‘#JeSuisNigeria anyone?’ Web users condemn deafening hush on Nigeria bombings amid Paris attack buzz
The mainstream media (MSM) has been focusing on stories related to France since the Paris attacks. Hashtags such as #PrayforParis have been dominating social media, while attacks by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) on Beirut, the capital of Lebanon; and Ankara, the capital of Turkey, were largely underplayed by the mainstream media.
Some 43 people were killed and hundreds wounded in two suicide bomb attacks in a residential area of Beirut last Thursday, while explosions in Ankara last month killed 102 people and injured over 400.
Meanwhile in Nigeria, a total of 50 people died in two terrorist attacks targeting civilians at market places over the last two days, with dozens more injured.
Nonetheless, the latest wave of mourning on social media has centered on a French police dog that was killed during Wednesday’s anti-terror raid in Saint-Denis.
Messages like “It was death for France,”“We respect your courage,”“RIP, brave police dog” have filled Twitter.
Moreover, the hashtags #JeSuisChien (I am a dog) and #RIPDiesel are currently trending on the French and global Twittersphere in honor of the heroic canine.
Now, people from around the world are pointing out that little attention has been paid to the recent escalation of violence in Nigeria. The hashtags #PrayForNigeria and #JeSuisNigeria have been used to call attention to the bias shown by the disparity in the level of sympathy the Paris attacks have received when compared to the scant empathy shown for Nigeria after the tragedies there.
On Twitter, @TYLRKAHLIL wondered: “when 147 Nigerians were killed, was there a worldwide snapchat geotag? was there a #PrayForNigeria hashtag. Did anyone care?”
“Where’s the love? Where’s the support? Flags? Prayers? Hashtags? You hypocrites!!” Twitter user @maripoza55 said, while @OmgItsSyy noted that “I don’t see any Nigerian flags on people’s profiles..”
Meanwhile, Sarah Agboola, a Nigerian girl, tweeted “It doesn’t matter where you are from or what part of Nigeria you represent no one should be affected by this. #PrayForNigeria”
While Ruth Crosby (@ruthannacrosby) said “More innocent lives lost & not a sign of it in our media. #alifeisalife #PrayForNigeria”
Many users criticized other countries for not recognizing the tragedies in Nigeria and the gravity of situation there.
When compared on Hashtagify, the #PrayForParis hashtag had received 71.6 popularity points in contrast to only 47.4 points for #PrayForNigeria, which is very close to the same amount garnered by the #JeSuisChien hashtag – dedicated to the French police dog.
RT’s Anissa Naouai has appealed to viewers not to forget other cities torn apart by terror that don’t often make it into MSM news feeds.
“My heart is with Paris, but it is also with Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq. No lines outside of their embassies, no hashtags, peace signs, no viral status changes, no photo features on Facebook, nothing. International terror doesn’t mean only when it hits Europe or Western countries, it is global. So why don’t we treat it that way? Solidarity to France and to all those other terror victims that never make the news,” Naouai said during her show, In The Now.
Meanwhile social media outrage has been fueled by a new report revealing that the Nigeria-based Boko Haram terrorist group has actually killed more people than Islamic State.
The Global Terrorism Index published by the Institute for Economic and Peace (IEP) said that the two terrorist groups were responsible for over a half of the killings in 2014. Together they were responsible for 51 percent of all global fatalities claimed by any group in 2014, and almost 40 percent of all fatalities.
However, the Nigerian jihadists, who pledged allegiance to IS in March 2015, killed more people than their fellow Islamists, claiming 6,644 lives compared to 6,073 killed by Islamic State. Nigeria accordingly experienced a staggering 300 percent rise in deaths from terrorism in 2014, although other militant groups share partial blame for the increase.
The violence in Nigeria has been quickly escalating. On Wednesday, two large explosions triggered by suicide bombers killed 12 people and wounded 66 at a mobile phone market in Kano, Nigeria’s main northern city.
The attack comes just one day after a blast left 32 people dead and 80 injured at a market in the northeastern city of Yola.