The most astonishing example of the don’t-mention-Islam phenomenon – Nafeez Ahmed inÂ The Guardian:
The kidnapping of over 200 Nigerian school girls, and the massacre of as many as 300 civilians in the town of Gamboru Ngala, by the militant al-Qaeda affiliated group, Boko Haram, has shocked the world.
But while condemnations have rightly been forthcoming from a whole range of senior figures from celebrities to government officials, less attention has been paid to the roots of the crisis.
Instability in Nigeria, however, has been growing steadily over the last decade – andÂ one reason is climate change.Â
No, don’t mention that Boko Haram is an Islamist group and don’t criticise those who refuse to. Otherwise someÂ radio presenterÂ will imply you’re just a you-know-what:
Mooch addressed the country in what is usually president’s weekly address to the nation, delivering the weekly address for the first time since Hussein Obama took office. “Her invention” came as the disastrous consequences ofÂ Obama’s failed foreign policy and jihad denial continue to unfold. – Pamela Geller
It is hard not to have total contempt for a political culture that thinks the picture [of Michelle Obama] is a useful contribution to rescuing 276 schoolgirls kidnapped by jihadist savages in Nigeria. Yet some pajama boy at the White House evidently felt getting the First Lady to pose with this week’s Hashtag of Western Impotence would reflect well upon the Administration. The horrible thing is they may be right: Michelle showed she cared – on social media! – and that’s all that matters, isn’t it?–Showing concern saves no oneÂ (Andrew Bolt)
Deceptive Islamist Support for Nigerian Girls
by Andrew E. Harrod/Special to IPT News
May 9, 2014
A coalition of American Muslim leaders came together at aÂ press conferenceThursday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to condemnÂ Boko Haram‘s (BH) April 14 kidnapping of276 Nigerian schoolgirls. Yet the participants’ deficient frankness about Islamic doctrine made their denunciations ring hollow.
“Islam is not the problem,” insistedÂ Ahmed Bedier, a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Tampa chapter founder. “No one is buying their story,” Bedier argued with respect to Islamic claims of BH. He dismissed them as “just another con” whose “ideology comes from nowhere” in a country known for scams.
Bedier’s assessment might surprise BH’s leader,Â Abubakar Shekau. Known as “Darul Tawheed,” an expert in monotheism, Shekau studied under a cleric and then at Borno State College of Legal and Islamic Studies. A profile also describes Shekau’s predecessor, deceased BH founder Mohammed Yusuf, as a “charismatic, well-educated cleric who drove a Mercedes as part of his push for a pure Islamic state in Nigeria.”
“We didn’t ask if Christianity is the problem” with respect to Uganda’s brutalÂ Lord’s Resistance Army, Bedier analogized. Yet human rights abuses in Islam’s name, especially against women and girls, extend beyond Nigeria.Â Survey results reportÂ the “Arab Spring” had a detrimental impact on women, including the reemergence of child marriage in Syria. Women’s rights are also a concern in bothÂ European Islamic immigrant communitiesÂ and in Brunei after itsÂ recent introductionÂ of sharia law, including stoning for adulterous women.
BH likewise appeared to CAIR-Maryland Vice PresidentÂ Zainab ChaudryÂ as a “vicious cult.” BH’s “maniacal and suicidal interpretation of Islam” also drew condemnation fromJohari Abdul-Malik, an imam at northern Virginia’sÂ Dar al-HijrahÂ mosque. BH is “madness masquerading as religion,” ImamÂ Mahdi BrayÂ agreed, and its crimes violate “core Islamic teachings,” saidÂ Muslim Public Affairs CouncilÂ (MPAC) analystÂ Hoda Elshishtawy.
“We need to unite across all faith lines,” Bray said, with ecumenical concern for the kidnapping victims, “until all our girls are brought home.”
Bedier and others considered BH violence symptomatic of Nigerian social ills like poverty. Martin Luther King, a “drum major for justice,” likewise came to Bray’s mind during an interview. King was “standing up for the poor and the oppressed” with jobs and education. Nigerian government response to the kidnappings, meanwhile, reminded Bedier of American “outrage” following official American handling of Hurricane Katrina.
