Pushing that Idea Away: The Obama Administration’s Denial of Nigerian Jihad

As American experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown, jihadists will continue their struggle irrespective of socioeconomic improvements instituted by governments.  Such societal material efforts can only be complementary to combatting the ideology of hardcore Islamists whose motivations lie beyond temporal benefits.  American policymakers are apparently slowing learning this lesson once again in Nigeria.

By Andrew E. Harrod

Exclusive to the Religious Freedom Coalition

(12/12/13 Washinngton, DC) American officials previously “did everything they could to push that idea” about Nigeria’s Boko Haram’s Islamist ideology aside, Ann Buwalda of the Christian human rights organization Jubilee Campaign stated at a November 14, 2013, Hudson Institute panel.  If past is any prologue, a jihad understanding of Boko Haram will have to struggle against attributions of violence in Nigeria to socioeconomic disparities, recent American policymaker statements notwithstanding.

Abubakar Shekau, leader of Islamic terror group Boko Haram

Abubakar Shekau, leader of Islamic terror group Boko Haram

Developmental neglect in Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north as the identified motive in an estimated 4,000 killings by Boko Haram since 2009 has a long history among American policymakers.  Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Johnnie Carson, for example, expressed such views at a March 24, 2013, hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and in an April 9, 2012, address to the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).  “Boko Haram,” he stated, “capitalizes on popular frustrations with the nation’s leaders, poor government service delivery, and the dismal living conditions of many northerners.”  A a “new social compact” with northern Nigeria along with a “security strategy” were necessary.

By contrast, Carson sought “to stress that religion is not driving extremist violence” in Nigeria.  “Nigeria’s religious and ethnic diversity is one of its greatest strengths,” Carson said, “and there are many examples of communities working together to protect each other.”  Carson seemingly spoke of equal opportunity killing in “Boko Haram’s attacks on churches and mosques,” yet Jubilee Campaign and others note the disproportionate concentration of Boko Haram upon Christian targets.

“Boko Haram is focused primarily on local Nigerian issues,” Carson judged.  Only within Boko Haram had a “smaller more dangerous group, increasingly sophisticated and increasingly lethal…developed links with AQIM [Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb] and has a broader, anti-Western jihadist agenda.”  As one article noted, Carson spoke at CSIS the day after a Boko Haram car bombing killed 39 at a Nigerian Easter church service, one of many attacks on church holiday services like Christmas.

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Bearing Witness: Survivor Describes Nigerian Islamist Terror

Why Boko Haram Slaughters Muslim Students

bokoBy Clare Lopez:

The young students at the Yobe State College of Agriculture in northeastern Nigeria are mostly Muslim. But at least fifty of them are dead and some two dozen or more are injured after a murderous attack by Boko Haram jihadis in the wee hours of the morning on 29 September 2013.

Looking at this from the perspective of Islamic doctrine, Boko Haram (meaning “[Western] books are forbidden”) would appear to have transgressed directly against the Qur’an itself, where “killing [a Muslim] without right” is expressly forbidden. As of this writing, though, no Muslim imam has yet called for a Day of Rage over this crime.

The Qur’an says in Surah 5:32 (quoting from the Jewish Talmud Sanhedrin 37a):

On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them our messengers with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.    

In other words, as explained in the Tafsir Ibn Kathir, whoever sheds the blood of an innocent (that is, a Muslim who is not guilty of adultery, apostasy, ‘mischief in the land,’ or murder), it is as though he has slain the whole of mankind.

Reliance of the Traveler: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Lawrelies on the Islamic school of jurisprudence founded in the 9thcentury by Abu ʿAbdillah Muhammad ibn Idris al-Shafi‘i (known as Imam Shafi’i) and states that “killing without right” is an enormity—a very great sin in Islam.

For any familiar with the history of Islamic warfare, though, it will be clear that the injunction about Muslims not killing Muslims has been honored at least as often in the breach as not. For instance, it will be recalled that in 2005, U.S. intelligence forces intercepted a letterfrom al-Qa’eda’s then-number two leadership figure, Ayman al-Zawahiri, to al-Qa’eda’s man in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

The message from AQ Central to its bloodthirsty Iraqi field commander focused on the expected eventual withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq. Al-Zawahiri was very much concerned that al-Zarqawi’s videotaped beheadings and attacks against Shi’ite Muslims would put Islam in general and al-Qa’eda in particular in a bad light, preventing them from winning the “hearts and minds” in what al-Zawahiri perceptively spoke of as the “battlefield of the media.” He warned al-Zarqawi that “[t]he Muslim populace who love and support you will never find palatable … the scenes of slaughtering the hostages…”

So, in this case, it wasn’t that al-Qa’eda was worried so much about violating the Islamic injunction against the killing of Muslims by other Muslims, but rather that they might lose the public relations competition.

