News / Africa

Muslim Reaction to Schoolgirl Abductions Debated

Muslim Reaction to Schoolgirl Abductions Debatedi
May 16, 2014 5:09 AM
The Muslim founder of a women's rights group says the international Muslim community has been slow to express condemnation of the abduction nearly 300 Nigerian school girls. VOA's Pam Dockins has the story.
Pamela Dockins
The faces of young girls held captive by Islamist militants have fueled anger and shock around the world and raised questions about why more Muslim leaders have not come forward in their defense.
The CEO of the Cairo-based Karama group, Hibaaq Osman, is among those who feel there has not been enough "noise" in the Muslim community.
"There are absolutely statements here and there, but in terms of really up in arms and going into the streets, we have not seen that,” Osman said.
Her comments came after Boko Haram militants released a video of more than 100 of the captured girls, looking sad and frightened.
She said this could be because the victims are girls who were trying to get an education.
"If we look at women's rights, in general, there is not only just in the Islamic communities, but in many communities, you have major problems with women's rights and people react more slower," Osman said.
During the past five years, Boko Haram has terrorized Nigeria with dozens of brutal, deadly attacks. The group says it is fighting to establish strict Islamic law the country's north.
The international community had been relatively silent about the attacks, said Ibrahim Hooper of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. But, he added, that's changed.
"The kidnapping of the schoolgirls really woke up the world and woke up ... the Muslim community, as well, to what's going on there," Hooper said.
The girls' plight has spurred a string of protests. Hooper said Muslims are among those who have expressed outrage.
"You have seen Muslim scholars, Muslim organizations and institutions around the world condemning Boko Haram and its actions,” Hooper said.
Boko Haram claims to embrace Islam but Hooper said the militants are trying to "hijack" the religion to advance their cause.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Ibiye from: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
May 17, 2014 6:06 PM
They don't care because most of these girls are Christians
In Response

by: nice from: usa
May 17, 2014 10:17 PM
Not true they have killed hundreds of Muslims and taken them hostage as well. These people are a group, a deviant, sick,drugged out, well funded group that is hated by the local Muslim population. What can they do?The military can't even do anything about them.

by: Rev. Joyce from: Cleveland
May 17, 2014 5:36 PM
I can not imagine the feeling of these girls, as well as their families. Sadness has to fill one's heart to know that these girls have been taken and they/we are uncertain about there futures.
I ask us as people to pray for the safety of these girls to be returned to their families. I know we can pray and ask God for favor. This is no longer current news but this should remain in our hearts and minds daily. Please PRAY

by: Ray from: North Carolina
May 17, 2014 4:39 PM
They are one and the Terrorists are all approved, signed sealed and delivered. Where does the $ come from ?
In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
May 17, 2014 8:02 PM
they a lot of money from Arab Countries and their bodies in United state And Europe

by: carol from: Texas
May 17, 2014 4:13 PM
For those who ask why other Muslims haven't been making a big scene. Perhaps they don't wish to be targeted and killed. How many Christians are doing something about the protesters from Westboro church? And they aren't even life threatening.

by: Ben Ari from: Philadelphia
May 17, 2014 1:45 PM
No protests by Muslims? What's the surprise? The majority are at least passive supporters of Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and other such 'extremist' groups. These groups are only 'extreme' to you in the West. To the average Muslim, they serve at least some of their aspirations. That's why they view the 'PC' West as such easy marks. You make Muslims out to be what you want them to be.

Good luck with that.

by: George Collin from: Washington DC
May 17, 2014 1:28 PM
#1, consider the source: VOA is a CIA whore, #2 ,show independent proof that Boko even exist as a Nigerian group and show us independent proof that the girls were even taken! (Something fishy about those pictures), and at the end of the day, it's a Nigerian problem, and they don't seem to be as concerned as Michelle.

by: mike
May 17, 2014 1:15 PM
"those who feel there has not been enough "noise" in the Muslim community"

just like with 9/11...that is because the muslim community approves of these actions...islam is a fake religion...a cheap copy of judeo-christian religions

by: Wlm Woosley
May 17, 2014 12:44 PM
I can see them not finding the plane almost? But if I were looking for the children there are a few ways I would go about it. First I would look at the food source= They have to eat and will need more with the addition of the children. Secondly I would use a sniffer like they used in Nam. That picks up the smell from pee-pee☻ I bet their government knows where they are and just trying to get some kind of aid or something/ Hope I'm wrong!

by: Olu from: New York
May 17, 2014 8:14 AM
Nigeria is more like South Korea and North Korea but blessed with resources

Nigeria is almost evenly divided between majority Christains in the South and majority muslims in the North. The The difference between both is like day (South ) and night (North). The northerners only care for their own personal cause and do not care about their people walking about without jobs, medical needs!!! The infrastructure is shit compared to the South as well.

The country would be better off divided but the Northerners are too afraid for that to happen because the money will be gone and will ultimately die of hunger!!

Sadly Goodluck Jonathan does not care about the people in the North!! Reason? They have officials, governors, monarchs raking in billions of dollars per month but instead of taking care of their people and creating jobs, fix their borders they'll rather waste all of that on a their personal needs, vacation, pilgrimage to Dubai/saudi arabia or anywhere ass awaits them!!

The fact of the matter is the Northern officials in Nigeria are simply too corrupt to speak out against those animals in their yard then you need to question whose side they're on.

And if anything dare happen to the girls then Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted for failing the Nigerian government when they called for assistance in intel, The International amnesty should be disbanded for calling out the Nigerian military for ''human rights violation'' when hundreds of school children were burnt to death in their schools 4 years ago!!! And several thousands were killed at their expense.

In Response

by: Gary Zimmer from: Federal Way
May 18, 2014 3:03 AM
bastetsmom --you have spoken wisdom. It is time for these types of issues to become INTERNATIONAL problems. The US cannot step into every problem area on earth.....there are too many! Where are the Muslims and why are they not resolving ....or at least SPEAKING out against this terrorism??? If we had Christians within the U.S. kidnapping 10 children ...not to speak of you think our country would be seized with inertia...frozen in place...incapable of action...wringing our hands...asking mama...what do we do.....Muslims ....most of us respect your right to worship as you please ...but, does Boko Horam act and speak FOR YOU...gather, step forward and clean house....
In Response

by: bastetsmom from: USA
May 17, 2014 1:43 PM
Hilary Clinton should be prosecuted? May I ask why you think any American should help the Nigerian government when you just described how corrupt they are? Get over the idea that America is responsible for outrageous behavior all over the world. We are tired of spending thousands of lives and billions of dollars trying to help, only to be pilloried for our efforts and see even worse outcomes than before we went in.

by: steve p from: san francisco, ca
May 17, 2014 2:03 AM
Has the U.N. deemed this situation a loss? It's been over one month, and really no progress. The Nigerian President has been seen on the internet, and I must say those photos look a bit "clownish". Is anyone in Nigeria thinking of a rapid vote for a new President?
Comments page of 2

By the Numbers

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continuesi
Ayesha Tanzeem
November 25, 2015 10:46 PM
One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Belgium-Germany Border Remains Porous, Even As Manhunt For Paris Attacker Continues

One of the suspected gunmen in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam, evaded law enforcement, made his way to Belgium, and is now believed to have fled to Germany. VOA correspondent Ayesha Tanzeem makes the journey across the border from Belgium into Germany to see how porous the borders really are.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs