Nigeria Teeters on the Brink: 8 Terrifying Trends

bokoPJ Media, By Patrick Poole, December 18, 2014:

For much of its five-year long insurgency in Nigeria costing thousands of lives, Boko Haram enjoyed no sanction by the U.S. government. That changed just over a year ago when they were finally designated a terrorist organization by the State Department.

That notwithstanding, Boko Haram continues to expand its terror campaign across the north of the country, now controlling an area the size of Maryland.

On the other side of the conflict is the hapless administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, which so far has been unable to mount any substantive opposition to Boko Haram’s advance. With presidential elections looming in February and with Jonathan most likely running for reelection, there appears to be no effective political counterweight that can put Nigeria on a course to mount a counter-offensive against Boko Haram.

The strategic stakes involved for the U.S. are extraordinary, but you would never be able to gauge that from the absence of any alarm from the Obama administration or from either side of the aisle in Congress. Not only does Nigeria have the continent’s largest population at 173 million and the largest economy in Africa, it also is the10th largest oil producer in the world.

With a failed Libyan state (thanks in no small part to the Obama administration), Egypt — the world’s largest Arab country — fighting its own counterinsurgency in the Sinai, and Islamist insurgencies inflamed from Nigeria to Kenya, the loss of Nigeria to jihadists could be the tipping point to lose the whole of Africa.

With those factors in mind, here are eight disturbing trends that warrant immediate attention for Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram.

1) Religious cleansing of Christians is escalating: It’s remarkable that not even two years ago senior State Department officials were denying before Congress that there was any religious dimension to Boko Haram’s reign of terror.

Nigerian churches, which should be open and inviting, are now having to install crash barriers and metal detectors. And yet within just the past few months, more than 1,000 churches have been ransacked and burned, and hundreds of thousands of Christians are being driven from their homes.

For instance, in one October offensive in just two northeastern states, Boko Haram reportedly burned down 185 churches and forced 190,000 to flee. Last month they attacked Mubi, the second largest city in Adamawa state, killing hundreds and destroying as they went. Without the slightest hint of hypocrisy, Boko Haram renamed the city “Madinatul Islam,” meaning, “city of Islam and peace.”

2) Massive population displacement: According to a UN press release, the attack on Mubi displaced 13,000 Nigerians, who were forced to flee to neighboring Cameroon, which is struggling to accommodate nearly 50,000 Nigerian refugees and another 250,000 from the Central African Republic with extremely scarce resources. Another 100,000 refugees have fled to Niger, with 30,000 arriving just in the past two months. There’s no guarantee of safety in taking refuge in neighboring countries, as Boko Haram has staged cross-border attacks. Inside Nigeria, it was reported that 400,000 refugees are in the Yolo area, severely taxing the city’s resources. Overall, 1.5 million Nigerians have been displaced by the violence, with 650,000 in the northeast alone.

3) Disease and famine loom: The massive displacement has strained refugee centers past the breaking point. Conditions in the camps are universally reported to be unsanitary and breeding grounds for cholera and measles. Because resources are stretched so thin, most refugees are left to fend for themselves for shelter, food, and water. As winter begins to set in, observers on the ground I have spoken to in the past few weeks warn of possible mass starvation in the months ahead.

Food prices are high and most refugees left their homes with nothing and have no reliable income. Because of the security situation, few relief agencies have a permanent operating presence in the most heavily affected areas. UN and private relief agencies are requesting additional funds, and yet the Strategic Response Plan for Nigeria launched in February was just 14 percent funded by mid-November.

4) Power grab by Muslim militias: In recent weeks there have been efforts by Islamic authorities and the emirs to stand up Muslim militias in the north, ostensibly to fight Boko Haram. But there’s no guarantee that these militias will always be opposed to Boko Haram, particularly if they continue to advance against government forces (this has been true for rebel groups in Syria that were initially opposed to ISIS and other hardline jihadist groups, but ended up allying with or defecting to these same groups).

And it should be noted that Boko Haram has not been the only actor targeting Christians in the north. Muslim militias have been attacking Christian areas for years. Observers on the ground express concern that the real-world effect of these militias will be to create a parallel system to the Nigerian government and eventually grab power in the north. Many Muslims in the north would love to break away from the political influence and governmental control of the Nigerian government, where they are forced to share power with the Christian majority. Thus, many of these calls for Muslim militias by Islamic authorities are couched in openly anti-government rhetoric.

5) Targeting of children: When nearly 300 school girls were abducted from Chibok in April, it grabbed the world’s attention. Some were able to flee, but reportedly 219 remain captive. Last month, Boko Haram chief Abubakar Shekau said that the girls had converted to Islam and had been married off. When Boko Harm stormed the town of Lassa on December 3, they carried away 20 more girls.

But while girls are targeted for abduction, boys are targeted for killing. Just last month, dozens of young men were killed when a suicide bomber dressed as a student bombed a morning assembly. This targeting of school-age boys is a pattern for Boko Haram, such as when they attacked a boarding school in Yobe state back in February where boys were shot, had their throats slit, or were burned alive when their dorms were set on fire.

6) Women suicide bombers: Last Wednesday, two young girls in hijabs conducted a dual suicide bombing in a high-traffic textile market in Kano city, the largest city in the north. Another 13-year-old girl was found wearing an explosive vest just hours later. Boko Haram is using young female suicide bombers at an increasing and disturbing rate, thoughthis tactic is not isolated to their operations in Nigeria and has been endorsed elsewhere by preeminent Islamic scholars like Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The use of female suicide bombers requires security forces to target women as well as men, and then the terror group is able to use the “abuse” of women being searched as a propaganda ploy. What is especially troubling is a VICE News report last week that indicated that Boko Haram has dispatched 50 female suicide bombers in the hopes of inflicting 100,000 casualties.

7) Jihadist jail breaks: ISIS has used jail breaks to effective use in Iraq, busting out al-Qaeda operatives of the infamousAbu Ghraib prison last year and Mosul and Tikrit earlier this year. Those released have helped swell the terror group’s ranks. So too with Boko Haram, which staged a jail break earlier this month that released 300 prisoners, and one on Sunday that freed another 200. The BBC reported in November that Boko Haram jail breaks had at that time freed 2,251 prisoners, and that they had launched an attack on a French cement plant and recovered a large cache of dynamite that could be used for future jail breaks. With thousands of Boko Haram operatives and supporters presently in jails, along with hardened criminals conditioned to violence, targeting more jails will continue to swell their ranks.

