Friday, September 27, 2013

Blog 3: Shootings at Nairobi's Westgate Mall

Kenya faced a devastating terrorist attack on Saturday September 21 that lasted for five days in Nairobi’s upscale Westgate mall. The attackers were an estimated 10 to 15 Somali Islamist extremists who had meticulously planned the massacre. The attack involved them slipping in assault rifles, used by Kenyan security services, into the mall and Kenya’s borders. These attackers opened fire in the mall shortly after 12 pm killing what is now confirmed to be at least 62 children and adults. Although the motive is still unclear, it possible that the attack had something to do with the recent killing of Omar Hammami, a Shabab fighter who grew up in Alabama and was fatally shot by another wing of the Shabab less than two weeks ago. Mr. Hummmami gained unpopularity among the Somalia community after he complained that the Shaban had become too brutal with their fellow Muslims. In the Nairobi mall shootings, civilians were asked by their attackers what religion they belonged to. Those who were Muslims were released while all others were said to be killed on the spot. Dozens of families are still unsure if their loved ones are dead or alive as they wait until more bodies are being released.

            This massacre is a sociological created problem because the shootings were said to have been based off of religious differences. Religion plays an important role in how any society is structured and functions. Religion helps guide people into making decisions of whether something is right or wrong therefore, it can help determine how people of that society will behave. The shootings at Nairobi’s mall are an example of how people of extremist views on religion can act out on those beliefs to do what they believe is right. Consequently, families are paying the price for their cause by losing their loved ones. Unlike other shootings that target men, these shootings were not aimed at a specific gender or age group. Women, men, and children were all victims of this horrendous crime and their families are left to face the consequences of the shootings. Since Nairobi is the home to one of Africa’s largest stock exchange headquarters, this could possibly lure people away from coming to make business there. Consequently affecting the economy and the government policies of Nairobi which will therefore impact the lives of Kenyan families. 

Karina Velazquez
11:30 am

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