28 May 2014
Claiming that God directed the senseless kidnappings of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria is nothing but reprehensible. The assailants, Boko Haram, either have a dubious understanding of their faith or, more likely, are acting in their own selfish political interests, apparent from the reports of lavish lifestyle of their deceased founder, M. Yusuf. The religious ideology proclaimed by groups like Boko Haram or Al-Qaeda is “a political ideology fashioned by misinterpreting, misrepresenting and corrupting the religious text” as Dr. Rohan Gunaratna of International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research in Singapore points out.
To Nigerian Muslims, it is clear that the actions of Boko Haram, which include attacks on churches and mosques, killing hundreds of people including Christians and Muslims, are criminal and terrorist acts and have nothing to do with their professed faith. Nigerian Muslim cleric Ibrahim Ahmed Abdullahi, who publicly condemned Boko Haram’s violence and was later killed by the group, told the Associated Press that the group recruits from among the impoverished youth by promising them “a more prosperous life at the end of a Kalashnikov rifle.” Abdullahi told the AP in November 2010 that for people living in absolute poverty, any invitation to bring about change has an appeal.
GPO / ICPVTR / RSIS / Online
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