News / Africa

    Muslims Denounce Boko Haram's Nigeria Abductions

    Nigerians take part in a protest demanding for the release of secondary school girls abducted from the remote village of Chibok, in Asokoro district in Abuja, Nigeria, May 13, 2014.
    Nigerians take part in a protest demanding for the release of secondary school girls abducted from the remote village of Chibok, in Asokoro district in Abuja, Nigeria, May 13, 2014.
    Muslims worldwide have condemned the abduction a month ago of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by the Muslim extremist group Boko Haram.

    Muslim leaders have criticized Boko Haram's leader, Abubakar Shekau, for using Islamic teachings as his justification for threatening to sell the girls into slavery. Others have focused on what they view as a slow response by Nigeria's government to the crisis.

    Muslim leader Faisal Suliman, chair of the South Africa Muslim Network (SAMNET), appeared on the South African radio show Voice of the Cape's Breakfast Beat on Wednesday to distance Boko Haram’s actions from Islam.

    "This is a totally un-Islamic act. It is contrary to the Sharia and what is in the Koran. There is no place for this in Islam no matter who does it, regardless of whatever cause they try and perceive it to be," Suliman said.

    He questioned some of the coverage by mainstream media, whom he claimed were trying to link the kidnappings to the beliefs of Islam. He also questioned the use of words such as “Islamist” and “fundamentalist” to describe the group's actions.

    "It was an act worthy of condemnation across all communities, religions and ethnicities, and we are trying to make that clear. But certainly in the mainstream media, it is still being presented with that Islamic connotation," he said.
     
    People read local newspapers with headlines stating, "I saw my classmate in the video," referring to the kidnapped girls of the Chibok school shown in a video released May 12 by Boko Haram in Abuja, Nigeria, May 14, 2014.People read local newspapers with headlines stating, "I saw my classmate in the video," referring to the kidnapped girls of the Chibok school shown in a video released May 12 by Boko Haram in Abuja, Nigeria, May 14, 2014.
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    People read local newspapers with headlines stating, "I saw my classmate in the video," referring to the kidnapped girls of the Chibok school shown in a video released May 12 by Boko Haram in Abuja, Nigeria, May 14, 2014.
    People read local newspapers with headlines stating, "I saw my classmate in the video," referring to the kidnapped girls of the Chibok school shown in a video released May 12 by Boko Haram in Abuja, Nigeria, May 14, 2014.

    Earlier this week, Boko Haram released a video that allegedly shows some of the kidnapped girls dressed in Islamic attire and reciting verses from the Koran.

    Suliman said the video seemed contrived and designed to touch every sensitivity of a non-Muslim in order to stir up hatred toward Muslims.
     
    In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority country, the Jakarta Post published an editorial earlier this month condemning the Boko Haram leader for "wrongly" citing Islamic teaching as his excuse for selling the abducted girls into slavery.
     
    Recalling the Taliban's shooting of 15-year-old Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai in 2012 because of her outspokenness in defense of girls' right to an education, the editorial said: "Malala's message needs to be conveyed to all people who use their power to block children's access to education. It is saddening that religion is misused to terrorize people and to kill the future leaders of the world."
     
    Nigerian president criticized

    The newspaper also criticized Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, noting that "only after international condemnation and street demonstrations poured in did President Jonathan tell his nation that he would take all necessary actions to return the young women to their parents and schools, while also acknowledging that the whereabouts of the abductees remained unknown."
     
    In an editorial, The New York Times also faulted the Nigerian president: "It wasn't until Sunday, more than two weeks after the kidnappings, that he called a meeting of government officials, including the leader of the girls' school, to discuss the incident.

    On May 7, Al-Azhar University in Cairo, one of Sunni Islam's most prestigious institutions, urged Boko Haram to release the kidnapped schoolgirls.

    Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb of Al-Azhar said the abductions “completely contradict Islam and its tolerant principles.”

    Egyptian Religious Endowments Minister Mohammed Mohktar Gomaa also said, "The actions taken by Boko Haram are pure terrorism, with no relation to Islam, especially the kidnapping of the girls."

    Dawn, an English language newspaper in Pakistan, published an opinion piece that takes Nigeria to task for not moving against Boko Haram.
     
    "The popular upsurge in Nigeria in the wake of the latest unspeakable atrocity provides some scope for hoping that the state will finally act decisively to obliterate the growing menace," wrote columnist Mahir Ali.
     
    In Sweden, in an editorial posted on the left-wing news website politism.se, blogger Nikita Feiz criticized the international community for its slow response and asked why the situation hadn't triggered as loud a reaction as when Malala was shot in Pakistan.
     
    "Looking at the situation in Nigeria, Malala appears like a false promise from the West that it would stand up for girls' rights to attend school without fear of being subjected to sexual exploitation and abuse," Feiz said.

    "It is difficult not to draw the conclusion that the West's assurance to act for girls' rights suddenly isn't as natural when it comes to girls' rights in a country in Africa," Feiz said.

