Excerpt from the testimony before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights, July 10, 2012, by Darren Kew, PhD, associate professor of conflict resolution, human security, and global governance, and executive director of the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development at McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts Boston:
"The recent escalation of violence between Nigeria’s Muslim and Christian communities is not a single conflict between these two great religions. Rather, the crisis is a series of local and regional struggles, some of which feature religion as a strong motivation for conflict, while others ignite the Muslim-Christian fault line as a secondary or circumstantial matter. Recently, however, several actors have seen interest in trying to frame these localized conflicts as a single religious contest across the Christian-Muslim divide. U.S. policy in the region should continue to support efforts to promote religious tolerance and improved governance in Nigeria, while avoiding actions that could feed the perception that the United States is ready to take sides."