Read more at The Clarion Project

 

Ex-Boko Haram Member: Headquarters in Iran, Training in Afghanistan, Motivated by Quran

wpid-Nasir-IsiakuEx-Boko Haram Member Speaks To A Gathering Of Christians (H/T Pamela Geller)

By Ghana News -SpyGhana.com:

(emphasis added)

“I joined the Bafarawa Arabic Islamic Centre in 2010 and they were teaching us Arabic language. Every year, we take about 20 people to Iran for special training because our zonal headquarters is in Iran. Our own group is called sh*tte but we have the same agenda with the Boko Haram sect. You people have only been hearing of Boko Haram, but there are other deadly Islamic groups that are also part of Boko Haram sect. I can count up to six of them that I’m very much aware of.

Whenever we heard that any of the sects was fighting Christians, we always joined them. My own group has been an Islamic movement for a long time, even before I was born. It reigned in the north during the Abacha military regime and it has many branches in the north. We are in major northern states such as Kastina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Kano, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Zaria among others.
Sometimes, when we want to wreak havoc on Christians, we hire our own bus because we have our own weapons, which we use against the Christians. We usually join the Boko Haram sect whenever they wanted to fight the Christians or the soldiers because we usually hear that soldiers kill our Boko Haram brothers in Maiduguri, Yobe and Potiskum.

I used to be one of the most trusted hands in the group because I was a very obedient and loyal follower. I had my own secret office where I received delegates from our sponsors whenever our leader wasn’t around and where I attend to the needs of any of our members.
This is why I didn’t participate in many of our attacks against the Christians or the soldiers because I used to take care of the home front. Our leaders usually psyched us up, they brainwashed us to fight against Christians because they are enemies of Allah. They taught us that the more Christians we were able to kill, the more our chances of entering Alijonan (heaven).

Many of our trainings hold in the night, around 10pm. There is a bush around the school where we usually go for trainings.

Some aspects of the training we receive are not ordinary; we used to drink what one could call spiritual water because it is not ordinary water. We also used to receive strange visitors who were not equally ordinary humans. We receive the visitors in a strange way, our leaders used to summon them: they used to instruct us to recite some passages in the Quran and whenever we do that, the visitors would appear to us during those unholy hours. They could come in three or four. They appeared like humans but they are not humans. We know they are not humans. They usually fortify us with charms for the task before us. They used to instruct us to be strong and fight.

Our leaders also used to render a lot of assistance to support our cause. They bring a lot of money in a pick up van and asked us to use the money to buy guns. Many of our supplies come from the zonal headquarters and sometimes, there is a popular Bayelsa man who is, though a Christian, supporting our cause in cash and kind. I can’t remember his name now. The Bayelsa man gave us money and also supplied us with weapons for the mission.

I am the second in command in my camp in our group, and whenever our president travels to the headquarters in Iran, I used to coordinate the group and receive our sponsors on his behalf. This is why I am able to sit with the sponsors and know what happens.

We had vowed to first kill all Christians in Kaduna before dealing with others in the north. Whenever we take the spiritual water, we become more daring to do any evil. It makes us more dangerous and if we were annoyed at such moment, we could kill. The water also fortifies us against gunshots. When we have taken it, bullets will not harm us. Also, we get mystery ring from our leaders. About eight of us were selected for the ring, and that ring provides almost anything we asked from it. It is like a personal power for us.

I can’t recall the number of people I have killed. I don’t use gun most times. We usually use guns to shoot people on the leg. If we ask a victim: “Will you become a Muslim or not? And he or she refuses, we slaughter the victim like a goat. And after killing the victim, we collect his or her blood in a very small cup and then drink it. After drinking the blood, the victim’s ghost could not hunt us in dreams. That is what our leaders told us. And indeed, once we taste the blood of people we kill, we will not see them in our dreams.

Sometimes, when we don’t feel like drinking the blood from the cup, we used our fingers to touch the victim’s blood and taste it. It will still prevent ghost of victim from hunting us in dreams.

We used to kill Christians because we believe that by killing them, we will enter heaven at death. Our leaders used a Quranic passage that seems to support our action (Recites some Quranic lines). In interpretation, the passage says: “O you believers, you should not be friendly with your enemies.” ‘Believers’ here means we, the Muslims and ‘enemies’ are the Christians.

The leaders of our group and the sponsors are many. Our sponsors are wealthy Nigerians. They are in government, and many are past Nigerian leaders. If I mention their names, you would think I am just telling lies. We have governors, senators who sponsor us heavily. Our sponsors are many (Names mentioned are withheld). You wouldn’t believe some of them are really part of us. We usually invite them to the graduation of the students in the school. That is when many know them as part of us.