8) Government impotence: One of the primary factors emboldening these power grabs has been the ineffectiveness of the Nigerian military to roll back Boko Haram’s gains. Relatively few small scale victories by government forces are overshadowed by continuing gains by Boko Haram. To mask the problem, the Nigerian government has issued a media blackout in many of these areas and imposed a moratorium on foreign media visas. While President Jonathan’s administration has come under fire for not adequately protecting its own people, it has seemed to be more concerned about its public relations in Washington, D.C. than in regaining the public trust of its own citizens.

A study published this week by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization found that Boko Haram was responsible for 801 deaths last month alone, with more people killed by terror attacks in Nigeria than in Syria or Afghanistan.

NBC News noted last week that Boko Haram’s violence is now on par with ISIS in Iraq, which is why in 2013 Nigeria climbed to fourth in the Global Terrorism Index, up from seventh in 2012 and twelfth in 2011. According to the Council on Foreign Relations tracker, the violence in Nigeria from May 2011 (when President Jonathan came into office) to November 2014 has claimed more than 26,000 lives. Now there are reports that Nigerian special forces have uncovered plans by Boko Haram to expand their attacks by targeting 25 communities in five different states.

But you would never know how desperate the situation is in Nigeria in light of the absence of any urgency or alarm from the Obama administration or from Congress.

It’s worth repeating: Congress had to drag a reluctant Clinton State Department kicking and screaming to get Boko Haram designated in November 2013. Members of Congress also discovered earlier this year that the Clinton State Department intentionally lied and downplayed the threat from Boko Haram, and worked to kill bills in both the House and the Senate calling for their designation in 2012.

At the same time, 21 American academics sent a letter to Hillary Clinton strongly arguing against Boko Haram’s designation in response to the Department of Justice’s National Security Division urging the State Department to do so.

But the November 2013 designation of Boko Haram and the offensives by ISIS in Syria and Iraq have allowed Congress to get distracted as well.

There are considerable national security and other strategic interests for the United States in Nigeria. But as the country teeters on the brink in the face of Boko Haram advances, Washington, D.C. is asleep at the wheel. The risks of inattention and inaction in Nigeria threaten to jeopardize the whole of Africa.

USA Policy on Nigeria – See No Jihad, Hear No Jihad, Say No Jihad

J. Peter Pham PhD of the Atlantic Center; Emmanuel Ogebe of Jubilee; Anselm John-Miller of the Movement for Ogoni People; and Robin Renee Sanders former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria. Note the Nigerian Ambassador seated behind Mr. Ogebe. http://jubileecampaign.org/congressional-hearing-on-boko-haram-and-the-continued-violence-in-nigeria/

J. Peter Pham PhD of the Atlantic Center; Emmanuel Ogebe of Jubilee; Anselm John-Miller of the Movement for Ogoni People; and Robin Renee Sanders former U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria. Note the Nigerian Ambassador seated behind Mr. Ogebe. http://jubileecampaign.org/congressional-hearing-on-boko-haram-and-the-continued-violence-in-nigeria/

Obama Administration can find no jihad in murders and kidnappings in the name of Islam in Nigeria

By Andrew Harrod:

American Nigerian policy is to “see no jihad, hear no jihad, say no jihad,” the Nigerian human rights activist Emmanuel Ogebe from the Jubilee Campaign criticized in submitted testimony for a September 18 congressional hearing.  Along with Christian girls who escaped kidnapping by the jihadist group Boko Haram (BH), Ogebe and others at recent Washington, DC, briefings analyzed Nigeria’s bloody security crisis.

“Stop the denial,” Ogebe stated at the hearing while his prepared remarks criticized United States government agencies for blaming Nigerian conflict on socioeconomic grievances.  “Contrary to” this “recurring…narrative,” BH has “made amply and repeatedly clear” that it is an “Islamist insurgency” seeking an “Islamic Sharia state,” Ogebe wrote.  A BH video, for example, proclaimed “Jihad war against…Christianity…western education, democracy.”

The result is “possibly the worst on-going genocide against Christians” even as globally “Christianity is the most persecuted religion.” “More Christians were killed in Northern Nigeria in 2012 than the rest of the world,” for example, while official reports ranked BH the “second most deadly terrorist group in the world right below the Taliban.”  In total, BH has killed over “10,000 people since 2009, both Nigerian nationals and international victims…from over 15 nations—far more than ISIS, AL Qaeda and possibly the Taliban.”

BH has “not beheaded an American…not for want of trying,” given several abduction attempts in northern Nigeria.  “I want to cut White people,” BH leader Abubaker Shekau stated in a video shortly after the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) beheaded American journalist James Foley.  Several Americans, though, survived an August 26, 2011, BH bombing of United Nations’ Nigerian headquarters in the capital Abuja, including one recently identified.

BH’s “threat to not only Nigerian people but also the world” has a “well documented nexus with global jihad,” as shown by Nigerians captured fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden’s personal secretary visiting Nigeria.  Groups like BH and ISIS globally “feed off each other,” as BH schoolgirl kidnappings have inspired ISIS sex slavery and BH has emulated ISIS’ caliphate declaration.  BH is “paralleling” ISIS atrocities, religious freedom expert Nina Shea seconded Ogebe on a September 19 Hudson Institute (HI) panel, with “clear confirmation” of BH Islamization in Nigeria under a “very brutal religious cleansing.”

“Starving refugees on mountaintops, towns overrun and their Christian population exterminated, children decapitated” characterize not just Iraq, but northern Nigeria, Ogebe wrote.  “Practically every ignoble deed” of ISIS “has been done by Boko Haram in the last three years.”  A “putative third world war” is occurring in an “incremental,” “retail,” or “franchise” manner or, as Pope Francis I recently declared, “piecemeal, with crimes, massacres, destruction.”  An “iron veil” in some countries has replaced the iron curtain’s tyranny, Ogebe assessed.  “We are all in this together,” Ogebe stated at HI given jihad’s global reach in countries like Iraq, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

“Violent Jihad is as Violent Jihad does” and “cannot be rationalized,” Ogebe’s congressional testimony criticized in assessing American attributions of BH violence to, for example, deprivation.  Nigeria is Africa’s wealthiest economy and BH bribes people from neighboring Niger to fight, Ogebe argued at a September 9 Rayburn House Office Building briefing.  The “good old days” before BH, in contrast, already exhibited Muslim animus against Nigerian Christians; Ogebe recalled a Christian student illegally forced to kneel in the sun while receiving Islamic instruction in a Muslim-majority area.  “Violent jihadist groups are never about an inclusive government,” Ogebe meanwhile qualifies American concerns about sectarianism in Iraq and Nigeria, “they are about an exclusive government.”