    Some information for this report provided by AP.

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    Comments
         
    by: Hamidi from: Kabul Afghanistan
    May 15, 2014 5:03 AM
    Thank you very much Dear respected Faisal Suliman.
    As Muslim and Afghan resident I am Froude on you and your open Islamic ideas, as I am very good aware of my Holy religion (Islam) I am fully agree with Dear Mr. Faisal Sliman, we have a lot of Verses in Quran regarding Jihad , but the first steep of Jihad is to invite the nun Muslim brothers with a very kind and brotherly accent, we don’t have any Verse in Our Holy Book (Quran) to order the violence against female, children or old people.
    Even abductions is a similar action of Burglary which has the heaviest punishment in Islamic Sharia, therefore I also denouncing this abomination and very coward action of Boko Haram's
    Nigeria’s grief partner
    Hamidi

    by: Machief Samuel. from: Gusau, Nigeria.
    May 14, 2014 7:11 PM
    We are where we are today because of the look-warm attitude shown by the so-called Northern towards Boko Haram activities when they started, probably because it innitially appeared to be directed towards the christians. Now that their attacks are no longer sellective, every body is rising up with condemnation of their crusade after the damages has been done. The Northan elders should be ashame for trying to use the situation to fight the govt. of the day instead of joining hands with the present govt. to salvage this country that they are desperate to rule.

    by: salome wambui from: Kenya,Kitui
    May 14, 2014 4:05 PM
    Boko haramu should not use Islam Religion as a scapegoat to carry out their evil chilling actions.They should be dealt with accordingly through the combined efforts of well wishers to ensure the girls are saved from those peopple.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    May 14, 2014 1:33 PM
    If we believe this, then we'll believe anything. Boko haram has been given much accommodation within the muslim communities, that is why Abubakar Shekau appears a mirage and elusive. Boko haram is shielded by muslims, boko haram is funded by muslims, boko haram is supported by muslims, so what is the noise about their denouncing boko haram? It's just a front, not realistic, otherwise let them expose their hideouts within their communities and stop preaching those destructive messages capable of sending wrong signals that radicalize the idiots among them.
    In Response

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    May 15, 2014 2:20 AM
    You are blaming the whole current fiasco solely to Muslims around the world.That's one sided Western style. You avoided candidly mentioning Goodluck Jonathan government's inability to deal with Boko Haram, and it's lack of leadership skills.
    Look what's happening in DRC, Muslims there were hunted down slaughtered for their flesh in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Are we going to blame that to all Christians?

    To our info, it's century old known fact that both religions, Islam and Christian, are bogus institutions. But you are not required to believed that, do the research!
    In Response

    by: ali bba from: new york
    May 14, 2014 3:08 PM
    it is a classic behavior of double standard by Muslim. the fact they instigate the violence. they produce fatwa to justifiy of killing. they have a lot of money to support terrorist organization. once the violence is completed . they come in the second side and talk about that Islam is merciful .and they full of love and compassion and show in the news how Muslim nurse is full of love when she cared about a sick person. Muslim have the intellectuals ways of hiding their feeling . this exactly happened in Us when 9/11 occurred. the Muslim organization appeared in television and media to express deep sadness . they never answer that question that 19 live in Islamic community and not reported to police about their suspicious behavior.

    by: chris from: USA
    May 14, 2014 12:15 PM
    "This is a totally un-Islamic act. It is contrary to the Sharia and what is in the Koran. There is no place for this in Islam no matter who does it, regardless of whatever cause they try and perceive it to be," Suliman said.

    Boko (and other Muslim terrorists) justify their killing by saying they want to establish Sharia. If this is NOT part of Islam, the OIC needs to start something like a Hague to boot them out of Islam - BUT a person can't be excommunicated (takfir) in Islam "a declaration of takfir is generally considered null and void if the target refutes it or if the Islamic community in which he or she lives refuses to accept it". So even if they are perverted killers, if they say they are Muslims, they are Muslims.... Seems Muhammad left a loophole in Islam (or did he???? - my feeling is these violent Muslims started as "defenders of the faith" and getting rid of them would be like getting rid of military branches).

    This declaration is good to hear, but I wonder if such things will ever cause Muslims take action to stop the miscreants they've allowed to fester for the past 1400 years. I compare it to Catholics saying "we are sorry about our pedophile priests, but we can do nothing to stop it".

    by: New Nigeria from: Abuja
    May 14, 2014 11:43 AM
    God does not need any of creations to forcefully convert any to serve him. Boko Haram is fighting Islam, Christianity, modernity and everything Nigerians and in deed the world holds dear. One of it's chief intelligence officers - Aminu Ogwuche (First name at birth unknown) is a British born Nigerian, trained in the Nigerian Army, reverted to Islam and became radicalized - he has been named as one of the mastermind of the latest bombings in Abuja. He deserted the Nigerian Army in 2006 to join Boko Haram and an international warrants have now been issued on him post recent Abuja bombings

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