We have days we go to town to preach and win more members. On such days, we add a red cap to our white T-Shirt and trousers. On another occasion when we put on black caps, it means we won’t fight.

We have infiltrated the Nigerian forces. We have our members in the police and army. Those members help us a lot whenever we want to fight. 

However, we are very secretive, my blood brother who was not a member didn’t know I was part of the sect. I kept my association with the sect secret from people close to me who don’t share our views about Christians. My father loved me very well.
Right from the time we attended Chachangi School, a lower school in my place, our Islamic instructors had been drumming it into our ears that we should tighten our belts to fight the Christians. They instructed us to always be armed, either with knife or gun. They even told us to have our own gun and get license for it.

My own area in Kaduna is Torumada, it is a haven for many Islamic terrorists in Nigeria. Before I joined the Shiite school, I took part in several fights in which we massacred many Christians. The Christians in Sokoto are most vulnerable to attacks from our people because they are just within our reach, but they have also been very lucky because a major Islamic cleric in the state is always pleading that we shouldn’t touch them.
We actually found out many places in Sokoto where Christians are living. One of them is Ota Road, but in order to respect our Islamic cleric, we haven’t touched them.

Boko Haram has their men trained in Afganistan. I don’t know if you have been hearing about the Taliban, those who sacrifice their lives through suicide bombing. The Talibans are the ones who are training Boko Haram men. I know Boko Haram usually have about 60 men who go for training in Afganistan. They train them on how to go on suicide bombing, make their own bombs and fight and do other dangerous things. They also provide them with sophisticated weapons such as bombs and all that.

Read more

Nigeria’s Christians Plead for Help Against Islamist Onslaught

by Andrew E. Harrod
Special to IPT News
July 29, 2013

Religious Apartheid: Islamic Terror Group Slaughters Christians in Nigeria

NigeriaBlast_Boko_HaramBreitbart:

By  AWR Hawkins

Boko Haram is a Nigerian-based terror group which actually brags of its ties to Al Qaeda. Since 2009, it has conducted a brutal and intense war against its own government which has involved the slaughter of Christians. It has also voiced threats against the United States and President Barack Obama.

The terrorist group has murdered more than 3,000 people since 2009, most of whom were Christians; many of the victims were killed by being chopped up with machetes, while others were tortured until death or burned alive.

Just last weekend, members of Boko Haram attacked and killed 10 Christians in northeast Nigeria and burned their houses to the ground. Police reports indicate Boko Haram members attacked at night by setting the houses on fire, catching the victims as they ran out, and cutting them down with machetes.

In January 2012 alone, Boko Haram killed more people than died in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria combined that month.

The number of people Boko Haram has killed this year ranges from 770 to 860; the majority of victims were Christians.

In August 2011, a Boko Haram operative bombed the United Nations building in Abuja, killing 23 and wounding 18. Following the attack, Boko Haram released a pre-recorded video wherein the bomber said he carried out the attack to send “a message to the U.S. president and ‘other infidels.’”

Gen. Carter Ham, head of the U.S. Africa Command, is warning that Boko Haram’s focus is increasingly broadening, and could soon include attacks on Europe if left unchecked.

On Dec. 3 Ham said, “Anything that is Western is a legitimate target in their eyes. I think it’s in our national interest to help the Nigerians address the problem internally before it gets worse.”

U.S. Distorts Nigerian Jihad on Christians

Boko Haram’s leader, flanked by armed jihadis, calls on Nigeria’s president to “repent and forsake Christianity.”

By Raymond Ibrahim:

While the Obama administration continues to say that the Islamic group Boko Haram’s jihad against Nigeria’s Christians—which has seen countless churches destroyed, and thousands of Christians killed— has nothing to do with religion, the group once again made clear that it is all about religion. According to a recent report:

In an online video released last week, the militant Muslim group Boko Haram demanded that Nigeria’s Christian president either convert to Islam, or resign. [Boko] Haram head Abubakar Shekau told President Goodluck Jonathan to “repent and forsake Christianity,” otherwise Shekau’s followers would continue their violent campaign…

Indeed, despite the fact that the Obama administration has agreed to spend $600 million in a USAID initiative launched to ascertain the “true causes” behind Boko Haram’s murderous bloodlust, it was clear from the very beginning that the group and other Muslims were enraged that Nigeria was being led by a Christian, President Goodluck Jonathan, even though he won elections “by a landslide.”

Writing back in April 2011, Nigerian analyst Peter Run said:

The current wave of riots was triggered by the Independent National Election Commission’s (INEC) announcement on Monday [April 18, 2011] that the incumbent President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, won in the initial round of ballot counts. That there were riots in the largely Muslim inhabited northern states where the defeat of the Muslim candidate Muhammadu Buhari was [deemed] intolerable was unsurprising…. Now they are angry despite experts and observers concurring that this is the fairest and most independent election in recent Nigerian history.

