Boko Haram

There is nothing—no religion, no grievance, no way of thinking– to justify what Boko Haram did over the weekend when they sent what appeared to be a 10-year-old girl wearing a bomb into a crowded market in Northern Nigeria. The Nigerian Islamic terrorist group has been behind some of the most despicable acts of violence in Africa over the past several years. Their textbook play is to kidnap and rape large groups of girls who are simply trying to get an education.

That they are so opposed to education is just one of their many problems, but it speaks to an ignorance on an almost unimaginable scale. Beyond the obvious damage of having an entire generation of African girls who won’t go on to invent, build or design some wonder that hasn’t been thought of yet, the group’s fear of education speaks to its own stupidity.

Sending a young girl with a bomb into a market is only the latest act of depredation and horror from this group. Boko Haram has killed thousands of people over the past six years it has been battling Nigerian government forces and their tactics are the lowest of the low: sending suicide bombers into high schools and burning teenage boys alive. With those kinds of actions, it is not surprising that Boko Haram is affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in West Africa.

After Boko Haram sacks and captures a town they impose Shariah law and ultimately are trying to establish an Islamic caliphate in Nigeria. Imagine the chaos and terror the Islamic State has brought to Iraq and Syria happening in Africa.

Boko Haram is led by Abubakar Shekau, a wretched human being who said in a video taped message about the 250 kidnapped young girls who received an outpouring of support from celebrities, politicians and concerned citizens with #bringbackourgirls last year, “All of them have accepted Islam and are now married. Anybody that said plans are underway for the release of the girls is just daydreaming.” For the record, the girls have yet to be returned despite Nigerian and American military forces looking for them, and even more girls have been kidnapped since then.

Boko Haram’s despicable actions in support of the extreme views of their religion, in the eyes of most of the enlightened world reflect them being inhumane agents of the Devil.  The atrocities of this group can no longer be ignored and cry out for a stronger international movement to address and finally eliminate them as the threat their continued existence represents to all humanity.