While many people are aware of the Islamic terrorism in countries like Israel, Iran, and Iraq, these same people may not be aware of the same Islamic terrorism taking place in other parts of the world. In Nigeria, much of the Islamic community has, unfortunately, been taken over by terrorist groups. People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad, or Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, more commonly known as Boko Haram, is terrorizing the Christian community in Nigeria.
According to Farouk Chothia’s BBC article, Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists?, “Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it ‘haram’, or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society. This includes voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers or receiving a secular education. Boko Haram regards the Nigerian state as being run by non-believers, even when the country had a Muslim president.” While this description may make this group seem merely ideological, in reality this group is a highly active, but not yet recognized, terrorist group.
While groups such as Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) are trying to combat these radicals, CAN seems to be fighting a losing battle. According to United States Institute of Peace, “Since August 2011, Boko Haram has planted bombs almost weekly in public or in churches in Nigeria’s northeast. The group has also broadened its targets to include setting fire to schools. In March 2012, some twelve public schools in Maiduguri were burned down during the night, and as many as 10,000 pupils were forced out of education.” These weekly attacks have taken a toll on the Nigerian population.
Most recently, Boko Haram staged an attack in Kano, Nigeria. In an Associated Press article, later published in The Washington Post, they claimed that the “Multiple explosions at a bar and entertainment area in a Christian quarter of Nigeria’s northern and mainly Muslim city of Kano killed at least 24 people, a hospital official said Tuesday.”
According to Michael Gryboski’s The Christian Post article entitled Nigerian Christians Urge State Dept. to Label Boko Haram as Terrorist Group, “Leaders from the Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans (CANAN) and the Christian Association of Nigeria made their case, sharing that they have tried to get the Islamic jihadist militant organization in Africa to be labeled a terrorist group by meeting with members of the U.S. Congress, drawing up petitions, and working with other organizations, including several American groups.” These pleas, if answered, would not only label Boko Haram as a terrorist group, but it would then force international entities to take action.
While international entities will be forced to take action due to lobbying groups, terror labels, and pleas from Christian Leaders, one should question what will provoke the common person to act. Will there be demonstrations for Nigeria on campuses around the nation, or will this be ignored?
Contributed by CAMERA Intern Rachel Wolf