Once again, then, reality is easily ascertained—at root, Boko Haram’s terror campaign is entirely motivated by religion—even as the Obama administration refuses to designate the group as a terrorist organization, spends millions of U.S. tax dollars on superfluous initiatives (or diversions), and pressures the Nigerian president to make concessions, including building more mosques, the very structures where Muslims are radicalized and recruited to Boko Haram’s jihad.

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

50 Christians burned to death in pastor’s home

by Michael Carl

Fifty members of a northern Nigerian church were burned to death in their pastor’s house.

The attack by armed gunmen was only the first in a 12-village spree of violence that left over 100 dead in northern Nigeria’s Plateau State, a region that had previously been outside Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram’s operational area and is the largely Muslim Fulani tribesmen’s homeland.

Yet Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attacks and threatened even more violence.

Open Doors, USA spokesman Jerry Dykstra says the recent wave of attacks is rapidly turning Nigeria into a deadly religious battlefield, where Boko Haram is declaring Christians must convert … or die.

“Nigeria is truly becoming the new killing field for Christians. Hundreds of Christians have already been brutally murdered – including women and children – by the Boko Haram,” Dykstra said. “The Boko Haram earlier this week said that all Christians need to turn to Islam or ‘they would never know peace again.’ Their goal is make all of Nigeria a country run and dominated by Shariah law.”

Church of Christ of Nigeria officials report that all of their denomination’s church buildings were burned to the ground in the 12-town rampage.

Plateau State is home to the nomadic and largely Muslim Fulani tribesmen, the group that some Nigerian security officials say was originally blamed for the attack.

Nigerian criminal justice consultant Innocent Chukwuma is reported as saying the logistics suggest that Boko Haram could not have acted alone.

“I don’t think that Boko Haram could, out of nowhere, have raided these villages. They couldn’t do that without local support and collaboration,” Chukwoma said according to the report.

Fulani spokesmen denied responsibility and had no response to a potential alliance with Boko Haram.

Heritage Foundation Africa analyst Morgan Roach leans against Boko Haram’s involvement because of the Fulani tribe’s violent track record.

“Attacks on Christian villages are not new in Plateau State, as Fulani tribesmen are known to have raided Christian communities in the past,” Roach said.

Roach says because Plateau State is out of Boko Haram’s normal territory, she tends to agree with Nigeria’s security officials. She also says these church burnings are a deviation from the terrorist group’s typically advanced methods.

“Should Boko Haram be responsible, this would deviate from its past tactics, which have tended to be more sophisticated,” Roach said.

“Two questions I think would be fair to ask: Is Boko Haram trying to capitalize on the instability in plateau and partner with Fulani tribesmen? Maybe, but I need more evidence,” Roach said. “If this incident is confirmed to be Boko Haram-related, it would be a worrying development for the country’s security.”

American Enterprise Institute Middle East and Terrorism analyst Michael Rubin, however, says he believes Boko Haram is responsible.

“No one should be surprised that Boko Haram’s range of actions is growing broader. Jihadists cannot be appeased; they are expansionists,” Rubin said.

Read more at WND

The Obama Administration’s Genocide Denial

Johnnie Carson

By Daniel Greenfield

Suppose that there was a country where Muslims were being massacred every month and mosques and imams were being targeted and destroyed. Could anyone imagine the Obama Administration choosing to remain silent in the face of such atrocities?

A mob attack on Muslims in Burma immediately resulted in a condemnation from the State Department and a call for its government to make more concessions to Muslims. But a car bombing and shooting attack on two churches in Nigeria have not been similarly commented on by the State Department, sending the message that Muslim life is precious, but Christian life is cheap. The Muslim dead of Burma are sacred, but the Christian dead of Nigeria are only more dead infidels.

Boko Haram, the Islamic terrorist organization responsible for both attacks, has yet to be declared a terrorist organization by the State Department, despite having carried out religiously motivated bombings and shootings that have killed over a thousand people in the last few years alone. These numbers begin to approach the level of murders carried out by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The “Boko Haram Terrorist Designation Act of 2012”, introduced by Senator Scott Brown, mandates that the State Department produce a detailed report that either designates Boko Haram as a terrorist group or justifies why it should not be listed as a terrorist group. A similar bill was introduced by Congressman Meehan in the House. It is a testament to the obstructionism of the State Department and its whitewashing of Boko Haram that such a bill even had to be introduced. While the State Department has played delaying games, the bodies of murdered Christians have continued piling up.

It is also tragically noteworthy that all eleven sponsors of the “Boko Haram Terrorist Designation Act”, in both the Senate and the House, have been Republicans. Not a single Democrat appeared to be willing to stand up for the human rights of Nigerian Christians. If the “Boko Haram Terrorist Designation Act” comes down to a vote, that vote should be seen as nothing less than a test of complicity for individual Democrats in the cover-up of Nigeria’s Islamic genocide by the Obama Administration.

Genocide denial pervades not only the Obama Administration and its Congressional allies, but also the media, which continues to promote the destructive myth that Boko Haram is not truly religiously motivated and that it can only be stopped by giving more money and power to the Muslim north.

Had a non-Muslim group carried out numerous attacks on mosques and Muslim worshipers, and then ordered Muslims to leave an area, it is absolutely inconceivable that the Obama Administration and its media allies would deny that these were religiously motivated attacks. It is even more inconceivable that its preferred solution would be to tell the government to stop fighting terrorism. But what is inconceivable when it comes to Muslims is Obama Administration policy for Christians.

At the end of April, Daniel Benjamin, from the State Department’s Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism, testifying at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, denied that Boko Haram was affiliated with Al-Qaeda, while conceding that its members were probably being trained by Al-Qaeda. Benjamin then stated that the State Department’s response to the Islamic genocide of Christians by Jihadists in the Muslim north was “to press for a change to its (Nigeria’s) heavy-handed approach to the security threats in the north”.

The State Department’s approach to the genocide of Christians by Muslims is to press the Nigerian government to scale down its efforts against that genocide. Benjamin’s statement is not unique; it is the consistent policy of the State Department, which is the consistent policy of the Obama Administration, to respond to Islamic genocide in Nigeria by pressuring its government to step down its war on terror. Johnnie Carson, the Assistant Secretary at the Bureau of African Affairs, in his remarks on Nigeria, claimed bizarrely, that despite a campaign of violence focused heavily around attacks on churches, “Religion is not driving extremist violence in either Jos or Northern Nigeria” and warned the Nigerian government to “avoid excessive violence”.

Read more at Front Page

Christian Slaughter in Nigeria

By Faith J. H. McDonnell, Front Page:

Are they terrorists yet? Boko Haram, an Islamist sect seeking to impose Sharia throughout Nigeria, attacked three church services on Sunday, April 29, 2012. The latest slaughters added twenty-seven more dead to 900+ victims of the past two years’ efforts by Boko Haram to kill all the Christians in northern Nigeria. In recent months, the sect has also been marking the houses of Christians in the north, targeting them for killing, forcing thousands to flee from their homes.

On the morning of April 29, Boko Haram struck Catholic and Protestant worship services simultaneously at Bayero University in Kano. Twenty-two so farhave been confirmed dead, and twenty-three wounded. In the evening they attacked a church service in Jere, near Maiduguri, Borno State, killing another five people.

U.S. Congressmen Peter King (R-NY), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Patrick Meehan (R-PA) recently wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, urging that she designate the group as a terrorist organization. Meehan’s Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence released an extensive, bi-partisan report on Boko Haram as an “emerging threat to the U.S. Homeland.” But the State Department continues to downplay Boko Haram’s Islamist nature, preferring to see the terrorist murderers – of whom even the Nigerian police are afraid – as victims of poverty and marginalization.

One survivor of the April 29 attack on the Catholic Mass was a geography professor, Emmanuel Olofin. Olofin reported that Mass had just gotten underway in the university indoor sports complex at 8:10 AM when the worshippers heard the sound of “gunshots and pellets falling on the roof of the building.” According to reports, the attackers arrived in a car and two motorcycles. They threw explosives into the building and sent people into a panic. They fled from the building, straight into the attackers’ line of fire.

Professor Olofin, age 71, leaped over an eight-foot fence instead of using the actual exit in the gate. “I believe that most of the people that died were those who took the pedestrian exit because it seemed as if the attackers used the pedestrian gate to gain entrance,” said Olofin, who found refuge under a tree. Among the dead were two of Olofin’s university colleagues, Professors Jerome Ayodele, Department of Chemistry, and Andrew Leo Ogbonyomi, Library Science.

At the same time the attack on the Catholics was taking place, other members of the sect attacked the Chapel of Victory Protestant church service, meeting outdoors near the Faculty of Medicine. Professor Julius Falola, who was preaching when the Islamists arrived, recounted a horrific scene similar to that described by Professor Olofin. Explosions and gunshots were followed by fleeing church members who provided easy targets for Boko Haram killers.Falola said that some of the Christians “jumped over the fence while others ran deeper into the campus.” Falola hid in the university clinic. Falola and Olofin, as well as other witnesses, said that the police did not arrive until 10 AM. “The shooting went on for 45 minutes,” said Falola.

