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