Critical Commentary- The Boko Haram

Posted on October 8, 2012 by


What if one night a group of terrorists broke into your college dorm and went door to door killing anyone who considered themselves Christian? Well that is what the Boko Haram did last Monday (Oct. 1st) at an off campus housing dorm in the town of Mubi, Nigeria.

The Boko Haram is a Muslim terrorist group in Nigeria that targets Christianity and other western teachings. The term “Boko Haram” literally translates to “Western teaching is sinful” or “Western teaching is forbidden”. The group was formed in 2002, and was peaceful for the first seven years of its existence. It wasn’t until 2009 that the Boko Haram started to become violent. Boko Haram is responsible for the death of over 10,000 people, 620 of which were killed within the first six months of 2012.

Not too long ago, Sunday Sept. 23rd, members of the Boko Haram set off a car bomb in front of St. John’s Catholic Church in Bauchi, Nigeria. Two were killed, while another 45 people were wounded in this attack. And just last Monday, a group of the Boko Haram raided a college dorm and murdered anyone who was adamant about their Christian faith.

The dorm they raided in Mubi housed students from three different universities: Federal Polytechnic, Adamawa State University, and School of Health and Technology. Students who survived the ordeal recalled that the terrorists went from door to door and asked the residents if they were Muslim or Christian. If a student answered “Christian”, the Boko Haram told the student to deny Christ. Any Christian that didn’t deny Christ was either shot or had their throats cut. Although the Polytechnic and Red Cross officials reported that the terrorist group shot without discrimination at the students for an hour. After going through the dorm, the Boko Haram burnt down the local Pentecostal Church in Tudun Wada.

Reading about this violent intolerance made me deeply saddened for the world. I understand that people have disagreements about personal beliefs, but to make a violent public display of your beliefs will not do any good for anyone. Killing someone for believing in a different religion as you does not strengthen the killer’s religion, it just smears it’s name. While it strengthens the martyr’s religion, showing that people are willing to die for their religion, and die before giving up their faith. This intolerance is bringing the world down and showing the dark side of humanity. How could one even believe that killing peaceful non-believers is a good thing, it just fuels hate and reinforces stereotypes.

Although these terrible acts of terrorism are still happening, Nigerian officials are doing things to stop the Boko Haram. About two weeks ago, Nigerian agents swept through the city of Mubi, searching for members of the terrorist group. 156 people were arrested and a bomb-manufacturing plant was discovered and seized by officials. Abubakar Yola, a Boko Haram leader, a.k.a. Abu Jihad was killed as well. So although these acts are still going on, people are not sitting idly by, which is exactly what people need to do in order for things like this to stop and for the world to become a more desirable place to live.


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