Boko Haram topped off their killing spree later that night, by opening fire on the Church of Christ in Nigeria parish in Jere. Because of a state of emergency in the town, worshippers had foregone meeting in the morning in favor of what they assumed would be an unnoticed and therefore less dangerous evening worship. Halfway through the service, witnesses reported that the Islamists came “in their trademark car, Volkswagen Golf, dressed in flowing gowns.” After “their routine shout of ‘Allah akbar,’ they . . .  headed straight for the altar” where they shot and killed the pastor, Reverend Albert Naga. Four others died from the attack, as well.

In response to Sunday’s targeted killing of Christians by Boko Haram, Secretary Clinton put out a paragraph on May 1, saying that the United States “strongly condemns the recent attacks on innocent civilians in Nigeria, including yesterday’s disgraceful assault during church services at Bayero University in Kano.” Clinton said that they are “concerned about attacks on churches, news media, and government installations that increasingly target innocent civilians across Northern Nigeria.” She condemned “attempts by those in Nigeria who seek to inflame Christian-Muslim tensions, and support those who recognize Nigeria’s ethnic and religious diversity as one of the country’s greatest strengths.” She concluded by saying that “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who were killed and injured.”

While the statement does specifically mention churches, her condemnation of “those in Nigeria who seek to inflame Christian-Muslim tensions,” is vague enough to cause concern. First of all, it is obvious to almost everyone but the State Department why the “tension” is there to begin with: Islamic supremacism such as that of Boko Haram and other radical Muslims who want a pure Islamic state. In that case, any action, statement, or mere existence of non-Muslims can inflame the tension – a lunar eclipse, a Miss World pageant, the election of a Christian president, a speech by the Pope… and usually it is the Nigerian Christians (or the Christians anywhere in the Islamic world) who are blamed for “inflaming” things.

Other popular targets of Boko Haram have been newspaper offices and television viewing centers. On April 25, Boko Haram was responsible for bombing a television viewing center in Jos, Plateau State, where hundreds of Christians were watching a soccer match. One person was killed and four were injured when the radicals drove by the site and threw an explosive device at the viewers. On December 10, 2011, Boko Haram bombed three television viewing centers in Jos. At one site, 31 year-old Joshua Dabo was killed in the explosion. Ten people were injured, with four in critical condition and two in left in a coma, at the two other viewing centers. Apparently, watching soccer also inflames Christian-Muslim tensions.

The government of President Goodluck Jonathan has been asking the United States for help in dealing with Boko Haram and other terrorists, but so far the U.S. State Department has talked of providing financial aid to impoverished and marginalized youth, like Boko Haram. In his Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa Johnnie Carson said, “The Nigerian government must effectively engage communities vulnerable to extremist violence by addressing the underlying political and socio-economic problems in the North.” In what is absolute dismissal of the life-and-death struggles that Nigerian authorities have had with Boko Haram, he added, “The government must also promote respect for human rights by its security forces, whose heavy-handed tactics and extrajudicial killings reinforce the belief that Abuja is insensitive to the concerns of the North.” Then he added helpfully, “The appointment of credible northerners to lead the government response to northern grievances would be an important and tangible step toward reversing that perception.” Well, since the State Department appears to see Boko Haram as “credible northerners,” perhaps it will suggest their appointment. That would follow the pattern the Obama Administration has helped to set through Arab “Spring.”

Read more…

 

Jihad Blinders: Will the West Get It Before It Is Too Late?

by: Raymond Ibrahim at Stop Radical Islam:
 
Bill Clinton recently demonstrated the tenacity of those liberal/leftist/materialist paradigms that have all but blinded the West to reality. According to the Associated Press:Former U.S. President [and current spouse of the U.S. Secretary of State] Bill Clinton warned Monday that the rampant poverty that plagues oil-rich Nigeria—felt most acutely in its Muslim north—is fueling the religious violence now tearing at the nation. A radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram claimed Monday it killed 12 soldiers and beheaded three government informants in its bloody wave of sectarian violence against Nigeria’s weak central government [the report later adds that Boko Haram has so far killed 286 people this year alone, that is, in just the last six weeks]. While Clinton never named the sect in a speech Monday night in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos, he admitted he remained “really worried” about the security challenges in Africa’s most populous nation.”You can’t just have this level of inequality persist. That’s what’s fueling all this stuff,” said Clinton… New government statistics released Monday showed that in Nigeria’s northwest and northeast, regions besieged by Islamic insurgents, about 75 percent of the people live in poverty [emphasis added].

The remainder of the article tells of how “analysts” agree with the poverty-fuels-jihad thesis, and how “Clinton called for Nigerians to embrace their similarities,” arguing that “It is almost impossible to cure a problem based on violence with violence.”

