By Ghulam Ghaus, New Age Islam
May 20, 2014
The terrorist outfit Boko Haram has been very active in concocting Islamic teachings since 2009, becoming one of the worst enemies of Islam. In recent months, it has ruthlessly killed thousands of Nigerians, both Christian and Muslim. On 14 April, by abducting a reported 276 schoolgirls aged between 16 and 18 from rural Chibok village in the north-eastern Borno state, the Boko Haram terrorist organization has earned the ire of people around the world.
Boko Haram has deep ties with al-Qaeda, Taliban and a number of transnational terrorist groups throughout the world. All of them are detrimental to global peace-environment. But what has made Nigerian terrorists more prominent among all its like-minded allies is that they have taken the slander against Islam to a different level. This is largely due to the recent case of kidnapping in which they seem to have established a sort of link between Islam and kidnapping and selling of young Muslim girls.
It is hard to put into words the searing pain and bitter cry of Nigerian mothers owing to abductions of their daughters. They have lost the precious gifts of Allah Almighty i.e. their daughters. Stricken with sorrow, hunger, thirst, these women are holding nationwide protests all day long and waiting for any ray of hope to bring back their beloved daughters whose only "fault" was that they were studying in schools. Their hearts break for their teenage daughters and are living each passing moment in escalating fear, with uncertainty whether they will ever see them again. The Nigerian government has woken up very late.
Boko Haram leader Shekau, a delusional man of ruthless actions threatened to sell hundreds of girls his group abducted and marry them off because "God instructed me to sell them, they are his properties and I will carry out his instructions." How false Shekau is when referring to the name of God for justifying abductions and forced marriages of the teenage girls. Does the global community still need to decide whether such vices are of Islam or of terrorism or they should unanimously eradicate such abductors from the face of the earth for good?
Boko Haram translates as “Western education is sin”. The paramount mystery looming over the Muslims around the world is why the terrorist group Boko Haram wants to stop education in the name of Islam whereas the first word revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was “read.” Islam urges Muslims to seek knowledge both religious and worldly from cradle to grave. It also teaches Muslim men to be kind and tender enough towards women. Gripped by grief of missing schoolgirls and severe damage to Islam, Muslims in particular should do to thwart every terrorist ambition emerging as a routine affair, but first root out Boko Haram, without wasting even a minute.
Boko Haram has insulted Islam and God Almighty by referring its actions to Islamic teachings. Many influential voices in the Muslim world have condemned the terrorist organization, Boko Haram. For instance, Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb from al-Azhar University, one of the most prestigious theological institutions of Sunni Islam, said the abductions "completely contradict Islam and its principles of tolerance."
It is extremely un-Islamic that Nigerian girls are being sold for $12 to be wives to Boko Haram militants. Abductions, forced marriages and forced conversions to Islam are strictly prohibited in Islam. In addition to these crimes, Boko Haram, since its inception, has carried out over 600 attacks, killing more than 3,800 innocent people including Muslims and non-Muslims. Given these facts, it is amazing that Muslim countries and Nigerian government are still unable to eliminate Boko Haram, since clearly it is still engaged in terrorist activities.
Many influential Islamic scholars believe that women would contribute more to a thriving society, only if they were educated. They would teach and train their children better than fathers, playing a pivotal role in developing a prosperous family life, hence a prosperous society. But this is difficult to pinpoint the worst aspect of atrocity, brunt of repression and exploitation that girls around the world are enduring, especially Nigerian girls, for that matter.
Religious pretexts are common for terrorist organizations like Boko Haram. They are targeting education just to exploit women, teenage girls and pursue their political passions, using words like Sharia law, the Qur’an, Islam and Jihad. Such organizations are killing innocent lives, injecting evil virus into hearts and minds of youth and kidnapping our Nigerian sisters, hence detrimental to global peace environment. O Muslims and non-Muslims come out in togetherness and root out Boko Haram to save your daughters, your lives, your countries; which is a part of your faith (Iman), if you are Muslims and your responsibility, if you are peace-loving non-Muslims.
A regular columnist for New Age Islam, Ghulam Ghaus is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar) with a Sufi background. He has completed the classical Islamic sciences from a Delhi-based Sufi Islamic seminary Jamia Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Zakir Nagar, New Delhi with specialization in Tafseer, Hadith and Arabic. He completed his Alimiat and Fazilat respectively from Jamia Warsia Arabic College, Lucknow and Jamia Manzar- e- Islam, Bareilly, U.P. He has graduated in Arabic (Hons) and is pursuing his M.A in Arabic from Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.