World View: Muslim World Split by Boko Haram Abductions

World View: Muslim World Split by Boko Haram Abductions

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Muslim world split by Boko Haram abductions
  • Russia bans U.S. from International Space Station
  • Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi resigns in disgust

Muslim world split by Boko Haram abductions

It’s a common Western complaint of Islam that Muslim officials andclerics rarely condemn the acts of Islamist terrorists, or that anysuch condemnations are rarely as aggressive as Christian condemnation of a terrorist act by other Christians. 

There have been similar criticisms about the Muslim reaction to theBoko Haram abduction of over 200 young school girls. Within Nigeriaitself, there is bitter criticism that the politicians and the armydid nothing for weeks, and that Goodluck Jonathan was allegedly even seendancing the day after the attack. 

However, as the worldwide public has become aware of this terroristact, it’s caused a fierce debate within the Muslim community — bothamong ordinary Muslims and among jihadists. 

One Muslim, Sydney Casely-Hayford in Ghana, says that Boko Haramreflects flaws in Islam. He argues that the “continuous silence” ofMuslim clerics is an indication that Boko Haram is subtly accepted: 

I have not heard so far one single high ranking,respected Muslim cleric [in Ghana] stand up and say [theactivities of Boko Haram] is totally non-Muslim activity; this isnot what Islam is all about… 

You [Islamic Leaders] need to hold a big stage and say so clearlyso that we all understand that you are against what is goingon.

In response, the Coalition of Concerned Muslims says that theaccusation of “subtle acceptance” is an absurd and blatant lie, asnumerous comments by Muslim Clerics and Muslims in general havebeen published: 

His assertion that the “Boko Haram” projects theweakness of Islam as a religion is devoid of logic. It is sad andstrange that he has chosen to use the actions of ‘Boko Haram’ as ayardstick in measuring the strength or otherwise weakness ofIslam. It is intellectual dishonesty to judge Islam by way of thebehavior of a few deviant followers. 

A majority of Muslims have conducted themselves well wherever theyare located. Under no circumstance should the actions of a fewdeviant folks be used to describe Islam but rather it is sound andlogical to use the actions of the majority of Muslims. Does he notsee that the world would be in chaos if Muslims throughout theworld were to unite upon violence and aggression? Would it be fairto say the Catholic Church projects the weakness/flaws inChristianity because its priests abuse children? Or the inhumaneactions of the Lord’s resistance Army in Uganda show thatChristianity has flaws? We Muslims have been thought to be just inour dealings and analysis and so we do not draw such flimsyconclusions as done by Mr. Casely Hayford.

With Muslims reacting angrily to the Boko Haram abductions,it’s perhaps surprising that even jihadists are shocked by theappalling and repulsive nature of the attack. One jihadist was mostfearful of revenge attacks, and gave a very interesting historicalanalysis: 

Today, there are different sentiments, as the peoplesof the [Islamic] nation hear from the channels news that we neverhoped to hear – namely, the kidnapping of Muslim and non-Muslimgirls and your announcement that you intend to sell them asslaves. 

This matter, if you proceed with it, will become a dangerousprecedent and will bring about grave calamities such as the nationof Islam has never heard of for centuries. Your announcement of’imprisoning’ hundreds of girls will not benefit Islam and theMuslims in any manner. On the contrary, it will reflect tragicallynot only on their image but also on whatever similar reactions theenemies of Islam will carry out. The [Islamic] nation has enoughtragedies as it is. 

Brothers in [Boko Haram]: if you do this, and sell the girls asprisoners, can you guarantee to your wives, your daughters, yoursisters, and your Muslim relatives here and there that the enemieswill [not] commit rape against them and will not defile theirhonor and modesty? 

Do not open the gates of evil, have mercy on your Muslim sisters,and protect your religion’s reputation. 

Know that not everything that is permitted in Islam is proper todo at all times and in any manner without considering itsadvantages and disadvantages. 

Know that imprisonment and enslavement resulting from war betweenMuslims and infidels are part of reciprocity, and that this wasthe norm among peoples in ancient times. Today, however, as theact of enslavement between the nations of the world has ceased toexist, and the exchange of prisoners has become the custom, we asMuslims should not initiate this toward our enemy, since it hasgrave repercussions. Preventing harm takes precedence over makinggains, according to famous jurisprudential principle. We do notknow what advantage for Islam and the Muslims will be gained ifyou do this… 

We appeal to you: Release the girls and do not continue theirimprisonment and enslavement. The Muslims today are suffering fromenough oppression; do not bring any harm on their honor[i.e. their women].