Thus, Clinton, analysts—even the New York Times—all offer a perfectly palatable reason for the violence plaguing Nigeria, one that accords well with the materialist worldview, and one that, as usual, defies reality. Consider some simple facts:

First, Islamists of the north, led by Boko Haram, began their violent jihad in earnest, not because they realized they were financially impoverished, but because a Christian won what was described as Nigeria’s freest and fairest elections. After all, as Islamic law clearly teaches, a non-Muslim is not permitted to govern Muslims—not because he is bad for the economy, but because he is an infidel.

The full name of Boko Haram is “Sunnis for [Islamic] Propagation and Jihad”; “Boko Haram,” their nickname, means “Western Education is a Sin” (not “We Kill Because We’re Poor”). Their stated goal is the establishment of a pure Sharia state in Nigeria. In other words, they are like all the other Islamists around the world, many of whom are financially well of, beginning with the leader of the pack, Saudi Arabia, one of the world’s wealthiest nations, and also the nation most responsible for fueling the jihad of groups like Boko Haram (just as the rich Saudi Osama bin Laden had supported the Islamist regime of Sudan, any number of wealthy donors, Saudi and otherwise, support jihadi groups like Boko Haram as part of their zakat).

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Then there is the fact that, whenever and wherever a society begins to enforce Sharia, impoverishment soon follows—unless, of course, that society has natural resources to glut on. Indeed, consider the poverty-inducing consequences of Boko Haram’s jihad: most recently, after reading about how “Allahu Akbar” screaming Muslims killed and wrought havoc in the Nigerian city of Kano, we discover that Kano is “the economic heart of Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north.”

Who, then, is really creating poverty in northern Nigeria? As we saw, the Associated Press report states that “in Nigeria’s northwest and northeast, regions besieged by Islamic insurgents, about 75 percent of the people live in poverty.” The implication is that poverty creates frustrated jihadis; the reality is that jihadis frustrate the economy..

The inability to accept these straightforward facts; the inability to factor ideological or existential motives, seeing only material motives (money, land, etc); the almost instinctive conclusion that Muslim violence is proof positive of legitimate grievance—all of these are so ingrained in the predominant paradigm, from the mainstream media, to mainstream politicians, and all of these are poisoning Western civilization from within, eroding its influence and capacity to act from without.

Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum. A widely published author, he is best known for his book,  The Al Qaeda Reader .  Mr. Ibrahim’s dual-background—born and raised in the U.S. by Egyptian parents —has provided him with unique advantages to understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets.

Why The President Should Speak Out Against Religious Persecution

by Raymond Ibrahim:

On January 24, during his State of the Union Address, the president of the United States has a chance to expose the plight of religious minorities living in Muslim majority nations. Doing so would not merely shed light on one of the most ignored humanitarian crises of the 21st century; it would help alleviate it.

Why should the president speak up on the oppression of religious minorities? For starters, because it is the right thing to do, and reflects American values and principles.

He should speak up because religious cleansing is currently underway in nations like Nigeria, where Boko Haram—”Western Education is Forbidden”—and other Islamic groups have declared jihad on the Christian minorities of the north, killing and displacing thousands, burning and bombing hundreds of churches, most notoriously this last Christmas, where over forty people were killed while celebrating Christmas mass. Likewise, since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, about half of Iraq’s one million Christians have been forced by targeted violence to flee their homeland, the most notorious incident, again, being a church attack, where some 60 worshippers were killed.

He should speak up because churches are constantly being attacked, burned, or forced into closure, not just in Nigeria and Iraq, but in Afghanistan, Egypt, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia (click on country-links for the most recent examples). In Egypt alone, after several churches were burned, thousands of Christian Copts gathered to demonstrate—only to be slaughtered by the military, including by being run-over by armored vehicles.

He should speak up because Muslim converts to Christianity are regularly ostracized, beat, killed, or imprisoned—recent examples coming from Algeria, Eritrea, Kashmir, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, and even Western nations. Iran’s Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, whose plight actually made it to the mainstream media, is but one of many people imprisoned and tortured for simply following their conscience and converting to Christianity. Uganda offers a typical example: there, a Muslim father locked his 14-year-old daughter for several months without food or water, simply because she embraced Christianity. She weighed 44 pounds when rescued.

He should speak up because Christian girls are being abducted, raped, and forced to convert to Islam—recent examples coming from Egypt, India, Pakistan, and Sudan. In Pakistan alone, “a 12 year-old Christian [was] gang raped for eight months, forcibly converted and then ‘married’ to her Muslim attacker.” Now that she has escaped, instead of seeing justice done, “the Christian family is in hiding from the rapists and the police.” Earlier in Pakistan, a 2-year-old Christian girl was savagely raped and damaged for life because her father refused to convert to Islam.

