Over the last week the story of Boko Haram has become a story that has migrated to the mainstream media.
The mass abduction of teenage girls yet again delivered on a threat that Shekau has made repeatedly. “Western education” is a prime target of Boko Haram because in the group’s view, it reinforces colonial and Christian influence and suppresses Islam.
In a July 2013 video, Shekau promised that schools would be burned and teachers killed. He has been true to his word. In February, a school in Nigeria’s northern Yobe state was attacked and burned down, leaving 29 boys dead. And last September, more than 40 students at an agricultural college were killed.
And the future remains grim for the young girls:
While boys abducted in Nigeria and other war-torn African countries face the misery of a life where they are forced to become beggars, miners or child soldiers, girls like the nearly 300 mainly Christian teens abducted by the Boko Haram last month are more likely to be dispersed throughout the continent, Russia, the Middle East and even Europe, sold for a few dollars and forced to become prostitutes. Some escape, and make it back to their villages, while others are forced into the sex trade and exposed to brutality and disease.
And now that they can’t be ignored
A new Boko Haram massacre has killed hundreds in Nigeria’s northeast, a senator said Wednesday, as police offered $300,000 dollars for information leading to the rescue of more than 200 schoolgirls held hostage by the Islamists.
the logical questions have to be asked:
A Daily Beast article raised the issue. It quoted an anonymous U.S. official who criticized the Clinton State Department for rejecting calls in 2012 by some in Congress, the Department of Justice and others to add Boko Haram to the terror list as a threat to U.S. interests and homeland security.
At the time, State Department officials argued such a move could cause more harm than good by enhancing the group’s standing and making U.S. and Western interests a target of Boko Haram attacks.
After Clinton stepped down and was succeeded by John Kerry, the State Department designated the group as a terrorist organization in November 2013.
former President Bill Clinton stated in 2013 that the terrorist organization Boko Haram acts out of poverty, not because of religious fervor.
Mr. Clinton not only stated that poverty was the cause, but that specifically, Islam and religion could not be blamed in any way. Possibly it is related to President Clinton being “discriminated” against for being black.
Perhaps is would have been better if he listened to the voices of people more familiar with the situation, say someone who has dealt directly with the oppression of women in Africa and the dangers of radical Islam there, maybe someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali
But little attention has been paid to the group’s formal Arabic name: Jam’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-da’wa wal-Jihad. That roughly translates as “The Fellowship of the People of the Tradition for Preaching and Holy War.” That’s a lot less catchy than Boko Haram but significantly more revealing about the group and its mission. Far from being an aberration among Islamist terror groups, as some observers suggest, Boko Haram in its goals and methods is in fact all too representative.The kidnapping of the schoolgirls throws into bold relief a central part of what the jihadists are about: the oppression of women. Boko Haram sincerely believes that girls are better off enslaved than educated. The terrorists’ mission is no different from that of the Taliban assassin who shot and nearly killed 15-year-old Pakistani Malala Yousafzai—as she rode a school bus home in 2012—because she advocated girls’ education. As I know from experience, nothing is more anathema to the jihadists than equal and educated women.
she asks the obvious question:
Where are the Muslim college-student organizations denouncing Boko Haram? Where is the outrage during Friday prayers? These girls’ lives deserve more than a Twitter hashtag protest
and calls for action.
I am often told that the average Muslim wholeheartedly rejects the use of violence and terror, does not share the radicals’ belief that a degenerate and corrupt Western culture needs to be replaced with an Islamic one, and abhors the denigration of women’s most basic rights. Well, it is time for those peace-loving Muslims to do more, much more, to resist those in their midst who engage in this type of proselytizing before they proceed to the phase of holy war.
Ms Ali seems to be really on top of the whole Boko Haram story and the oppression of women in Africa. If only it was a tad earlier in the year, some prestigious university could have snatched her up as a commencement speaker.
Closing thought: On a whim I did a search for “Boko Haram” on the Brandeis site turns up one masters thesis and a single reference under “international justice in the news” newsletter from Sept 2013″. No protests, no speeches, no demonstrations. No protest letters from faculty or the Muslim Students Association.
How about that!
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