Peace Through Strength In Nigeria

Not what I would expect to read in the National Catholic Reporter. John Allen, reporting from Nigeria:
While it's true that a rough peace seems to be holding today, and that dialogues between Muslims and Christians are growing, many locals say that dialogue may never have begun if Nigerian Christians hadn't learned to stand up for themselves. That is, they believe the Muslims might never have come to the table if they hadn't been forced to do so by a growing Christian capacity to answer Muslim-initiated violence blow-for-blow.
It's a position endorsed almost unanimously by our Nigerian Catholic hosts, who have repeatedly told me this week that Christians in the country "aren't folding our hands anymore." Much to my surprise, even Imam Isah told me that in the beginning, Christians were seen as largely defenseless, and thus not taken seriously by some Muslims.
The frightening implication seems to be that retaliatory violence on the Christian side may have been necessary to balance the scales.
"Only when we started reacting did the Muslims see a need for dialogue," said Dogo, the general secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria in the north. "They saw our people have resolve, and that's when the decision was made to form a consultative forum of religious leaders."
What the lesson of Nigeria may thus suggest is that a stiffening of the spine on the Christian side may be necessary to set the table for future breakthroughs.

Curtsy: open book. That the Reporter would learn this lesson before...well, many others I could name, is...astonishing.