From Guardian, April 29:
For two weeks, retired teacher Samson Dawah prayed for news of his niece Saratu, who was among more than 230 schoolgirls snatched by Boko Haram militants in the north-eastern Nigerian village of Chibok. Then on Monday the agonising silence was broken.
When Dawah called together his extended family members to give an update, he asked that the most elderly not attend, fearing they would not be able to cope with what he had to say. "We have heard from members of the forest community where they took the girls. They said there had been mass marriages and the girls are being shared out as wives among the Boko Haram militants," Dawah told his relatives . . . .
Reports of the mass marriage came from a group that meets at dawn each day not far from the charred remains of the school. [--> School burners] The ragtag gathering of fathers, uncles, cousins and nephews pool money for fuel before venturing unarmed into the thick forest, or into border towns that the militants have terrorised for months.
On Sunday, the searchers were told that the students had been divided into at least three groups, according to farmers and villagers who had seen truckloads of girls moving around the area. One farmer, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the insurgents had paid leaders dowries [--> so the leaders were viewed as owners of the girls . . . ] and fired celebratory gunshots for several minutes after conducting mass wedding ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday.
"It's unbearable. Our wives have grown bitter and cry all day. The abduction of our children and the news of them being married off is like hearing of the return of the slave trade," [--> Which, inside Africa, was based on kidnapping and was in major part carried out by Muslim Arab, Berber and "Arabised" tribes, with an emphasis on getting girls and women; the excess, especially males, were sold to the Europeans with their Atlantic crossing merchant ships . . . ] said Yakubu Ubalala, whose 17- and 18-year-old daughters Kulu and Maimuna are among the disappeared.
Here is a backgrounder from CNN that admits more than is usual from such a source:
Why does Boko Haram kidnap girls?
The Islamist militants' name [--> notice, use of IslamIST] translates to "Western education is a sin" in the local language. [--> using one term that is obviously "book" -- boko, and one that comes from Arabic by way of Islam, haram . . . forbidden; adding up, books [= "western" education] are forbidden by ruling them as "sin" ]The group especially opposes the education of women. Under its version of Sharia law [--> It is taking a reading of Sharia, the standard legal corpus of Islam, that is very similar to that of the Taliban and Al Qaeda etc so this is not an odd idiosyncrasy, there is something "there" that is driving this . . . ], women should be at home raising children and looking after their husbands, not at school learning to read and write. [--> It must be said in balance that Mohammed's wives were clearly literate, so someone is playing self-serving games with the principle of M. as exemplar in Islam]It has repeatedly targeted places of learning in deadly attacks that have highlighted its fundamental philosophy against education.The spate of kidnappings began in May 2013 when Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau announced in a video that this was part of its latest bloody campaign. The kidnappings, he said, were retaliation for Nigerian security forces nabbing the wives and children of group members. [--> Uninvolved civilians are attacked and hostages are taken under some excuse or other, a typical tactic of Islamist terrorists]Those kidnapped, he said, would begin a new life as a "servant." [--> read: slave]Has it kidnapped girls and women before?Yes.In November, the militant group abducted dozens of Christian women, most of whom were later rescued by the military deep in a forest in Maiduguri. At the time of their rescue, some were pregnant or had children, and others had been forcibly converted to Islam and married off to their kidnappers.
Rights groups have said Boko Haram has kidnapped girls as young as 12. [--> Mohammed's favourite wife, Aisha, was married to him at 6 or 7 and the marriage was "consummated" when she was 9 or 10]
Let's put it this way:And the abductions are only getting worse.In the first two months of this year alone, it kidnapped at least 25 girls and women, according to Human Rights Watch.
1 --> You (down to 12 years of age . . . a first or second former in effect) are taken from school by terrorists at gun pointIn short, all of this is kidnapping, hostage taking, disguised enslavement and attempted robbing of the soul.
2 --> They drive you off into the forest
3 --> They control everything, you are a captive . . . in fact, a slave
4 --> You are asked to marry one of your captors (which is a bit of a promotion from being an outright slave taken in "war" who per Sharia may be used sexually at pleasure as a concubine), and may be put under pressure to convert to Islam
5 --> Remember, guns, machetes and knives etc are at all times hovering in the background
Now, let us pose a question or two, of context:
A: In a world where when an imaginary destruction or defacing of a Quran excites riots across the Islamic world, where are the denunciations of Boko Haram as heresy and as murderous terrorists, demanding that they release all these girls unharmed?It it time for us to think for ourselves on these matters: do we want to live in a world or even a region dominated by this sort of Boko Haram -- books forbidden -- mentality?* END
B: What, then should we conclude? (As in, does not silence sometimes speak even louder than shouting?)
*PS: I am fully aware that there are ever so many anti-God skeptics and cynics today who will gleefully extend this from the case of extreme Islamism to "Religion," with particular reference to Bible-believing Christian faith. That resort to cheap accusation by invidious association speaks volumes on their irresponsibility. First, while there are too many Muslims who do this or support those who do, this is not how most ordinary people who are Muslims think or behave. Second, such cynics need to take time to examine the foundations of the Christian Faith and of Gospel Ethics, as can be seen from an example discussed here at KF blog recently.