Abubakar Shekau, the head of Boko Haram, and a Muslim who takes the Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira to heart, undiluted by any desire to silently ignore parts of what those texts teach, doesn’t mince wordÂ Â here.Â And when he speaks, he embarrasses many of the world’s Muslims, and fills Western chanceries with consternation when those who presume to protect and instruct us are unable to distinguish “extremists” such as Abubakar Shekau from those who are orthodox mainstream Muslims — they can’t very well say that he is just taking Islam fully to heart, and it is only those Muslims who don’t, and precisely to the extent that they don’t, with whom we might just possibly be able to co-exist. So they continue to bleat about “extremists” without ever being able, by reference to the canonical texts of Islam, to offer any way to distinguish whatÂ they callÂ “extremism” from orthodox Islam.
The Nigerian gubmint springs into action:
Here again we see the rule that non-Muslim leaders and spokesmen accept with increasing alacrity: do not offend Islam.
Pressure grew last night for Western military drones to be used in the hunt for more than 200 schoolgirls abducted in Nigeria, as the terrorist thought to be holding them threatened to “marry off” girls aged as young as nine.Â Experts said that unmanned spy planes of the kind used in Afghanistan could be deployed along with satellite-operated cameras to search the vast areas of desert and woodland where the girls are thought to be hidden.
The urgency of the situation was underlined yesterday when Boko Haram, the Islamic extremist group believed to have abducted the girls, released a video in which its leader gloatingly threatened to sell them as “slaves”.
“I abducted your girls,” said Abubakar Shekau, who appeared dressed in combat fatigues and standing in front of an armoured personnel carrier. Six masked gunmen flanked him. “I will sell them in the market, by Allah. I will marry off a woman at the age of 12. I will marry off a girl at the age of nine.”Â
Shekau described the abduction as part of Boko Haram’s war against Western-style secular education in Nigeria, which has seen the group attack dozens of schools in the predominantly Muslim north. “I said Western education should end,” he added. “Girls, you should go and get married.”
With the plight of the missing schoolgirls now likely to play high on the agenda of the conference, Mr Jonathan said over the weekend that he had reached out to the US, Britain, France and China for help on security issues.
While he did not specify what help he had sought, it is thought he may have discussed whether satellite or drone technology could be used in the hunt for the girls. Britain has said it is happy to provide “practical assistance” if necessary.