Yet “Violent Extremist Organization” or VEO, not jihadist, is the description for groups like BH in American training undergone by African military officers.  An equally anodyne “junket-filled tenure” marked America’s last Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook.  She covered a “record 27 countries in 29 months” with equal time in Nigeria and Ghana, a country with few religious freedom concerns.  While the presumptive presidential candidate Hillary Clinton “is playing to the gallery” now by calling BH terrorists, Ogebe noted on September 9, she resisted this designation as secretary of state.

Media such as the Wall Street Journal and American officials have often presented BH as equal opportunity killer. BH’s “campaign against all Nigerians,” for example, concerned Undersecretary of State Sarah Sewall at the September 18 hearing.  (Sewall also did not “have numbers in front of me” concerning Christianity as the world’s most persecuted faith and speculated that claims of more Christians killed in Nigeria in 2012 than the rest of the world “might not be accurate.”)  Yet BH only attacks Muslims “for cause” such as government collaboration in the midst of wholesale targeting of Christians.  Thus about 90% of the 276 schoolgirlskidnapped by BH on April 14 were Christian from Chibok, a specifically targeted majority-Christian community.

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

Media Confused as Boko Haram Claims to Join the Islamic State

boko-haram_3016074bCenter For Security Policy, By Kyle Shideler:

In a video released over the weekend, AbuBakr Shekaku, head of the Nigerian jihadist group known as Boko Haram, appears to have declared allegiance to the Islamic State, proclaiming lands currently under Boko Haram control in the province of Borno part of the “Caliphate.”

Despite this, much of the Western media seemed confused about the nature of a Caliphate and what it means. From the AFP report:

In a July video, Shekau voiced support for the leader of the Islamic State and the Levant (Isil) militants Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who in late June declared himself “the caliph” and “leader of Muslims everywhere”. But there was no indication from Shekau in the latest video that he was associating himself with Baghdadi, whose Sunni Muslim fighters have taken over parts of Iraq and Syria. As such, it was not clear if Shekau was declaring himself to be a part of Baghdadi’s call or if he was referring to a separate Nigerian caliphate.

The position of Caliph is one with purported dominion over the entire “ummah” the total collective of the Muslim faithful.There can only be one legitimate Caliph, and one Caliphate, as Shekaku is no doubt aware. Given that the  laudatory language Boko Haram has in the past offered towards the IS Caliphate, the most likely conclusion would be that Boko Haram either has joined, or intends to join the Islamic State of Al-Baghdadi. It would be incongruous for Shekaku to praise IS, and then negate its primary achievement by denying it legitimacy by claiming he was the true Caliph.

It’s worth noting that while this confusion over whether or not Boko Haram was declaring for the IS Caliphate or declaring its own Caliphate was echoed in all the western reporting which followed from the AFP report, the same confusion is not at all present in an OnIslam.net report, which draws from the same AFP wire.  The OnIslam.net report also ignores the extraneous historical detail of the Sokoto caliphate, a 19th century Nigerian Islamic state which laid claim to the Caliphate title. This is a classic example of how the disinclination to study Islamic law on matters leads to injecting unnecessary complexity into the analysis of events.

If it is the case that Boko Haram has acknowledged the territory it controls as part of the IS Caliphate, this is a major development for the Islamic State. The claim of authority by its “Caliph” Al-Baghdadi has largely been rejected by other Jihadist groups, with only minor exceptions. Yet being recognized as receiving the bay’at (oath) of notable scholars and jihadi emirs who hold actual territory is central to Al Baghdadi’s claim of legitimacy. Of course whether either group is capable of meeting the perceived obligation of such an oath, sharing and exchanging resources, personnel etc, is an entirely other matter.

Also see:

Nigeria death toll higher than reported

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau

Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau

Town Hall:

GWOZA, Nigeria (BP) — The death toll from Boko Haram’s takeover of the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza is nearly 1,000, not the 100 included in many reports, Nigerian relations expert Adeniyi Ojutiku told Baptist Press.

The Nigerian military abandoned their weapons and fled Gwoza as Boko Haram attacked Wednesday (Aug. 6), burning government buildings, killing residents and taking hostages. Some residents managed to flee to the mountains bordering Cameroon and are without food or water; others made it 85 miles north to Maiduguri, Associated French Press (AFP) and others reported.

News surfaced just today (Aug. 15) of a separate Aug. 10 attack on the remote village of Doron Baga in northeastern Nigeria, where Boko Haram kidnapped dozens of boys and men, leaving women, girls and young children abandoned there.

Boko Haram has escalated its attacks to a new level, capturing towns and hoisting Boko Haram flags instead of killing residents and fleeing, Ojutiku said. He compared them to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). As such, a concerted global effort is needed to conquer the rebels, he said.

Weeks before taking over Gwoza, Boko Haram violently seized Damboa and killed many in the town 22 miles north of Chibok, the site of the April kidnapping of 300 school girls, approximately 223 of which remain missing. Reports number those displaced at more than 15,000, but the number of deaths had not been reported.

“This is a new dimension in this crisis,” Ojutiku said. “A completely new dimension. Now they are following the strategy of ISIS. They attack, they occupy, they hold the town. Now that they have started adopting ISIS methodology, they should be receiving the type of treatment that ISIS is receiving.”

Based on a report Ojutiku received Wednesday, Aug. 13, from a trusted colleague who lives in Gwoza, 997 had been killed and others had been taken hostage. Previous reports were based on information gathered Aug. 6, the day of the attack, when survivors were forced to flee the city of between 50,000 and 70,000 people.

“The terrorists seized a number of residents as hostages and killed nine hundred and ninety seven an eye witness whose mother among the women that are burying the … bodies confirmed,” the colleague reported to Ojutiku. “The insurgents took over the Emirs (mayor’s) Palace as well as a Government Lodge in Gwoza, and have appointed a replacement for the town’s fleeing Emir. They have hoisted their black flags with Arabic insignia all over Gwoza in a show of their total control of the territory.”

A predawn, Aug. 13 phone call Ojutiku received from Nigeria marked “an unprecedented emergency request for prayers for the inhabitants of the Christian village of Gwoza,” he told Baptist Press.

“The town has … been under siege of Boko Haram for the past nine days,” Ojutiku said.

Read more

See Also:

Boko Haram: Growing Interest, Continuing Uncertainty on Capitol Hill

By Andrew E. Harrod:

About 90 Congressional staffers filled a Dirksen Senate Office Building hearing room last May 28 for “Boko Haram:  Beyond #BringBackOurGirls,” a Foreign Policy Initiative briefing on Nigeria’s Muslim terrorist group.  While the audience was “telling how much interest has grown in this group” for panelist Dr. J. Peter Pham of the Atlantic Council, the briefing indicated several complicated issues in the struggle against Boko Haram.

Abubakar Shekau, leader of Islamic terror group Boko Haram

Abubakar Shekau, leader of Islamic terror group Boko Haram

A rescue operation for these girls “just makes no sense,” the Atlantic Council’s Rudolph Atallah specifically commented, as their scattering makes success “next to impossible.”  Previous rescue operations in Nigeria and the region had ended in hostage deaths, concurred Blanchard, perhaps necessitating negotiations for the girls’ release.  These failures were part of wider panelist concerns with respect to Nigerian security forces, often ill-equipped and counterproductively harsh in their tactics.  Nigeria’s army actually “is not a poor and starving military,” Blanchard argued, yet corruption often consumed needed resources.  Nigeria had purchased nine Israeli Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), for example, but they currently do not operate.The April 14 Boko Haram kidnapping of 276 schoolgirlsin Chibok, Borno state, is “really only a drop in the bucket” of Boko Haram’s bloody record, although Boko Haram’s recent international notoriety largely derived from this event, Pham observed.  Boko Haram had caused 4-6,000 deaths, noted Laureen Ploch Blanchardfrom the Congressional Research Service (CRS).  The United Nations (UN) estimated six million people affected by Boko Haram’s violence in an “incredibly important country” with Africa’s largest economy and population (about 180 million). Alone Nigeria’s Muslim population was Africa’s largest Muslim community and one of the largest in the world, observed Pham.

Divergence, however, marked panelist discussions of Boko Haram’s character.  Boko Haram is a “branch of Al Qaeda that is in Africa,” Kansas Representative Mike Pompeo flatly declared in introducing the panel.  Boko Haram’s “evil barbarians” who kidnapped the Chibok girls were part of a “threat of global jihadists” facing America, recently manifested by a foiled 2013 bomb plot in Wichita close to Pompeo’s home.  A “larger, more diverse” Al Qaeda (AQ) in places like Nigeria and Syria is threatening the United States “at a full gallop,” making Nigeria an “enormous American national security interest.”  AQ has indeed “metastasized,” as President Barack Obama often says, yet contradicting Obama, AQ has become more dangerous, not less.

“Marked by economic deprivation,” by contrast, was Pham’s description for Boko Haram’s origins in northeastern Nigeria, raising thereby past controversies concerning whether material need or Muslim zeal was a greater motivation for Boko Haram.  While a “great bit of economic angst” resulted for this region from, for example, lost textile jobs, the area’s “ethnically marginalized” Kanuri tribe also had political grievances against a negligent federal government.  “Boko Haram 2.0” emerging in 2009 and “increasingly virulent,” though, has a “more standard Salafist line” while Boko Haram’s current leader Abubakar Shekau has made video appearances in “classic Al Qaeda fashion.”

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

Also see:

Boko Haram violence explodes; the West struggles to “understand”

Mitigating Religious Conflict in Nigeria
Boko Haram in Focus at Washington, DC, Briefings

by Andrew Harrod:

(Washington, DC) Nigeria’s jihadist group Boko Haram was recently featured in several Washington, DC, briefings, including a presentation by a Nigerian teenager who was the lone survivor of a family massacred by Boko Haram.  These briefings highlighted significant challenges in combating Boko Haram’s brutal terror campaign.

Deborah Wakai Peters was forced to watch the murders of her father and brother at the hands of the Boko Haram.

Deborah Wakai Peters was forced to watch the murders of her father and brother at the hands of the Boko Haram.

Fifteen-year old Deborah Peters appeared at a May 13 Hudson Institute panel to discuss a December 22, 2011, Boko Haram attack on her home near Chibok in Nigeria’s Borno state.  Peters saw Boko Haram assailants, one of whom she knew, shoot her pastor father.  Targeted after rebuilding his church which had been burnt down by Boko Haram the previous November, the pastor suffered martyrdom after refusing to recant his Christian faith.  The terrorists then killed her brother as well, and left the young girl lying between the bodies.

The girl’s mother, described by Nigerian human rights activist Emmanuel Ogebe as a Muslim convert in “one of those strange love stories that doesn’t end very well,” was not in the house at the time.  Nonetheless, she cannot return home as Boko Haram would kill her as an apostate.  Another pastor who helped bring Deborah Peters to the United States was himself a victim of a May 2013 Boko Haram attack.

Boko Haram has perpetrated “massive genocides” of Christian Nigerians in Muslim-majority northern Nigeria in order to establish a Muslim rule, with Taliban-style stadium beheadings in the “old-fashioned way,” Ogebe noted.  The terror group marked Christian dwellings for subsequent nocturnal attacks and had an “MO” of close range “shoot to kill” headshots.  While sporadic killings of Christians are “normal in northern Nigeria,” such as when Muslims blame Christians for an eclipse, Boko Haram presents “persecution on steroids.”  Boko Haram attacks, for example, have “virtually de-Christianized” Nigeria’s Yobe state, Ogebe wrote online, leaving hardly 80 pastors where once over 1,000 churches existed, a percentage loss greater “than the decimation of Christians in Iraq.”

Twice denied an American visa for insufficient family ties (“You can’t make this stuff up,” Ogebe observed), Deborah Peters had a low profile once in the United States.  Ogebe and his colleagues “tactically decided not to put her in a public space” because “we could not sacrifice the mental health of this young child” suffering from trauma.  International outcry over Boko Haram’s April 14 kidnapping of hundreds of mostly Christian girls, however, some of whom Peters had “literally…played with” moved her to “put a face to this travesty,” in Ogebe’s words.

The April 14 attack marked Boko Haram’s transition away from “gentlemen terrorists,” Ogebe noted.  Boko Haram in the past had often spared women, children (in an exception, Boko Haram feared that Peters brother would grow up to be a pastor like his father), and the elderly — in what Ogebe had described online as a “religious gendercide.”  Boko Haram had now moved to “gender-based targeting of women,” though, after the men had left various regions to avoid death.  Girl captives who had escaped Boko Haram horrifyingly related how their captors had forced them upon pain of death to convert to Islam and marry Boko Haram supporters.

