DISCRIMINATION IS APPROPRIATE

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Police display improvised petrol bombs at the Bamburi police station, which were found when they raided Masjid Swafaa mosque in the Kisauni area of the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa November 19, 2014. REUTERS/Joseph Okanga

Islamic extremists in Kenya complain about harsh treatment from the government, even as they perpetrate horrific attacks that make such discrimination logical and necessary. In late November, militants fired on a bus with bullets and rocket propelled grenades. They then separated non-Muslim passengers and forced them to lie on the ground, face down. If they couldn’t—or wouldn’t—recite the Shahada (a proclamation of Islamic faith) the victims received gunshots in the head. Nineteen men and nine women died in the attack, seventeen of them teachers traveling home for Christmas break.

The AP cited a report from the International Crisis Group saying Muslim militants were responding to “official discrimination and marginalization” on the part of the Kenyan government, including seizure of weapons and explosives from mosques. But how could the terrorists of Al-Shabab expect that they could reduce their so-called “marginalization” by perpetrating more than 135 deadly attacks since 2011?

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