Whitewashing Boko Haram
Boko Haram was created soon after the 9/11 attacks in 2002. One would think that twelve years would be enough time to come to understand a terrorist organization of the magnitude of Boko Haram; apparently not for the left-wing media and the administration.
Monday morning, just as video was being released worldwide by the terrorist group showing that the Christian girls they have kidnapped have been converted to Islam, the Daily Beast was reporting that the group is misunderstood and that its actions have nothing to do with the teachings of Mohammad. The author, Dean Obidallah, writes that it is "grotesquely irresponsible of the media" to suggest that Boko Haram has anything to do with Islam.
Given that this is the same Dean Obeidallah who used a TV appearance to publicly deride Mitt Romney's family for adopting a black child, it is tempting to dismiss the whole episode as hack journalism. Unfortunately, there is however a pattern to this "White Wash," one that is linked to the White House and the administration's policy on Boko Haram.
First there was the petition by MoveOn.org to prevent the US government from listing Boko Haram as a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization. Then there were the efforts by Hillary Clinton's State Department to do to same two years ago, which is highly significant, since in US law it is the State Department that makes the determination as to whether or not a given group should be formally given terrorist status.
Breitbart has reported how the removal of any reference to religion or Islam within US counterterrorism policy is a product of abstruse academic theories that place the blame for terrorism upon the governments that "oppress" the people and upon US foreign policy. This stretches the concept of victimhood to such a degree that the terrorist is no longer responsible for the violence he or she perpetrates, since the environment "forced" them to kill. Religion therefore has to be irrelevant according to this conceptualization which blames colonial US policies or the behavior of our allies. Incredibly this theory led to the purging and censorship by the White House of all counterterrorism training materials used by the DoD and DoJ in 2011. Mention of Islam when discussing al Qaeda or its affiliates became haram (that's "forbidden" to you infidels out there).
The topic of who and what Boko Haram is should, of course, be kept out of the hands of politicians and their partisan media allies. Stephen Ulph is one of the world's foremost experts on international terrorism, especially of the Islamist kind. The former editor of JANES Terrorism Security Monitor and founding editor of JANES Islamic Affairs Analyst, he was commissioned to write an 80-page analysis of Boko Haram for the Westminster Institite. Ulph goes to the source. Here is Boko Haram's spokesman Abu Qaqa on who they are and what they want:
We wish to reiterate that our crusade is not for personal gain; it is meant to ensure the establishment of an Islamic state by liberating all Muslims from the excesses of the infidels... [T]he bottom line of our struggle is to set the Muslims free from enslavement. We only kill unbelievers.
Should that not be clear enough, Ulph also quotes numerous Boko Haram leaders as well, to include Abubakar Shekau himself:
This work that we are doing is not our work, it is Allah's work, we are doing Allah's work.
Ulph's report is here and a summary can be found here.
So if Boko Haram say they are doing the work of Allah, then that would seem to be definitive. As one survivor of the Holocaust once said when asked what the one true lesson of his experience had been: listen to what people say. When they repeatedly declare you inhuman and to be killed, you shouldn't ignore them.
Sebastian Gorka PhD is national security editor for Breitbart News.