I have puzzled over why Western victims of Islamist terrorism have focused so intently on al-Qaida and its many related organizations and pretty much ignored the vicious group Boko Haram based in Nigeria.
No doubt I've also been guilty of turning most of my attention to the terrorists of 9/11 and to those who attacked the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine in Paris while not giving enough coverage to Boko Haram, which has pulled off one horror after another. I've wondered, in fact, whether at least part of this habit of ignoring the trouble in Nigeria is related to racism. The notion that things that happen over there in Africa aren't as important, for racial reasons, as things that happen in Europe and North America is, in fact, much more common than we'd all like to believe.
So I was pleased the other night to see "The Daily Show" make some of these points in a presentation about Boko Haram.
The world, in fact, seems crowded with outrageous people doing outrageous things out of rigid and misguided religious convictions. As the BBC piece to which I've linked you above notes about the name Boko Haram, "Loosely translated from the region's Hausa language, this means 'Western education is forbidden'." Sigh.
In Boko Haram's stultifying, uncompromising and indefensible version of Islam, girls are to be captured, imprisoned and raped, not educated. I have the feeling that the Prophet Muhammad would vomit at such a perversion of Islam.
In any event, the international community cannot ignore Boko Haram any longer and must find ways to stand against it. How that will happen remains to be seen, but it won't happen if our political leaders think the rest of us don't care.
(The photo here today, found here, shows protests after Boko Haram kidnapped dozens of girls last year.)
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P.S.: BERKELEY, Calif. -- While I'm on the West Coast visiting friends and family, I won't be adding the usual second item to the blog each day. I think we'll get back to normal tomorrow.