The U.S. president should speak up because such persecution is not merely performed at the hands of “outraged Muslim mobs,” but is institutionalized in many Muslim governments, including those deemed “U.S. friends and allies”—such as Afghanistan, where the last church was recently razed; Egypt, where Islamists, supported by the U.S., openly speak of returning Copts into second-class dhimmis; and Saudi Arabia, where churches are not permitted, and Bibles and crucifies are confiscated and destroyed.

He should speak up because there is a pattern, one that is becoming increasingly harder to ignore—one that demonstrates great continuity over the centuries. Past and present, from Morocco in the west, to India in the east—in countries that do not share race, culture, or language, only a culture permeated with the spirit of Islamic supremacism—non-Muslims suffer.

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Boko Haram Rapidly Infiltrating Nigerian Intelligence

by Anna Mahjar-Barducci at Stonegate Institute:

The Christian community in Nigeria was again the target of terrorist attacks planned by the Islamist group, Boko Haram. A spokesperson for the Islamist group also issued an ultimatum to Christians to leave the North of Nigeria, dominated by Muslims, or otherwise be killed. Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan already declared a state of emergency, whereas the Nigerian Ministry of Information stated that all Nigerians should unite to confront the “evil” of Boko Haram.

Nigerian authorities agree on saying that Boko Haram has a clear strategy, a well defined leadership and an increasing hoard of funds and technical support thanks to its recently established links with Al-Qaeda. Further, so far, any attempt of the Nigerian security forces to track down the leadership of Boko Haram has also been frustrated over easiness about crossing the borders it has with it neighbors, Niger, Chad and Cameroon where, allegedly, Boko Haram has training camps.

International analyst on Nigeria, Jean-Christophe Servant, points out that Boko Haram is composed of several elements of the Nigerian society. Among the militants are apparently not only Islamists, but desperate young people earning less than two dollars a month and who have no hope for the future; criminals who want to destabilize the central government, and dismissed personnel from the Nigerian army. According to Servant, the presence of Nigerian former soldiers would explain Boko Haram’s use of sophisticated weaponry and explosives. Servant also states, however, that the Nigerian intelligence does not have any clear information about the leadership of the group or on its power structure.

The Nigerian paper Vanguard writes that so far, little is known about the group, or even its real name: evidently Boko Haram (literally, “Western Education is a Sin”) has no specific name for itself, just many names attributed to it by local people. “If their name is uncertain, however, their mission appears clear enough: to overthrow the Nigerian state, impose an extreme interpretation of Islamic law and abolish what they term Western-style education,” Vanguard wrote.

For what is concern about the group’s leadership, the Nigerian paper mentions that after the death in 2009 of Boko Haram’s historical leader, Mohammed Yusuf, the Islamist movement allegedly decentralized its leadership. Boko Haram, therefore, appears to have a loose structure, with its leaders regionalized. Boko Haram’s main problem at the moment, according to Vanguard, is to find a charismatic leader. The group, however, is stronger than ever and it seems to have infiltrated Nigerian security agencies in the country in order to access difficult places.

Former Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, is pessimistic about the Nigerian authority’s ability to track down the group. He claims that the government does not even have a strategy. He believes that this generation of Nigerians will have to live under the threat of Boko Haram. “I do not know how to address the issue of Boko Haram,” Akinyemi said, adding, “And anybody who tells you that he knows how to address the issue of Boko Haram does not know what he is saying. One of the things people do not realize is one of the three policemen, including an inspector, lost their lives in the Christmas Day bombing in church because the Police had the information that Boko Haram was going to strike on Christmas Day, but they did not know the specific church they were going to strike. So, the police ordered its personnel to form a security cordon around several churches, and this inspector did see this car. He tried to stop [the man driving car], but he would not stop. The civilian security guard of the church also tried to stop him; he would not stop until he detonated the bomb. The only way he could have stopped was when the inspector said stop.He didn’t stop and they fired at him. Supposing it turned out that it was the man’s breaks that were not functioning or [that] he was late for mass and he just wanted to get in, everybody, the whole Nigeria will come down on the head of that inspector for killing an innocent man. You are asking a man to make a split-second’s judgment. So, the inspector was trying to be cautious. He paid with his life and the lives of 34 others. Is Nigeria ready for shoot-on-sight on the suspicion that somebody is a terrorist? Is the press ready for that? Are the civil societies ready for that? That is the question you should ask yourself, not government.”

According to him, the Nigerian President should summon a meeting with political leaders from the majority and from the opposition to try to find national unity on a common strategy on how to defeat terrorism. The former Nigerian Minister says there should be a common understanding on the need to track down the leaders of Boko Haram to make sure that party officers and party agents will not attack the government over how to handle security issues. To find Nigerian national unity, the first step should be deciding how handle the Boko Haram problem. In the meantime, there is only Nigeria’s media alert on the country’s imminent descent into chaos and holy war – with massive oil riches as the prize.