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 In US, Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy

Holiday marks date Columbus discovered Americas, but some are offended by legacy because he enslaved many natives he encountered More

Video Through Sports, Austria Tries to Give Migrants Traction

With 85,000 people expected to claim asylum in Austria this year, its government has made integration through joint physical activities a key objective More

Video Kickboxing Champion Shares Sport With Young Migrants

Pouring into Europe by hundreds of thousands, some migrants, especially youngsters, are finding sports a way to integrate into new host countries More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs