Boko Haram

In my post of June 12, 2016, I commented that much of the problem in Islam can be traced to Saudi Arabia.       

Previously (December 9, 2012), I discussed tribal dynamics in Nigeria:  Ibo (nearly all Christian); Hausa (nearly all Muslim); and Yoruba (divided roughly 60% Christian and 40% Muslim).  While the Yoruba and Ibo get along pretty well (regardless of religious persuasion), it is the Hausa who cause much of the trouble in Nigeria.  Hausa are mainly uneducated.  They are Muslim in the Saudi (Wahabi) model.  And it is the Hausa – who (with Saudi influence) sponsor Boko Haram.

The boys of Boko Haram (means “Western education is forbidden“) are the Hausa hit men in Nigeria.  Since its founding in 2002, Boko Haram has executed tens of thousands of innocents and displaced 2.3 million.  While they are equal opportunity killers (butchering Christians in the north of Nigeria), the vast majority of their victims have been Muslim. 

The Bible is on my nightstand.  So is the Quran.  I’ve read both cover to cover (see 6/21/15).   I believe that Al-A’raf (Surah 7) foretells the prospects for those who join – or sponsor – Boko Haram.  ISIS.  Al-ShabaabAl-QaedaHamas.  Taliban.  And the others. . .     

179. We have destined for Hell multitudes of jinn [devils] and humans. They have hearts with which they do not understand. They have eyes with which they do not see. They have ears with which they do not hear. These are like cattle. In fact, they are further astray. These are the heedless.    

Evil

What is “evil”?  There are dictionary definitions (“morally reprehensible” “a complete absence of – or opposite of – good“).  There seems to be a general consensus on what is “good” and what is “evil.”  And this consensus crosses religious, ethnic, geographic, political and racial boundaries.  And yet there remains evil.  We read about it every day.    

In looking at our world today, most folks would agree that there are all too many organizations which fall under the definition of “evil.”  ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq & Syria); Boko Haram (the radical Muslims – Hausas – in Nigeria); Hamas in Gaza (especially the military wing); Al-Qaeda; Hezbollah; and so many others are veritable killing machines.   They are dedicated to (and often glorify) murder, kidnapping and torture.   They are dedicated to getting their own way.  Anyone who gets in their way is toast.  Interestingly most of the terrorist organizations today are Islamic.   And curiously many of these terror groups are at odds with each other (witness the vicious conflicts between Fatah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and the 72 sects of Islam).   We also see the abyss of evil in places like North Korea and in things like crime and exploitation. 

It is instructive to note is that most purveyors of evil and their members avow that their task is holy.  Their goals are honorable.  Their objectives just.  Their enemies are evil.   And that’s the rub.  How does one deal with such logic?  How do you rationalize the recent comments of ISIS killers that they feel “closer to God” by brutally torturing enemies?  You can’t.   We can speak out (I wish moderate voices of Islam would object to the current strife).  We can react.  Respond.  But in the end, I think the answer is that every once in a while, there is a large international commode that is full – and needs flushing.

 

The 72 . . . or is it 73?

I find religion a fascinating topic.  I find it easier to talk about religion with Pakistani cab drivers than to talk about politics with those of other stripe.  Over the last couple years, I’ve posted on the Taliban (12/30/12); Islam, Judaism and Christianity (3/26/12); Ahl al-Kitab (8/23/12); and the archangel Gabriel — the amazing messenger of God ( 1/30/12).  Bottom line — Christians, Jews and Muslims all come from Abraham.  We believe in the same God.  We all read the Old Testament.  And the Archangel Gabriel – the uber messenger – plays a pivotal role in all three religions (as he does in the Mormon Church, the Bahai faith and others). 

But in the Judeo-Christian world, you don’t see Lutherans burning Presbyterian churches.  You don’ts see Jews killing Baptists or Catholics throwing rocks at Mormon temples.  There is no sectarian strife among Christians and Jews.  But just walk to the Muslim side of the world and see how Islam behaves.  Many of the 72 (I believe it’s now 73) different sects hate each other.  With fury.  With passion.  The Sunnis hate the Shiia;  Wahabis hate the Ahmadiyya.  And Salafis and Sufis hate pretty much everybody.  In Nigeria, the Hausa Muslims (Boko Haram) seek out and kill Yoruba Muslims – women and children – wherever and whenever.   

I continue to be bewildered and troubled by this much-vaunted “religion of peace” which has 1.6 billion followers.  All recite the same article of faith “La illah ila Allah Muhammed Rasul Alah” (“There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger“).  Yet the violence among them — for ostensibly religious (and often political) reason — is mind-numbing.  It is caused mainly by Islamic fundamentalists .(who frankly have no clue about the teachings of Allah).  What is needed are voices of reason and a true ecumenism among Muslims — and all faiths.