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalitionn with video

 

Boko Haram Reportedly Ready to Exchange 100 Girls

Clarion Project, Published on May 19, 2014

Ryan Mauro, national security analyst for the Clarion Project, speaks about the latest news concerning the close to 300 Nigerian girls kidnapped by Islamist terrorists Boko Haram. A news report says the terrorists are ready to exchange 100 girls for 100 of their low-level fighters and the wives and daughters of Boko Haram fighters being held by the Nigerian government. Although the exact location of the girls has not been found, satellite images show temporary camps of Boko Haram in the Sambisa forest that may be where the girls are being held. Unfortunately, Nigerian forces lack the training and equipment to rescue the girls from this massive area.

 

Nigeria & Islamic Extremism: Briefing by Fmr Deputy Dir. of the Mossad:

 

Clarion Project, Published on May 14, 2014

Former Deputy Director of the Mossad Ilan Mizrachi gave this exclusive briefing to the Clarion Project on Boko Haram and Islamic extremism in a global context. Originally delivered to members of the diplomatic community and members of the press, Mizrachi spoke about the extremist Islamist ideology that drives Boko Haram and the other terrorist groups it is connected to. His thirty plus years of experience enabled him to accurately and insightfully clarify the difficulties facing the Nigerian government in tackling Boko Haram and shed light on the tactical decision Boko Haram made in targeting schoolgirls.

Boko Haram release chilling videos of missing Nigerian schoolgirls

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  • Some of the schoolgirls captured by extremist group Boko Haram on April 14 have been paraded on video
  • More than 200 girls were abducted by the Islamist militants from a village in the north-east of Nigeria
  • Boko Harum leader has said that he will release the captured girls in return for militant prisoners being freed
  • The Nigerian government has reportedly rejected this offer and has two army divisions hunting for the seized girls
  • Governor of state where they were seized – Borno – claims to know where they are
  • Kashim Shettima said he’d received reports of sightings of the girls and had passed this information to the military
  • Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, calls for negotiations with the terrorist group, which he says is ‘merciless’

 

By Ted Thornhill, Jack Doyle and Jason Groves:

Some of the schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamic militant group Boko Haram have been paraded on video.

The terror group said many of them had been converted to Islam while being held and all those on the footage are wearing headscarfs.

The group’s leader said that it will release them in exchange for militant prisoners being freed.

The Nigerian government has reportedly rejected this offer and has two army divisions hunting for the seized girls.

Some girls on the 17-minute-long video, which was obtained by news agency AFP, spoke to camera, and looked extremely nervous.

The girls recite Islamic prayers during the clip as they sit in a group in a wooded area.

After the girls appear the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, wearing military fatigues and holding an AK-47, addresses the camera. He appears confident and at one point laughs.

‘All I am saying is that if you want us to release the girls that we have kidnapped, those who have not accepted Islam will be treated as the Prophet (Mohammed) treated infidels and they will stay with us,’ he said, according to a translation of his words originally spoken in a Nigerian language.

‘We will not release them while you detain our brothers,’ he said, before naming a series of cities in Nigeria. It was not clear whether he was in the same location as the girls.

The video came through channels that have provided previous messages from Shekau, who speaks in the video in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria.

The video, which shows around 130 of the girls, was aired after the governor of the Nigerian state from where they were kidnapped said that he knew where some of them are being held.

Kashim Shettima, the Governor of Borno, said that he’d received reports of sightings of the girls and had passed on this information to the military.

Extremist group Boko Haram seized 276 girls who were taking exams at a school in Borno’s north-eastern village of Chibok on April 14. Some managed to escape, but around 200 remain missing.

Mr Shettima told the BBC: ‘We’ve got reports of them being sighted in some locations – which we have conveyed to the relevant military authorities, for them to cross-check, verify and get additional information on the accurate location of the daughters.’

His comments came as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, called for negotiations with the terrorist group over the fate of the missing girls.

The Archbishop, who has acted as a hostage negotiator in Nigeria on behalf of the Church in the past, said the girls were at ‘colossal’ risk.

‘They are in the hands of a very disparate group which is extremely irrational and difficult to deal with – and utterly merciless,’ he told BBC Radio Four’s The World This Weekend programme.

Read more at Daily Mail

Chibok Affair: The Emerging And Uncomfortable Facts

”The girls that have been kidnapped are being raped up to 15 times a day by their captors and that those amongst them that have refused to convert to Islam are having their throats cut ”

By Fani-Kayode:

Now that the operational leadership and visible face of Boko Haram, in the person of the filth called Mr.  Abubakar Shekau (aka Darul Tawheed), has finally admitted that they were responsible for the abduction of hundreds of our school girls and that they intend to ‘’sell them in the market  like slaves’’, it is pertinent and necessary for us to consider some  of the emerging, though uncomfortable, facts.

This will enable us to understand the nature of who and what we are dealing with and allow us to consider what the appropriate response ought to be if we really want to solve the problem. Permit me to share the following facts that have been brought to my attention:

1.  That the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has told us that 90 per cent of the girls that were abducted from their school at Chibok were Christians.

2. That President Goodluck Jonathan himself alluded to this during his last media chat when he said that ‘’the majority’’ of girls that were abducted were Christians.

3. That the majority of the girls that either ‘’escaped’’ or were released by their abductors were Muslims.

4. That the Governor of Borno State refused to accept the counsel and abide by the directives of WAEC that the exams should not take place in Chibok due to the precarious security situation and instead he insisted that the exams should take place there and that he would guarantee the security of the children.

5. That the Christian Association of Nigeria has formally accused the Governor of Borno State of ‘’conspiracy and collusion’’ and they have urged him to tell us exactly where the girls are and what he knows about the whole incident.

6. That the girls that have been kidnapped are being raped up to 15 times a day by their captors and that those amongst them that have refused to convert to Islam are having their throats cut (read the testimony of one of the girls that ‘’escaped’’ on page 8 of the Vanguard Newspaper, 5th April, 2014).

7.  That  there was not a single adult in the school grounds watching over the 278 girls that entire night apart from one security man and that there was no electricity, no generator, no principal, no matron, no house master and no house mistress in the grounds with them.

