[guest post by Dana]
There is evil in this world and when it makes its insidious appearance, one offers quiet humble prayers of hope for those in need. It seems small and simple and in the big picture, likely is. But this is how it is. This is what we do, those of us who know and recognize the gift of peace we dwell in each and every day. Ours is indeed a privilege.
In mid-April, 276 school girls were abducted from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria, as they slept in their dormitories. Their attackers lit the school on fire, herded the girls onto waiting trucks, and disappeared into the darkness of night.
The kidnapped girls ranged in age from 15 and 18 years old and haven’t been heard from since April 14. However, of the 276 kidnapped, 53 were able to escape.
Their kidnappers are an extremist Muslim group called Boko Haram, whose name in the Hausa language means “Western education is a sin.”
The NYT has more,
These girls, ages 15 to 18 and Christians and Muslims alike, knew the risks of seeking an education, and schools in the area had closed in March for fear of terror attacks. But this school had reopened so that the girls — the stars of their families and villages — could take their final exams. They were expected to move on to become teachers, doctors, lawyers.
Instead, they reportedly are being auctioned off for $12 each to become “wives” of militants.
“We are now asking for world power countries to intervene,” the desperate father of a missing 18-year-old girl, Ayesha, told me by phone. He said that the parents had given up on Nigerian government officials — “they are just saying lies” — and pleaded for international pressure on Nigeria to rescue the girls.
Clearly, as each week passes without a word from the girls, the chances of finding them, and finding them unharmed, decreases.
The fate of the rest remains a mystery. Each passing day makes it more likely that the girls have been raped, and possibly killed, in captivity. Given Boko Haram’s name, which means “Western education forbidden,” and their agenda to wipe out secular society in mostly Muslim Northern Nigeria, it’s hardly a surprise that the group locks students inside schools and sets them on fire. This, to date, is their largest mass abduction. The girls were taken into the jungle to serve as sex slaves. Yet the abduction of these girls is about much more than finding “cooks and wives.” For Boko Haram, it is about dismantling the fragile existing society by attacking its essential institutions: schools.
This video was made by Louis King, a young Nigerian Director. His hope is to bring world attention to the ongoing situation. The voice you hear is the father of one of the kidnapped girls.
It must be said: When one compares the “Ban Bossy” campaign with the “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, well, there really isn’t any comparison that can be made. In fact, one seems all the more ridiculous and pathetically self-indulgent.
UPDATE: Fox News has updated the situation after viewing a video from Abubakar Shekau, leader of Boko Haran.
[T]he students “will remain slaves with us.” That appears a reference to the ancient jihadi custom of enslaving women captured in a holy war, who then can be used as sex slaves.
“They are slaves and I will sell them because I have the market to sell them,” he said, speaking in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria.
Shekau brushed off warnings that the abductions could be an international crime, saying in English, as if to reach his accusers in the international community: “What do you know about human rights? You’re just claiming human rights (abuses), but you don’t know what it is.”
An intermediary who has said Boko Haram is ready to negotiate ransoms for the girls also said two of the girls have died of snakebite and about 20 are ill. He said Christians among the girls have been forced to convert to Islam.
First lady Patience Jonathan fueled frustration Monday when a leader of a protest march said she ordered the arrests of two protest leaders, expressed doubts there was any kidnapping and accused the protest leaders of belonging to Boko Haram.
The first lady is also being accused of turning on protesting Nigerian women.
Mrs. Jonathan said the women “had no right to protest,” especially Nyadar, whom she identified as the deputy director of the National Directorate of Employment.
In a report on the meeting, Daily Trust newspaper quoted Mrs. Jonathan as ordering all Nigerian women to stop protesting, and threatening “should anything happen to them during protests, they should blame themselves.”