Alas, as at 10 pm (GMT+3) on this Sunday, my contribution to the conversation (which I sent over 8 hours ago to await editorial approval) has not been added to the online conversation invited by the Daily Nation. The Editor probably does not have as good a reason for not including it as I have for posting it on my blog. So here below it is, in full and as originally sent:
Franceschi is not diagnosing terrorism, which is what scholars are supposed to do. He is clumsily justifying it -- with patchy chronology, zero logic and near-zero dialectical thinking. As the current saying goes, the terrorists are right here among us. Franceschi has a knack for meeting them, and they for meeting him. He is empathetic to their way of seeing things, and hostile to the way the ordinary Kenyan reacts to Al-Shabaab massacres. He seems to ask Kenyans to accept the deaths perpetrated by terrorists as a necessary and unavoidable fact of life.
We all know that Al-Shabaab are an extreme, pathological wing of Islam, and the great majority of Kenyan Muslims are just as horrified by its murderous orgies. I happen to think that most ordinary Muslims in Kenya are more terrified by extremists among them, than by Christians -- even in these hard times. I dare say that it is impossible in the circumstances for there to be a religious war in Kenya, pitting non-Muslim against Muslim. Those who think there might be are hallucinating. So terror can be confronted, robustly, without things getting out of hand. The fight against Mungiki did not lead to intra-ethnic war in Central Kenya.
In America, the habitual and disproportionate killing of black youths by white policemen sparks recurrent outrage, and the hastag #BlackLivesMatter is currently trending. Yet not all or even most white policemen are murderous racists. Everyone knows that, and so nobody worries that condemning or going after the murderers, "with firmness in the right and justice for all", will spark a racial war.
In Kenya, whenever Al-Shabaab single out non-Muslims for cold-blooded murder, everyone -- Senator and Dean included -- rushes to ask us to 'chill', seeking to reassure us with little if any logic that religion is not the criterion for the killings. it's not religious at all, since in Somalia they do kill Muslims - you know. Franceschi and those who think like him want the victims to accept their fate, and roll with the deadly point-blank shots, and the families to not try to pinpoint who did the killing and why? Alternatively, they want us all to be like the VietNamese buffalo put in a trance (shorn of all reason and all sense) by means of quasi-religious chants prior to an impending butchery.
Franceshi's last three sentences are a veritable Jihadist call to arms, and couldn't have been written better by Ai-Shabaab themselves.
I don't know if Franceschi is the new face of Opus Dei at Strathmore. I don't know which country he comes from, or if he's still welcome there. I don't know where he was before he came here. I don't know why he is so obviously and so blatantly hostile to Kenya, and Kenyans. If Kenya is so bad, why is he here?