Monday, July 28, 2014

What People Care About This Week: Missing Nigerian Girls

This week the story of the kidnapped girls in Nigeria has found its way back into the public. When I first heard this story months ago I was not shocked in the least. Whenever I hear about this like this happening in other parts of the world, particularly the Middle East and Africa, I just figure that is how these countries operate. I decided to do a little research into the men who have committed these crimes for years now not just this year and exactly what justifications they use to perpetrate their crimes. There is an insurgent group known as Boko Haram which loosely translates to “West education is a sin.” I doubt that is the exact meaning but whatever. Let's go with it. Their official name translates to “people committed to the propagation of the tradition and jihad.” Last year a state of emergency was declared against the group which led to hundreds of their members being killed.

Those that survived had moved to the mountain areas where they continue their assaults. The group, still as strong as ever, have mostly been forced into the areas surrounding Nigeria. The group, as their name states, does not want people, specifically women, being educated as it is seen as going against their Muslim beliefs. Instead girls are seen as tools for sex and cooks. That doesn't sound too different than this country less than a hundred years ago and yesterday in some parts of of right now.

Earlier this year hundreds of men and boys were killed in attacks and the group has been blamed for over 4,000 deaths so far this year but since it was men and boys it wasn't newsworthy. Ties with al-Qaeda have led Boko Haram to increase their attacks and boldness. In April of this year a secondary school full of girls was infiltrated by men pretending to be guards. Homes were burned and girls were taken away by way of trucks. The school was closed at the time but students from different areas were there to take finals. There is no exact number of how many girls were kidnapped but even one is too many. Some say that 53 have managed to escape their captors while 279 are still missing and unaccounted for. The school actually had four hours warning that this attack was going to take place but a security force that was already stretched too thin could not react in time. Make of that what you will.

These girls that have been kidnapped have been sold as brides for about $12.00 and forced to convert to Islam. There have been reports of where the girls are as the group borders a few other states in Africa. In May the president of Nigeria, Goodluck Johnathon, said that they are doing everything to find the girls while at the same time placing some blame on the parents of the missing girls saying their parents have not supplied them with enough information. Seems simple to me. See a grown ass man with a little girl for a bride and take him out. Chances are that's the guy you're looking for. He then paid $1.2 million to a PR firm to help his image after taking more than two weeks to respond to this.

The leader for Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, released a video in which he said “Allah has instructed me to sell them. I will carry out his instructions” as well as “Slavery is allowed in my religion, and I shall capture people and make them slaves.” You just can't argue with that kind of logic. You can't. I'm not being facetious. I actually mean that you just do not argue with someone once they pull the religious card. No matter what you say to someone who believes that they are doing something, not matter how fucked up, for religious reasons you will not change their mind. Shekau is fully aware that these kidnapped girls are not Muslim but that does not stop this group from marrying these girls or treating them as infidels.

The U.S has sent 80 personnel to nearby Chad to help out as well as unmanned aerial vehicles. That's drones in case you're wondering. Many other countries have sent help as well but since this is where I live that is what I am focusing on. Crazy how a force that was stretched too thin is what partially helped this happen and this country is sending a military that is already exhausted to help out. A few days ago another attack took place where 51 people were killed including 11 parents of girls that are still missing. It has now been over 100 days since the initial attack that got the worlds interest.

I will never advocate fighting a religious fueled battle. There is no winning that until the side that you are up against is completely killed or any of its survivors converted to something that is more fitting with your culture or belief systems. According to me, an American that has never been to Africa or the Middle East and has no desire to whatsoever, these kidnapped girls an tens of thousands of others that have been killed or hurt because of these groups got a shitty hand dealt at birth. These groups are funded by people who believe as they do or are too scared to fight back and the chances of these girls coming out of this alive or unscathed are slim. This isn't like a movie where someone is going to swoop in and help. This isn't a scenario where you texting to Red Cross and sending a few dollars will help out. Unless someone knows if a way to make people treat each other equally no matter what the Flying Spaghetti Monster tells them this kind of shit will continue until humanity no longer exists.

Do these look like guys you can reason with?

When you get into a fight you have to know your enemy. People like this Boko Haram guys are not like regular criminals you see in the street doing crime for fortune and fame. These guys do it for religious reasons and through their beliefs find ways to explain why it is fine for their to rape, torture, kidnap, and kill other human beings. There is no taking them to trial. No playing fair. You can not do that with people that think this way. No amount of celebrities with fancy hashtags are going to solve this. The only way to stop this is with pure violence. Maybe your Christian good would frown on this but I'm not under such restraints and this is why I can never go into any form of law of many reasons.

The fact that these guys call themselves Muslims and say that they are following the teachings should be an insult to everyone that considers themselves a Muslim. I studied to be one back in high school and found it to be a logical, beautiful religion. Yeah, I stopped studying it because of dinosaurs but still. Beautiful religion. But when guys like this take messages and twist them into giving themselves as many terrible earthly desires as possible it just becomes disgusting. “Indeed, Allah enjoins justice, and the doing of good to others; and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and wrongful transgression. He admonished you that you may take heed.” (Al Quran 16:91)

Click here for previous What People Care About This Week.

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