Boko Haram: Killing in the Name of Religion

In yet another terrible act of violence by the Boko Haram in Nigeria 120 people are dead and at least 270 people wounded. Boko Haram is a militant Islamist movement based in the northeast of Nigeria. The groups name stands for “Western education is forbidden” and is officially called ‘Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad’ which means “People committed to the Prophet’s teachings for propagation and Jihad. Boko Haram have a goal of establishing an Islamic state within Nigeria and oppose the idea of westernizing Nigeria’s society with particular focus on the Christian south of the country.

The article “Nigeria leader vows to hunt culprits of ‘heinous’ mosque attack” found at lays out what happened on Friday November 28th and what the President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, plans to do about this attack by a group that the UN has labelled as a terrorist organization. Many within Nigeria are seeing the attack as revenge for the emir’s call for arms against the group. The UN is outraged and call for greater security for citizens and say “there can be no justification for attacks on civilians,” whilst a survivor was noted in saying “you can’t justify attacking and killing defenceless people at will in the name of religion.”

Throughout history there are countless events of religious extremist groups acting in horrific ways to push forward a political endpoint they have in mind. It can not be denied that this group can be identified with the idea of political religion in the idea that they seek to eradicate the Christians and western style of living. Whilst it could also be argued that the Western lifestyle can be seen as a political religion and may be being forced on countries like a political religion as well. There is, as mentioned in the article and countless people around the world, no way you can justify killing in the name of religion. And yet it is how wars and murders has been justified by countries and individual’s for centuries. This group can also be linked to the idea of promoting religion and nationalism as one. They look to promote the Islamic way of life as the ideal way of life, whilst discrediting any who practice an Islamic way of life in a westernized way. This group wishes the national identity to be one of a traditional Islam way of life without any western influences – this being their nationalistic ideas.

These kinds of groups disgust me, in what way does killing innocent people ever make the point you want? There is no reason for an act so barbaric. The idea of pushing for an isolated world in the day and age we live in is ridiculous to me, I by no means in saying this mean to condone the westernization of the world. Rather, the idea of globalization and a global community. This world has so much to offer and it is groups like this that are promoting hate that destroy so many chances this world has to grow. It is groups like this that see the starts of wars and the death of millions, and in years to come we will again marvel at how humans can destroy each other like that – in the same way we view WWI and WWII.


#349 #uwreligions


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