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Sociological Analysis: Grenade Attack in Kenya

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In the recent past, several towns in Kenya have experienced grenade attacks with most of them blamed to Al-Shabaab terrorist group. Al-Shabaab is a Somali based organization with various prominent and anti-peace Islamic militant groups, which was branded as a terrorist group by the U.S. and a number of regional communities. It is an Al-Qaeda aligned organization that was ousted by some Ethiopian rebels in 2006 (Gatehouse, 2012). The analysis of this issue will base on the article “Deadly Kenya Grenade Attack Hits Children in Church” by Gatehouse (2012).

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The latest attack was made on “St. Polycarp's church, which is located along Juja road in the Kenyan capital city, Nairobi” (Gatehouse, 2012). In this attack, a grenade was hurled at the group of children attending a Sunday school mass in the church, instantly killing a boy and other several children sustaining serious wounds. No terrorist group accepted responsibility for this attack but the government and local population strongly associated this to the Al-Shabaab terrorist group. As a result, the Somalis living around the church and within the estate (Eastleigh) have received several retaliatory attacks in which several citizens have been killed (Gatehouse, 2012).

The author of this article, Gatehouse, criticizes such terrorist attacks and even condemns other attempted attacks. He supports efforts made by the country’s defense force trying to completely do away with the terrorist groups in Somalia. He reports that Kenyan troops have been deployed in Somalia in an operation targeted at driving Al-Shabbab militants out of the region. These troops have managed to capture several Al-Shabbab strongholds with the latest reports indicating that Kismayo, its headquarters, has been captured. This article was therefore written to give the local population the latest updates as far as the local security issues are concerned (Gatehouse, 2012). To affect the Al-Shabaab demise in the region, the author has produced a biased report in favor of the desired security in the country.

Sociological Analysis of the Article

In as much as people in a modern society might want to appear as one, there are a lot of differences mainly emanating from our traditional backgrounds. People have social, economic and political differences, thus bringing about inequalities in some social groups that exist. This background leads to the structural and ideological differences among different people, resulting to conflicts within the society (Giddens, 2010).

Just as explained above, Al-Shabaab is an Islamic militant group. The Kenyan government has made several amicable steps targeted at doing away with this outlawed group. Kenyans were pushed into this act by several conflicts they had with this group. For instance, Al-Shabaab hijacked Kenyan boats in the Indian Ocean, kidnapped and even killed Kenyan tourists in cases where the government failed to pay the demanded ransom in time. Such conflicts, therefore, fuelled the Kenyan anti-Al-Shabaab operation, termed ‘Operation Linda Nchi’ translated into English as “operation to protect the country” (Appelrouth & Edles, 2007).

On the other hand, one might ask ‘why this terror group has targeted churches in bid to coerce the Kenyan Government into retreating from the war front?’ Traditionally, Islam has had conflicts with Christianity. This is, therefore, a possible channel for Al-Shabaab to dispense their desire to be left alone. They might think that if Christians are attacked severally, they might urge the government to stop fights so that they can be safe. In the long-run this conflict will broaden the rift between Muslims and Christians. Christians will understand that Muslims hate them and are willing to use Christians as a tool to express their frustration (Appelrouth & Edles, 2007).

In conclusion, I fully support the efforts made by Kenyan government in frustrating the Al-Shabaab. I picked this article because it tells the world what is happening in other parts of the globe, especially in the third world countries of Africa. Indeed, the terror group has caused too much harm both to the locals and the international community. I also condemn the retaliatory attacks made by Christians to the innocent Muslim community in the neighboring estate. Christians should understand that it is only a small fraction of Muslims that are aligned to this terror group but not the entire community.

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