8. That the children were all alone in their dormitories that night in the blistering heat and deepest darkness before the Haramites arrived to burn their school and carried them away into captivity.

9. That the soldiers that were guarding the school in Chibok were redeployed a  few hours  before Boko Haram launched their attack and abducted the children.

10. That up till now pictures of the abducted girls have not been produced or released by the school authorities or the state government.

11. That this was a predominantly christian School and that Chibok is a predominantly Christian community.

In my view, these facts are relevant and instructive. When one considers them, the picture of what really happened at Chibok on that tragic night, what the real intentions of the abductors and their secret sponsors were and what is really going on now is getting clearer by the day.

Ordinarily, whether the children are Christians, Muslims, pagans or atheists really should not matter because, regardless of their faith, we want them all back and we must fight for them all to be returned to their homes and loved ones.

Read more at Vanguard

Fani-Kayode is a former Minister of Aviation.

Boko Haram and the return of the Nigerian slave trade

747c913f8ff754bfb2ebce61e3adf517_viewBy Geoffrey Clarfield:

Last week the Nigerian Islamic militants, Boko Haram, struck again in a small town in northern Nigeria near the Cameroonian border, killing 300 people. This is part of a series of escalating attacks such as the one they carried out last August, as the men of Konduga, a small northern Nigerian riverine Muslim community, were attending their Friday prayers. As they prayed, a group of armed Boko Haram terrorists attacked the mosque and killed 44 worshippers. The next day, as is their custom, Boko Haram released a video where they vilified and taunted the United States and Israel.

And then, just a few weeks ago, Boko Haram kidnapped 276 schoolgirls and boasted on the Internet that they were going to sell them into slavery, something that has suddenly shocked the world, for few have fully realized that this means that we are witnessing the return of the Nigerian slave trade.

Given the extreme violence and the high death toll of Islamic uprisings in places like Syria and Iraq, the Western public has become accustomed to hearing about an ebb and flow of religiously inspired massacres, but it is the proud slaving propensities of Boko Haram that are a shock to the news reading public and, the fact that they openly boast about it. There is more to this story than meets the eye.

Western readers have difficulty understanding who Boko Haram are, where they come from and what they mean in the context of Nigerian history, for Nigeria is really two distinct countries, a Muslim north and a non Muslim south. These two distinct cultural and religious entities were artificially fused by the British empire in the late 19th and early 20th century in what historians now call the “scramble for Africa,” a period of about forty years when England, France, Portugal, Belgium and Germany occupied almost all of North and Sub Saharan Africa. Most of the members of Boko Haram hail from the northern Islamic states of what later became the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

What we now call Nigeria is the result of English merchants, and later imperial civil servants contracting treaties with a host of African chiefs and then linking them into a colonial framework which set the stage for the large African independence movements that emerged after WWII, motivated by western educated African elites who had witnessed a world war where the supposedly racially “superior” Europeans fought to the death with the help of hundreds of thousands of African and Asian troups. Indeed, it was the French General De Gaulle who once said that without the assistance of the African soldiers of French West and Central Africa, they would not have prospered in their fight against the German Nazis.

When the British established their administrative and military control over Nigeria in the early 20th century, they froze a historical dynamic that had been ongoing for over a thousand years, that is the slow conversion to Islam of the sahelian dwelling northern tribes of Nigeria, such as the Hausa and Kanuri peoples who lived under a range of feuding emirs or local sultans and who then, as sincere believers in Islam, adopted a Jihad which included systematic enslavement and sale of captives from the more southern non Muslim tribes, such as the Yoruba, Ibo and many others who lived nearer to the Atlantic ocean.

This indigenous African slave trade which supplied northerners with an abundance of concubines, cheap domestic help and farm based slave labor, was then incorporated into the more widely known transatlantic slave trade where “up country” West Africans raided and sold slaves to “down country” West Africans, who in turn sold them in growing numbers to Europeans who took them across the Atlantic to the United States and to countries like Brazil, where legalized forms of slavery survived into the 1880s. The northern Nigerian slave trade never stopped, even when the British made it illegal and long before historians brought to our attention the full horror of the transatlantic slave trade that has so dramatically changed the demography of the new world, both north and south and, our perceptions of American and South American history.

Read more at The Times of Israel

 

 

Boko Haram Kidnaps 3 More Women in War Against West

Nigerian protest

Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau:”This is a war against Christians and democracy and their constitution.”

BY RYAN MAURO:

As the international manhunt for the 276 girls kidnapped by the Boko Haram terrorist group continues, the group has abducted three more women, the two daughters and a wife of a retired police officer.

The abduction happened as the terrorists hindered the manhunt by blowing up a second bridge and engaging in violence that forced 3,000 people in the town of Liman Kara near the Cameroon border to flee. The Nigerian government believes that Boko Haram is possibly planning an attack on a market.

Nigeria has been the center of global attention since Boko Haram, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, kidnapped nearly 300 girls at a boarding school during the night of April 14. About 50 were able to escape. One escapee said she ran away when she was sent to get water and was shot at as she fled. Another girl described hiding in bushes for a day after jumping from a vehicle transporting the victims. Eleven more schoolgirls were taken on May 4.

According to Amnesty International, the Nigerian government received intelligence four hours ahead of time about an impending attack in the area after locals saw armed men riding motorcycles to the location. The Nigerian military denies the allegation.

“There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women,”  said Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in a video taking credit for the kidnappings.

Shekau justified his group’s actions based on his interpretation of Islamic law, or Sharia.

“I am going to marry out any woman who is 12 years old, and if she is younger, I will marry her out at the age of nine, just like how my mother, Aisha, the daughter of Abubakar, was married out to Prophet Mohammad at the age of nine,” Shekau said according to an English translation of his speech.

“Slavery is allowed in my religion, and I shall capture people and make them slaves,’ he declared.

Read more at Clarion Project

Boko Haram’s Bin Laden Connection

Getty Images

Getty Images

By Eli Lake:

In 2002, Osama bin Laden dispatched an aide to Nigeria to hand out $3 million in local currency to a wide array of Salafist political organizations there that shared al Qaeda’s goal of imposing Islamic rule.

According to an overlooked report from a well-respected international watchdog, one of those organizations was Boko Haram, the terrorist outfit that’s become globally infamous for its threat to sell girls into slavery. In other words, bin Laden helped provide Boko Haram’s seed money, this report maintains.