“Education is one of the greatest counter-terrorism programs,” said Abdul-Malik. Punning BH’s Hausa slang meaning of “Western education is sin [haram],” Hakeem Kareem from theÂ National Council of Nigerian Muslim OrganizationsÂ called “Western education…Boko Halal” or permitted. Kareem referenced Nigerian Muslim doctors involved in disease eradication.
Other areas of the world, meanwhile, suffer from poverty, such as Haiti,Â still rebuildingfrom the 2010 earthquake which killed at least 250,000 people and displaced another 1.5 million. Yet somehow these countries do not devolve into misogynist paradises for “vicious cults.”
The presenters rejected any questions about Islam’s treatment of women as beyond the event’s purview, even though Boko Haram announced plans condemned by the speakers to force its captives into sexual relationships or even “marriages.” BH’s actions paralleledÂ Islamic doctrine justifying child marriageÂ that had blocked in Nigeria’s Muslim-majority northern states fromÂ implementing legislationÂ for an 18-year-old age of consent for marriage. By contrast, Nigeria’s Christian-majority southern states passed such legislation.
Although Bedier called for Americans to “use our resources for something that is positive,” he offered few specifics. He advocated drone use in Nigeria “for surveillance,” not combat. Noting that BH sometimes outgunned government forces, Bray suggested that America aid Nigeria with intelligence and the FBI’s hostage rescue team along with the United Nations.
Nigerian Christian leaders haveÂ identified most of the kidnapped girlsÂ as Christian, corresponding to BH’s targeting of Nigerian Christians to create Muslim-ruled regions. This sectarian divide, and not any religiously neutral socioeconomic deprivationÂ often cited by American officials, has motivated BH, Christian human rights advocates have long contended (seeÂ hereÂ andÂ here). Yet, the online conference announcement described the “kidnapping of Muslim girls.” Abdul-Malik called that a mistake.
He noted that BH, as a “takfiri” group with a “medieval, feudal perspective,” also targets Muslim opponents as apostates. He had no interest, however, in the “mission creep” of questions concerning traditional Islamic death penalties for apostasy/blasphemy recurring in the modern world.
Boko Haram has beenÂ massacring ChristiansÂ and other foes for years, yet only a crime shocking the world attracted the attention of these American-Islamist groups. Ablogger’s search of CAIR’s website, for example, revealed only one entry for BH (post-press conference, two). CAIRÂ condemnedÂ a 2011 bombing, but Chaudry claimed CAIR’s “focus is not international” as a “domestic organization.” Such domesticity, though, has not preventedÂ CAIR from criticizing Israeli military action, or fromdefending Muslim BrotherhoodÂ leaders in Egypt, something Chaudry did not feel at liberty to address. Chaudry also refrained from addressing child marriage in Nigeria, something not supported by Islam according to her assertions.
Speakers at Thursday’s news conference hardly reassured that they would adequately address the Islamic dangers posed in Nigeria by movements like BH. Not for nothing does BH’s “formal Arabic name” meanÂ Jam’at Ahl as-Sunnah lid-da’wa wal-Jihad, or “The Fellowship of the People of the Tradition for Preaching and Holy War,” Islam apostate and criticÂ Ayaan Hirsi Ali observes.
As the Canadian Muslim reformer Tarek FatahÂ notes, wartime sex slavery does find sanction in Islamic sources, highlighting the need for open discussion of Islam’s various controversies. “We either develop the maturity to say, such Islamic injunctions do not apply anymore,” Fatah writes, “or we can keep on driving fast-forward in reverse gear…every time we hit an obstacle that appears in our blind spot, we can blame it on ‘Islamophobia.'”
Those at Thursday’s news conference chose the latter.
“There is a time when silence is betrayal,” Bray quoted King, a comment applicable to the press conference itself.
- Imam Pushing to Sanitize 9/11 Museum’s Al-Qaida Film Slurs Jews
- Beyond Belief: Palestinian Terrorists Smuggle Sperm Out of Israeli Jails
- Seattle Muslim Pleads Guilty to Firebombing Gay Nightclub
- Egyptian Magazine: Muslim Brotherhood Infiltrates Obama Administration
- Guest Column: If Mahmoud Abbas Had a Palestinian State