The Boko what? Oh, Heidi, why do you bother me with this stuff? They are just a group of crazy extremists… You know, way over in Africa. Seriously, they are so far away it really shouldn’t bother you at all. It’s not like Sharia law is remotely happening in the US, (Dearborn, MI).
Started in 2002 by cleric Mohammed Yusuf, this group has a 12 year history in Nigeria. Boko Haram, which in the Hausa Language can be translated to mean, “Western education is sinful” is opposed to the education of women but, frankly, boys and teachers aren’t immune to their homicidal mania.
The escapades of this group include the murder of thousands of Christians and Muslims, basically anyone not on their bandwagon, in an attempt to impose strict Islamic law on the region, a prison break where they freed over 700 inmates, multiple counts of violence, and an event resulting in over 800 dead after the military attempted to quell the brutality. I guess that’s akin to stopping a fire with a bigger fire, but I digress. (source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/05/07/nigeria-kidnapped-girls/8801487/)
In 2009, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said Boko Haram had even insinuated themselves into the executive, parliamentary and judicial wings of government. The chief of police and six deputies were summarily dismissed.
Democracy in action, I tell you. (sarc)
We’ve had our military busy “wagging the dog” and keeping the “peace” in caves and sand dunes, hunting for mythical WMD’s, so we can distract ourselves from our own issues, Benghazi, and the Presidential family’s 402nd vacation of the term. We’ve been carefully ignoring genocide in the Sudan, human rights violations in China, and burning babies to keep ourselves in electricity. And while we’ve gone from diet craze to movie premiers to one more self-absorbed fad, twelve years of insanity has culminated in the abduction of hundreds of girls on April 14th and eight more just the day before yesterday.
Honestly, when you’ve spent more than a decade brutalizing an entire region of a country, what are 300 little girls to add to the thousands? (end:sarc)
Do you know what those little girls represent?
“They are teachers, dancers, politicians. They are scientists. They are mothers. They are women in the making who have a right to play their full part in their society. And what has happened to them is devastating for all of us. And we must do, like you, everything possible to try and reunite them with their families and to prevent this ever, ever happening again.” said European Union foreign policy chief, Cathy Ashton.
But not only are they the heartbeat of Nigeria, these sweet girls are a reflection of the pulse and the conscience of the international community, if we choose to listen to their cries and defend them.
Strong and brave, 53 have already escaped from their captors. But their sisters are being sold for $12 and change.
I don’t want to imagine the horrors these girls are facing at this moment. Maybe you don’t know, but they have been in captivity, the majority of them, for nearly a month.
Boko Haram, a savage group of thugs, shrouding their intentions in a thick veneer of rhetoric, are “de-stabilizing the region”, to use politick speak. Their disregard for the value of any person, boys or girls, who do not follow their ideology are far more insidious than denying them an education. For these girls, freedom of purpose and choice, even the most basic dignities we take for granted has been stripped away as they are shown to be valued no more than the equivalent of three small latte’s and a sugar cookie.
While I planned family gatherings and the religious community oohed and ahhed over blood red moons, “What could this mean!?”, little girls were herded off, deceived into compliance and bussed to their new “home”.
Most horrifying to me? This news stayed buried for weeks.
I wonder if they would have been so silent if the girls were white. Yes, I did say that out loud.
Shame on us!! Shame on all of us for being silent for 2 minutes about this atrocity and the continued barbarity in our global community while fussing and obsessing over who made the best/worst dressed list in the vanity circles and tripped on the red carpets.
Shame on our leaders for NOT offering help until President Jonathan asked. Shame on us for merely sending a “security team”. Color me cynical, but hasn’t that, historically, been a euphemism closely resembling Pilate washing his hands? Maybe if Boko Haram had an aspirin factory???
#bringbackourgirls should be the rallying cry of EVERY freaking feminist and women’s rights advocacy group on the globe. The National Human Rights Institutions, the international Christian communities, every single one of us should be moved with compassion to pray and seek a way of speaking out for these silenced young women.
Adding insult to injury, Facebook, in an incomprehensible move, has refused to shut down the page of Boko Haram. Incomprehensible as images of piles of bodies, horrific violence, and a gratuitous, not to mention poorly articulated defense of their continued savagery repeats down the pages. Somehow, this seems to fit just fine into the parameters of Facebook’s Community “Standards”. All while their own rules of conduct indicate:
Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences and raise awareness about issues important to them. Sometimes, those experiences and issues involve graphic content that is of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses or acts of terrorism. In many instances, when people share this type of content, it is to condemn it. However, graphic images shared for sadistic effect or to celebrate or glorify violence have no place on our site. (emphasis mine) (Community Standards)
Does that make sense to you?
*UPDATE: FB did take down the page after numerous complaints. Infuriating there had to even BE more than one.*
What can you do?
Let people know what’s happening in Nigeria. Pray for these families.
Report this awful page on Facebook.
Refuse to be silent while the suffering continues unabated across the globe.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller, Protestant Pastor during WWII who spent 7 years in a concentration camp when he became an outspoken public opponent to Hitler’s regime.