Officially, the U.S. intelligence community assesses that the group has only tangential links to al Qaeda’s north African affiliate, and that reports of bin Laden backing the Nigerian outfit are off-base. But inside the secret state, many analysts believe that the ties between Boko Haram and al Qaeda global leadership go much deeper—and are about more than a little seed money.

“There were channels between bin laden and Boko Haram leadership,” one senior U.S. intelligence offical told The Daily Beast. “He gave some strategic direction at times.”

At issue are still secret documents captured from Osama bin Laden’s lair in Pakistan in 2011. According to two senior U.S. intelligence officials, the trove of documents includes correspondence between leaders of Boko Haram and al Qaeda’s central leadership, including Osama bin Laden. Other U.S. intelligence officials who spoke to The Daily Beast have stressed that the documents only include letters from Boko Haram to bin Laden—the terror leader never replied back.

The dispute inside the intelligence community falls along familiar lines about al Qaeda. The White House has emphasized the distinctions between al Qaeda’s core and its affiliates and other aspiring jihadists, who the White House sees as operating almost entirely independent of the central group.

However, another faction inside the U.S. intelligence community—one that comprises the current leadership of the Defense Intelligence Agency and others working in the military—see al Qaeda as a flatter organization that coordinates between nodes and operates through consensus in the model of an Islamic Shura council.

In the case of the Boko Haram debate, this latter group inside the intelligence community have pointed to documentation and raw intelligence that suggested the Nigerian group had evolved over time—particularly after 2010—into something that resembles an unofficial al Qaeda affiliate and a threat to the west.

That debate was one factor that delayed the official branding of Boko Haram as a terrorist group until November, despite the fact that many U.S. agencies like the FBI pressed the State Department to list the group as a foreign terrorist organization far earlier, according to two senior U.S. intelligence officials.

One senior intelligence official said that by 2012, White House officials like then-counterterrorism coordinator John Brennan downplayed these documents, saying that they only represented the vague aspirations of al Qaeda’s central leadership and Boko Haram’s chiefs to work together. Another U.S. intelligence official said, “Boko Haram is really on the periphery of the al Qaeda universe.”

Read more at The Daily Beast

World Wide Christian Leaders Abandon Their Own in Nigeria

nigeria-church1-e1399762359218By Wallace S. Bruschweiler and Alan Kornman:

The period 1938 to 1945 should have been a lesson for all future generations.  The European Jews sitting back and accepting to be marched to Nazi slaughter-houses is absolutely not to be repeated in today’s day and age.

Abubakar Shekau, leader of the Islamic supremacist group Boko Haram declared war on the Christians in this shocking video.

How will we justify our inaction(s) to the next generations – what and how will the future history books describe the Christian massacres in Syria, Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Iraq and Nigeria. What kind of justifications will we have to invent, to answer in the future, the questions asked by our children?

Here we are – when Hillary Clinton served as President Obama’s Secretary of State, she vigorously opposed for over two years placing the al-Qaida affiliated terrorist group Boko Haram on the State Department’s official list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations,  John Kerry to his credit did it in November 2013.

The Response

Andrew McCarthy writes in the National Review, “Mrs Clinton and President Obama have convinced themselves that they know more about Islam than Muslim terrorists do, and that the peaceful, pliable, progressive Islam they have concocted somehow renders the jihadists’ Islam false.” Unfortunately, there are over 300 Nigerian girls and young women who would beg to differ!

Boko Haram’s Islamic justified barbaric actions speak for themselves.  Yet Christians around the world remain militarily passive to the existential threats posed by Islamic Jihad. This reminds me of the disgusting repeated ‘non decisions’ to bomb the railways tracks leading to Dachau, Auschwitz, etc. during World War II.

Nigeria, as many other nations in Africa and the Middle East, is an artificial political entity (remember Biafra).  A large number of these African and Middle East countries are formed by a significant  number of tribes with completely different ‘standards’ and kept together by corruption and terror.

Kidnapping, slavery, forced marriages, rape, forced conversions, mass murder, and torture no longer move people of conscience into military action.  Instead our leaders, on the world stage, give us nice words of righteous indignation that sooth’s the souls of the unaffected and washes the guilt of responsibility off our collective shoulders.

Ronald Reagan described, “America is a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere.” This beacon of light has dimmed and is flickering close to complete darkness.

“For we must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill, the eyes of all people are upon us; so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause Him to withdraw His present help from us, we shall shame the faces of many of God’s worthy servants, and cause their prayers to be turned into curses . . .”— John Winthrop, aboard the Arbella, 1630

Read more at Dr. Rich Swier

 

 

CAIR Spokesman Whitewashes Islamic terrorism, Compares Boko Haram to Mere Criminals

BedierCSP, By Kyle Shideler:

At a Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) press conference held in order to “condemn Boko Haram” Ahmed Bedier, President of “United Voices” and a long time CAIR member, took the opportunity to condemn not Boko Haram, but the Nigerian government and Americans concerned about the threat of Islamic terrorism, and to minimize the kidnapping and threat of forced sexual slavery for hundreds of young women as the “failure to apprehend a bunch of criminals.” (Starts approximately 13:11)

 

Boko Haram (Western Education is a Sin), and whose real name is  Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad (People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad) is a State Department designated Foreign Terrorist Organization with ties to Al Qaeda.

Bedier proceeded to compare the outrage over the kidnappings, which has gone viral on the internet under the hashtag #Bringbackourgirls, to outrage over the response to Hurricane Katrina. Bedier continued, “we are tired of people coming on television and asking ‘well where does this ideology come from, this ideology comes from no where.”

The Investigative Project on Terrorism has noted that Bedier has a long history of minimizing and understating Islamic terrorism, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Hamas, and Hezbollah. Bedier was a strong supporter of Florida professor, and now convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad organizer, Sami Al-Arian.  Bedier told a local Tampa TV station news program that prior to 1995 (when PIJ was formally designated a terrorist organization) there was “nothing immoral about it.”

The issue of the State Department’s reported unwillingness, under then Secretary Hillary Clinton, to designate Boko Haram as a terror group has been a topic of fierce criticism of late.

CAIR itself was an un-indicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial, for its role as part of the “Palestine Committee” of the North American Muslim Brotherhood, which was responsible for funneling money, through the Holy Land Foundation, to Hamas. Efforts by the supposed “Civil Rights” organization to remove itself from that list failed. In his memorandum on the case, Judge Jorge Solis noted:

Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with HLF, the Islamic Association for Palestine (“IAP”), and with Hamas. While the Court recognizes that the evidence produced by the Government largely predates the HLF designation date, the evidence is nonetheless sufficient to show the association of these entities with HLF, IAP, and Hamas.

