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

Pakistan Among Developing Countries Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

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.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

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 After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

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 Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

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.

VOA Blogs