Boko Haram and tentacles of terror

Dwelling in a life-in-death situation, nearly three hundred innocent Nigerian schoolgirls are going through a psychological ordeal at the hands of the notorious Boko Haram Takfiri group.

Unfortunately, the international community has not yet taken any concrete steps towards saving their lives.

A new video released by the Takfiri group shows the kidnapped schoolgirls and its leader Abubakar Shekau saying the girls would only be released if all imprisoned militants are released.

“We will never release them until after you release our . . . members,” Boko Haram leader said in the video obtained by some media outlets.

What seems to be a misfortunate ending in the scenario is not hard to imagine and the strong assumption in the kidnapping ploy is that the Takfiri group is seeking to consolidate a firm footing in the country as a determining factor.

A most wanted man, Abubakar Shekau has been responsible for a string of deadly violence and insurgency in Nigeria for five years. Those close to him describe him as a loner and a paradoxical man who idiotically believes that he is invincible and immortal.

In February, Boko Haram targeted the students of a secondary school as they were sleeping in a dormitory. According to reports, the gunmen opened fire on student hostels at the Federal Government College, which is in the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe state and attended by students aged 11 to 18. Then they burned them all hardheartedly.

“Some of the students’ bodies were burned to ashes,” police commissioner Sanusi Rufai said.

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan called the attack a “callous and senseless murder . . . by deranged terrorists and fanatics who have clearly lost all human morality.”

In a similar incident in September, the group shot dead at least 40 students who were sleeping in their college dormitory in northeast Nigeria. All of the dead are said to have been students of the College of Agriculture in the town of Gujba, some 30 kilometers from Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state.

Another ominous offshoot of al-Qaeda, Boko Haram flourishes on the rotten principles of bin Laden and other Takfiri extremists.

In 2002, Osama bin Laden reportedly wired USD 2 million to the Wahhabi groups in Nigeria with the intention of extending its tentacles of terror far into the African countries which he presumed to be fertile soil for extremism and terror on account of the rampant poverty corroding the continent.

An easy target, Boko Haram, a then unknown group which was thriving on evil in the country, harbored great predilection for bin Laden’s bait.

Basically, the group emerged in 2004 and soon came to be compared to the Taliban in Afghanistan in terms of the similar atrocities they perpetrated in the country. The members of the group are largely drawn from frustrated youth, students and jobless graduates.

In fact, these are all appellations and they all share the same watering trough although they are manifested in different shapes; Taliban, al-Qaeda, Takfiri, Wahhabi, al-Nusrat, Islamic State of Iraq, Lashgar Jhangvi, Sepah Sehabah, Jundullah, and Salafi are just umbrella names for a hidebound mindset promoted by the Saudis.

Above and beyond, this issue seems to serve the interests of the Saudis, in general, and the West, in particular. An alert mind can easily conceive that the West is capitalizing on this rotten phenomenon craning out in the name of Islam as an ace in the hole against the Muslim world.

Since when has the carnage of children become a part of Islamic teachings? The Holy Qur’an is the main source of reference for the Muslims and it emphatically states that “if anyone kills a person—unless in retribution for murder or spreading corruption in the land—it is as if he kills all mankind, while if any saves a life it is as if he saves the lives of all mankind.” (5:32)

The leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has also warned against the Takfiris and the threat they pose to all Muslims, including Shias and Sunnis.

“If Takfiri groups are not confronted, they will inflict more damage and blows on the Muslim world,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Tehran on Monday.

Extremism is running amuck and there does not seem to be any force to stop it. There is a kind of mania hanging in the air and there is a kind of powerful inclination and guided will to attribute this wave of extremism to Islam and the tenets of the Islamic faith.

The blind ignorance of Boko Haram and other extremist groups, who impose themselves on Islam, springs from an act of overinterpretaion, a wrong reading of religion. Regardless of what benefits the promoters of this parochial mentality may reap, there is one incontrovertible point: they are trying to deliver a blow to Islam. No doubt, they are the sworn enemies of religion and they pursue no objectives other than uprooting Islam.

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