So I guess it’s no surprise why Ahmed Bedier would like people to stop talking about the ideology that encourages foreign terrorist organizations like Boko Haram.

Kyle Shideler is the Director of the Counterterrorism Education and Analysis Project (CEAP) at the Center for Security Policy. Kyle works to inject serious research and analysis on the subject of Islamic terrorism and Shariah law into the beltway policy discussion, by challenging false assumptions and providing fully documented resources, primary research and influential talking points to policymakers, journalists, and foreign relations professionals. Kyle has previously served as a Director of Research and Communications, Senior Researcher, and Public Information Officer for several organizations in the field of Middle East and terrorism policy since 2006. He is a contributing author to “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network: America and the West’s Fatal Embrace,” and has written for numerous publications as well as briefed legislative aides, intelligence and law enforcement officials, and the general public on the threat posed by Islamist influence and penetration operations.

Boko Haram and the History of Child Rape in Jihad

boko-haram-ReutersBreitbart, by PHYLLIS CHESLER:

On April 14, 2014, Boko Haram, (whose name either means “Western education is forbidden” or “a colonialist fraud being perpetrated against us”), captured three hundred Christian and Muslim Nigerian schoolgirls to become their sex and domestic slaves. The Muslim fundamentalists swooped down upon them as they were learning in a “forbidden” government secular school. Some girls managed to escape. Two hundred and seventy six girls are still missing.

The world media calls this a “kidnapping” in Nigeria. It is not a “kidnapping.” It is the face of Jihad, the way of Jihad. Boko Haram are not holding these girls for ransom, they are not willing to return them for money. They already view the girls as their God-given booty, and as sale-able property.

The girls are between the ages of twelve and fifteen. The Christian girls will be raped, converted to Islam, and then, like the Muslims girls, “married” to one of their captors. Some will be trafficked into the sex trade, which is pandemic throughout Africa and the Muslim Middle East. Sharia law allows men to purchase the sexual favors of a female child or a young woman for one hour, a week, or a month. Private and public brothels exist as well.

Please understand: Boko Haram are the Nigerian Taliban. Like their Pakistani and Afghan counterparts, they oppose education for girls and would rather marry and impregnate them instead–for Allah’s sake.

This behavior is absolutely par for the course in Islamic history. Anyone who is surprised or shocked by this latest outrage in Nigeria simply does not know the facts.

Boko Haram’s behavior is typical of any armed Muslim force beginning in Mohammed’s time. The Prophet’s warriors went on raids and systematically massacred the Jewish tribes in Arabia. The men who refused to convert were beheaded–and then the Prophet divided the women, children, houses, and chattels among the Muslims. The women were forcibly converted and kept as “wives” or slaves.

Thereafter, Muslim warriors in search of power, land, and gold, did much the same thing.

Contrary to the politically correct intelligentsia, who focus only on Western sins, Islam also has a long and ongoing history of imperialism, colonialism, conversion by the sword, sex slavery, (of both boys and girls), polygamy, sex trafficking, and the brutal subordination and cyclical massacres of religious minorities.

Westerners either do not know this, do not want to know this, don’t care all that much, or misunderstand this.

Some, including journalists, still believe that Boko Haram and other such groups are crying out against injustice and poverty, against government corruption and ineptitude–all of which exist.

But that is not Boko Haram’s major concern. They want to assert an Islamic state in Nigeria, similar to that which exists in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, and now, Brunei. These Muslim extremists, both Sunni and Shiia, want Sharia law to dominate public and private life. This means that the state will have the power to stone people to death for adultery and apostasy, to amputate for theft, to lash and jail for “blasphemy,” to tax and hold hostage, jail, murder, or exile infidels.

Oh, yes–male polygamy will be legal, marriage will be forced, women will be veiled, normatively beaten and raped without recourse, honor killed for the slightest perceived disobedience. Women are breeders and housekeepers–an education would ruin them.

Nevertheless, for the first time, the world is mobilized, we have a “teachable moment.” Petitions have been signed, tweets tweeted, articles written, offers of military support tendered. I have remained silent because I have not liked how many in the media have jumped on this latest example of barbarism to plead their own special cause.

The capture of girls is horrifying but, they say, let’s remember that Boko Haram and other groups like them have also persecuted religious minorities in the Muslim and Arab world; let’s not forget that there are so many moderate Muslims who believe in women’s rights and the Western enterprise; let’s remember that this is just one more face of Jihad against the West, etc. All true–but this all takes the focus away from the way in which historical Islam views and treats women.

In 1971, hundreds of thousands of women were raped during the Bangladesh Liberation War. Pakistani Muslim soldiers publicly and repeatedly gang-raped and tortured Muslim (future Bangladeshi) women. These women became known as “Birangona,” or “brave women.” At the time, many killed themselves or, if pregnant, their families killed them in honor killings. Forty years later, those who survived are still traumatized and shamed by what was done to them. Many were humiliated by their relatives, rejected by their husbands.

At the time, the West paid no attention.

From 1992 on, Islamic paramilitary troops enslaved young Muslim girls in Algeria both sexually and domestically; they just grabbed them off the streets. If they tried to escape, they would be shot dead; the same was true when they became pregnant. Their names are lost in history.

At the time, the West paid no attention.

And then there was 2004, in Sudan, a long and ugly war, in which ethnic Arab Muslims engaged in what I call “gender cleansing” when they publicly and repeatedly gang-raped mainly Black African Muslim, Christian, and animist women. I was approached for advice and suggested setting up Women’s Talking Tents where the raped girls and women could come and speak their pain, see they were not alone, learn that it was not their fault.

And Western governments did nothing.

I wonder what will happen to those poor Nigerian girls who survive this ordeal? Will they be rescued and embraced? Will they be able to one day see themselves as war heroes, not victims? Will they all ever be found?

Mainly, will the world finally take a strong stand against such militant and barbaric Islamic groups who not only rape and imprison Muslim girls and women but who also slaughter both Muslim civilians and “infidels” indiscriminately?

Dr. Phyllis Chesler is an Emerita Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies, and the author of fifteen books including the classic Women and Madness, Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman, and The New Anti-Semitism. Her latest book, An American Bride in Kabul, just won the National Jewish Book Award for 2013. She is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum and can be reached through her website: www.phyllis-chesler.com