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Is Boko Haram A Political Or Religious Group?

    2014-12-12 10:57:09         by   Mani Torome

In 2014, after the kidnapping of 200 school children in the North East of Nigeria, many people became aware and sympathetic to the nightmare that was slowly and surreptitiously creeping in to Nigeria in the form of extreme religious fundamentalism called “Boko Haram”. It is imperative to explicitly make this point absolutely succinct - there are religious fundamentalist in all the major religious denominations or groupings – Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism et al. But none has shown or exhibited the same callous, depraved and inhumane instinct as demonstrated by the aforementioned group. 

It beggars the question – is there an intrinsic attribute within the fundamental set up of Islam that necessitates  this outcome? The main two branches or divisions in Islam i.e. Shia and Sunni and their fundamental differences being allied to the successor of the Prophet Mohamed are clearly understood. Thus, one can categorically states that the above mentioned branches(Shia, Sunni) both adhere to the same fundamental principles and beliefs that emphasize that Allah is all knowing, merciful of all, all present and powerful and is the sustainer of life.

Now, going back to the original question and considering all that has been said herein, one can only infer that the basic structure of the religion creates the seed for this type of depraved organ to emerge or easily come in to being. Consider this thought for a moment. Apart from Islam, all the other major religious denominations have a top down layer structure. In these sort of set-up, religious edict pronounced from the top is actively move down the structured layers to the masses who follow to the letter. For example, a subhead, leader, pastor, rabbi, priest, etc; within the organisation falling foul of one of its tenet is easily brought to book as detailed in its procedures. 

From what we know, have read and seen in practical terms within Islam, a so called Head Preacher or Mullah ( whose distinction and qualification is not verifiable or authenticated because there is no such system in place to do this within Islam) can preach in a mosque, on television, internet ( social media – facebook, twitter, You tube etc.) to his heart's content with no social or moral compulsion. There is no one to check, revoke or stop him from preaching (if for instance what he is saying is contradictory to the teachings of Islam) because no such mechanism exists. You will hardly see another Muslim cleric or ordinary Muslim for that matter challenging or disclaiming his pronunciations. It is almost as if doing so is against their religious ethics. However, when public reaction and backlash come to the fore through the media only then will you start seeing a kind of token reaction from so called moderate Muslims - which by and large, is very fickle and merely to safe face. 

Going back to the Head Preacher or Mullah - the fact that he can preach and elucidate on verses in the holy book (Koran) with impunity notwithstanding, if he happens to be a good orator as well, he can have extra ordinary influence on both young social misfit already marginalised within the social fabric through drugs and alcohol and others you would consider literate and educated respectively. In the latter category, the Nigerian Pant Bomber who was studying Mechanical Engineering at London University(University College London) and very recently the medical student of Pakistani descent in Wales currently orchestrating killings in Syria as a Jihadist (apparently disowned now by his own parents) come to mind. The two men of Nigerian descent involved in the depraved killing of soldier Lee Rigby is a case in point for the former category. Both were known to the authorities for dealing and consuming drugs and other misdemeanour. Thus, these so called Hate Preachers will definitely find an audience willing to perform and participate in whatever instructions they deemed necessary for their own self gratification

If further evidence is needed, look at all that has been written and said about those going to Syria to fight the so called Jihad how they got involved. Look at the current leader of Boko Haram Abubakar Shekau does he fit this bill? Look at all the various Islamic sects popping up around various regions in the world claiming to represent the real Islam with conflicting ideologies. The structure of Islam seems to encourage and breed homogeneous sect totally independent and in total disregard of the social structure and fabric that it happens to reside in. There is a word for this type of behaviour or organism in Biochemistry and it is called - Cancer . It destroys from within the very substance keeping it alive. A famous Nigerian author once wrote “Things fall apart if the centre cannot hold” Well may be it has not got to that stage yet but it is certainly bursting out from the seams. The conclusion here is that it cannot be a political organisation because it is destroying the very fabric that holds it intact . – not sustainable Sharia Law Or Not. 

People wake up and smell the coffee (poison) it is definitely neither Arabica nor Robusta . To do nothing is not an option. The government alone cannot solve the carnage that is going on now in Northern Nigeria.  Today the 11 of December 2014 another bomb  has gone off in the city of Kano supposedly carried out by a teenage female suicide bomber - bringing the total wanton killing of innocent people  by a small group of depraved Muslim Fundamentalist to over 2000 this year alone. 

This needs to be stressed - the government is not some entity from outer space representing you. You are the government – you, I and everyone else has a part to play directly or indirectly – the government is you, a family member, an extended family member, a village compatriot, a member from your tribe, a neighbour ,a friend way back from school days,college, university , a colleague from work etc. etc. Thus, the government is made of people like you.  Compare and contrast in advance the election of 1964 that led to the crises that eventually resulted in the civil war and numerous coup d'etat subsequently with the up coming 2015 election - will Nigerians conduct election with (in) blood. Can there be fair  election in the North under the  current   status quo

"We have to act in concert to remove this social malignant cancer eating us up from inside".

Imagined one of the abducted school girls (their whereabouts still in the dark) in northern Nigeria is your junior sister or your daughter, the British Soldier murdered in London was your brother, the British taxi driver delivering aid to Syrian refugees with a bunch of Muslim friends whose throat was slitted and left to bleed to death was your father – how would you be feeling? People Doing Nothing Is Not An Option Any More – Because It  Is  Far  Closer  to Home Than You Think  - Mobilise Mobilise Mobilise.

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