- - Wednesday, May 7, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

What happens when radical ideology comes smack up against the rhetoric that abhors violence against women? We are about to find out. In fact, the response is too slow in coming. It’s been nearly three weeks since nearly 300 girls were abducted by a terrorist group in NigeriaBoko Haram, which translates into “Western education is sinful” — for the single reason that their parents have them enrolled in school so they can receive an education.

Now word comes from the United Nations Children’s Fund that the “armed extremists” carrying AK-47 rifles have “carried out another brazen kidnapping” of even more girls. They left in a bus loaded with the new victims warning of further violence against villagers if they alerted authorities. The new abductions are causing even more fear and “worsening nightmare,” but the attacks are just the latest in years of terrorism from Boko Haram actions described by Angelina Jolie as “unthinkably cruel and evil.” Along with offers of assistance, the Obama administration has warned Americans about the “risk of kidnappings, robberies and other armed attacks” in Nigeria.

By now, everyone should know the story: An al Qaeda-associated group, Boko Haram, abducted hundreds of young Nigerian girls subjecting them to threats of child marriage and slavery. Nobody knows where the girls are, nor does anyone know how they are doing. Three weeks, and nobody has done anything yet. The parents are, understandably, distraught and begging for help. Decent people around the globe are outraged. There are demonstrations in multiple cities protesting the inhumane and brutal actions of the terrorists. Decent people are appalled that Boko Haram has clearly proclaimed their goal of eradicating Christianity from Nigeria.

Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, is coming under increasing pressure as groups from around the world are rallying, demonstrating, using social media and calling on him to rescue the nearly 300 girls who were abducted on April 14 during final exam week by the Islamist group. This insurgency objects to girls receiving an education. The Nigerian Task Force has been working for three years to have the State Department declare Boko Haram a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Boko Haram, according to its leader, Abubakar Shekau, is threatening to sell the girls as child brides or to sell them as slaves for slightly more than $10 per girl. Shekau, according to Reuters, “chuckled” as he bragged about abducting the girls. He stood in front of an armored vehicle with “two masked militants wielding AK-47s on either side of him.” Shekau, reports Faith McDonnell of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, released a video threatening further attacks on schools and warning the international community to not get involved in Nigeria. Mrs. McDonnell added that Shekau claims western education is a “plot against Islam” and that his abductions are part of an agenda to eradicate Christians from Nigeria in order to produce a “pure” Islamic state.

Boko Haram is blamed for a bomb blast that killed 75 people in Nigeria’s capital on the same day the girls were abducted. Another similar blast two weeks later killed 19 people and wounded 34 others as the terrorist group continues their attempts to “reinstate a medieval Islamic caliphate in northern Nigeria.”

These atrocious attacks occurred just before Nigeria served as host of the World Economic Forum, which began Wednesday. The government has brought in some 6,000 troops for security during the event, but everyone knows there are no limits to the cruelty and violence of terrorists, regardless of the ramifications for the nation of Nigeria or for the international guests who are in attendance.

Three weeks after the abductions, the girls are still missing, the parents are even more distraught and the world is frustrated and outraged. There’s been plenty of talk, but it is past time for some action, not just from the Nigerian government, but from decent people around the world who have had enough of such outrageous acts of terrorism and brutality toward women and girls.

Janice Shaw Crouse is executive director and senior fellow of Concerned Women for America’s Beverly LaHaye Institute.

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