Tag Archives: Boko Haram

Why Extremism Can Not Be Labeled

Image via Internet.

Image via Internet.

The discussion in the news media in the past few days has been regarding President Obama’s comments, the name of the terrorist group known as IS, ISIL, ISIS or Daesh, and whether this is a “religious” group or “just” extremists.

The majority of US mainstream media does not grasp the complexity of this terror organization. Unwilling to think outside the box of predisposed personal biases toward their own faiths, they can not grasp that Muslims are facing the same complication within Islam when  Daesh claims their name.

As we have pointed out in a past article, attempting to put simple labels on complex ideologies is not only dangerous, it is misguided and, when coming from media outlets, is also unethical. Continue reading

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Tyranny’s False Comfort: Why Rights Aren’t Wrong in Tough Times

Human Rights Watch World Report 2015

by Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch

The world has not seen this much tumult for a generation. The once-heralded Arab Spring has given way almost everywhere to conflict and repression. Islamist extremists commit mass atrocities and threaten civilians throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia and Africa. Cold War-type tensions have revived over Ukraine, with even a civilian jetliner shot out of the sky. Sometimes it can seem as if the world is unraveling.

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Nigeria’s Worst Day – and No One Noticed

With as many as 2,000 killed and 10,000 fleeing, few in the world are aware of Boko Haram’s most deadly attack to date.

Since two terrorists affiliated with Al Queda attacked the press offices of French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo, killing twelve cartoonists/journalists and their security forces, the media has been obsessed with a saturated coverage as the drama played out. While the attacks were horrendous, and justified the world’s unity seen in response, we are left wondering why a blind eye and silent microphone is being given to the horrendous attacks in Nigeria, and why these deaths are no less deserving of attention.

Photo via Twitter

Photo via Twitter

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The High Price of Education

By ClosingTime (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By ClosingTime (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Their throats were slit, some were shot, and bodies burned to ashes early Tuesday morning, February 25th, in a massacre at the Federal Government College boarding school in Buni Yadi, Yobe, northern Nigeria. Approximately 60 students met their deaths at the hands of an extremist militant group, Boko Haram.

This follows two attacks last week. In one incident, militants destroyed a whole village and shot terrified residents as they tried to escape. Last September, 40 students were killed in an attack similar to this morning’s raid.

Last May, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan ordered offensive campaigns to bring the violence under control that have been blamed for triggering reprisals by militants against civilians. He defends his decisions and that of his military, saying that the militants have been contained to a small area near the border of neighboring Cameroon.

Since 2009, the group is responsible for the deaths of over 10,000 people and the displacement of over 90,000 civilians attempting to escape the violence the group uses to enforce its views in the regions controlled by Bokko Haram.

Education in Nigeria is more prevalent in the southern cities and population areas of the country. Less than 20% of the population in the north receive education, where these attacks are taking place.

Formally known as the Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad, Boko Haram tends to attack schools that teach Nigeria’s national curriculum, which the militants consider to be Western. The group follows an extremely strict version of Islam, including sharia law, and its name means “Western education is sinful” in the northern Hausa language, a report from the BBC said.

Boko Haram supports traditional Islamic education systems that educate only boys and involve teaching prayers and memorization of Quranic texts used in worship. Skills for trades are to be taught by village elders or family members, all male. Women are not educated in this system. Nigeria, in fact, is home to the world’s largest practicing population of indoctrinated FGM (female genitalia mutilation) known today. Researchers and scholars say there is absolutely no scriptural text in any world religion, including Islam, that condones such an atrocity.

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