By Ikechukwu Mbachu
When the Boko Haram menace started, I thought it will fizzle out just like the sharia brouhaha. I honestly thought they will either run out of funds or suicide bombers willing to blow themselves and other people up. But the reverse seems to be the case. Now, this group says they are “Boko Haram” meaning “western education is sin”, but the name in itself is an absolute misnomer. How can Boko be haram when even Islam itself enjoins its adherents to actively seek and pursue knowledge? Boko is not haram. In fact one of the hadiths says “seek knowledge, even in China.” To say education or knowledge is Haram is to do Islam a great disservice. Education (western or not) is not forbidden and shouldn’t be forbidden under Islam.
The people who say they are Boko Haram seem not to have adequate knowledge of their own religion. How can Boko be haram when for hundreds of years Islam was at the forefront of seeking and gathering knowledge? How can Boko be haram when some of the most ancient universities in the world were founded and run by Muslims? How can Boko be haram when Muslims were very active and contributed significantly to advances in the field of mathematics, philosophy, medicine, travel, geography, chemistry, literature, etc?
Watching the YouTube videos of their leader, one can’t help but notice the manner with which they proudly display their tanks, AK 47s, and other weapons. Are these weapons not products of the Boko they say is haram? In spreading their propaganda and hateful messages, they use video recorders, videos, and even the internet; do they think that such things are products of the Stone Age they want to forcefully return us to? I see them wearing western style army uniforms, obviously they use phones, they drives cars and not donkeys, and with their knowledge of world affairs, it is obvious they listen to radio and may even have satellite receivers in their hideouts. Are these not inventions of western education? How dare they criticize and fight against Boko and yet use the things produced by Boko? This is sheer hypocrisy and haram!
Dear Boko Haram member, Boko is halal (permissible) not haram (forbidden). Just in case you don’t know what the real harams are, we will do you the favor of telling you. Haram is when a peasant’s hand is cut off for stealing pittance, while the elites amongst you steal billions and nothing happens to them. It is when your governors collect hefty monthly allocation and fly off to Dubai for some frolicking and rollickin, while poverty ravages the people. Haram is when people go to sleep on hungry stomach with no hope for the next day while government officials feed fat.
Haram is when some of your elites own the choicest oil block in Nigeria and are listed as Forbes billionaires, yet people from his own village are still hostages to hunger and deprivation. Haram is when your elites (because of the depth of their pockets) marry off your under-age girls, girls as young as 14. Haram is when your leaders cannot provide you with decent education, yet they can have their own children in some of the most expensive schools in the world.
Haram is when your leaders steal from national and state coffers and siphon such monies abroad and blatantly lie about it. Haram is when your cleric sends poor, innocent and vulnerable boys to beg for money in the name of teaching them. This is dehumanization! Haram is when you kidnap innocent girls and threaten to sell them off as slaves. It is when you blow up innocent people to death for what they know nothing about. These are the real Harams and not western education as you people claim.
I was ready to accept your initial attacks as part of seeking attention, now you have our attention, I honestly think you guys have made your point, we know what you want, and some of us are even ready to give you what you want. You have killed enough, enough blood have been shed. You are not been fair to us, you kill Christians, Muslims, you kill mostly the poor, you kill the innocent, you kill the oppressed, is this jihad?
I know you want to die for Allah as a martyr but the fact is Allah also wants you to live for him, to spread his message and teachings, Allah wants you to build, to be productive, to create and invent for the sake of Allah. Allah never commanded you to kill to stop the spread of knowledge, instead he commands you to seek knowledge.
Ikechukwu Mbachu wrote in from Brandenburg Technical University, Cottbus, Germany