I am surprised to see the lack of comment from the Muslim community concerning the kidnapping of over 230 young women in Nigeria. The Boko Haram organization seeks to establish a “pure” Islamic state ruled by sharia law. In 1995, the group was said to be operating under the name Shabaab, Muslim Youth Organization. Loosely translated, Boko Haram could mean “Western education is sinful,” which might symbolize its strong opposition to anything Western, which it sees as corrupting Muslims.
Editor’s note: Several prominent Muslim groups have spoken out against Boko Haram, including Arsalan Iftikhar, whose comments were reprinted in The Bee on May 15: “Kidnappings go against the Quran.”