Not all jihadists were convinced, however. One responded: “On thecontrary, [we should] imprison [as much as we can]. Ripping out thehearts of the infidels who have no morals in war is a legitimateadministration of justice. As a Muslim, I think that the brothers, themujahideen in Nigeria, did a good thing. I pray to the great Allah togive them victory and power throughout the land.” Citi-Fm (Ghana) and Ghana Web and Memri

Russia bans U.S. from International Space Station

In retaliation for American sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainesituation, Russia’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin announced onTuesday a series of sanctions against the US: 

  • Russia will ban the US from using the International Space Station after 2020, though Russia may continue using it. According to Rogozin, “The Russian segment can exist independently from the American one. The US one cannot.”
  • Russia will suspend the operation of GPS satellite navigation system sites on its territory.
  • Russia will no longer permit Russian engines in Atlas 5 rockets used to launch military satellites.

Moscow Times and Telegraph (London)

Syria mediator Lakhdar Brahimi resigns in disgust

When the Syrian war began in 2012, the Arab League and the UnitedNations appointed former U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan as aspecial envoy to bring peace to Syria. Annan formulated a farcical six-point ‘peace plan’ whichsaid absolutely nothing, so it was not vetoed by Russia in theU.N. Security Council.

By August 2012, Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, had made a fool ofAnnan enough times that Annan resigned, and he was replaced by 78-yearold Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi. I noticed a difference intone between the two: whereas Annan sounded pathetic and dishonest,Brahimi sounded realistic and truthful. 

Brahimi was congratulated on a number of occasions when he got bothsides, the al-Assad government and the opposition rebels, toparticipate in a peace conference in Geneva; once in 2013 and once inFebruary of this year. Syria had previously agreed to discuss astep down or at least that the opposition would have a place in thegovernment. The regime absolutely refused to even put that subject onthe meeting agenda. The “peace talks” collapsed once and for all, and Brahimi clearly blamed the Syrianregime and apologized to the Syrian people. The regime was furious atBrahimi after that and considered him to be biased. 

And why should al-Assad step down? Why should he compromiseon anything? 

  • The Shia/Alawite regime is being provided with enormous supplies of heavy weapons from Russia, which it can use to conduct its genocidal policies against its Sunni Muslim opponents.
  • The regime has used sarin gas on its own population with impunity.
  • The regime continues to use chemical weapons. Regime helicopters drop huge barrel bombs onto civilian neighborhoods. The barrel bombs contain explosives, screws, nails, and other shrapnel, and allegedly canisters of chlorine and ammonia. When chlorine is inhaled, it reacts with the moisture in the lungs, turning into hydrochloric acid that literally burns the target to death from the inside out.
  • Officials in the al-Assad regime have used electrocution, eye-gouging, strangulation, starvation, and beating on tens of thousands of prisoners on a massive “industrial strength” scale, and do so with complete impunity and in fact with encouragement and support from Russia and Iran.
  • The regime, along with Russian President Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly humiliated and made fools of John Kerry and Barack Obama.
  • The regime has help from Iran’s Republican Guard units and from Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorists.
  • The regime has won a number of military victories recently and is gaining ground on the opposition.
  • The regime is going to hold presidential elections in June. These elections will be about as honest as a Soviet election, or the farcical east Ukraine referendum that I reported on yesterday. Al-Assad will be certain to win, and there will be no chance that any Brahimi peace plan will work.

So it’s absurd to believe that al-Assad would ever compromise onanything. 

Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi have been useful idiots for the Assadregime by providing cover for him to continue his criminal acts oncivilian Sunnis and cover for the Russians and Iranians to makesanctimonious statements while they support al-Assad’s bloodyslaughter. 

It’s worth remembering again, as I wrote in 2011 (see “22-Apr-11 News — Russia seeks to cripple Nato through Libya United Nations politics”), Russiaadopted a policy of using the United Nations Security Council tocripple American and Western foreign policy. Putin has beenincredibly successful with this policy and has crippled American andWestern policy almost completely, most recently in Ukraine. 

So Lakhdar Brahimi, now 80-years old, stepped down on Tuesday andapologized to the Syrian people once more: 

It’s not very pleasant for me. It’s very sad that Ileave this position and leave Syria behind in such a badstate.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon promised to appoint a new envoy, butI doubt that there’s any hurry. al-Jazeera and BBC

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Nigeria, Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, Ghana,Russia, International Space Station, Dmitry Rogozin,Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Lakhdar Brahimi, Vladimir Putin,John Kerry, Kofi Annan, Ban Ki-moon 

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