4. Their real name is Party of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad.
Boko Haram means “Western education is sin,” or more literally, “Books bad.” The mainstream media has reported this as if the group were a bunch of Luddites with AK-47s – people who for some unexplained reason object to modern technology except for the weaponry. But actually the moniker “Boko Haram” is a specifically Islamic name, referring to the sinfulness of any system of education that is not based and centered upon the Qur’an and Islam.
And the actual name of the group is not Boko Haram at all; it is the Party of the People of the Sunnah for Dawah and Jihad. Sunnah is accepted Islamic practice as derived from the Qur’an and Hadith; dawah is Islamic proselytizing; and jihad, of course, is (according to mainstream Islamic tradition) primarily warfare against unbelievers in order to establish the hegemony of Islamic law. Clearly, then, the group’s focus and motivation is entirely Islamic – which is probably why the media never calls the group by its actual name: too much focus on Islam in connection with terrorism is, for the media, as verboten for today’s media as it would have been for Der Stürmer to run a piece favorable to Jews.
3. Muslim clerics recruit for them in mosques.
The British tabloid The Sun reported in late April that “Nigerian Muslim clerics living in the border towns of Cameroon and Nigeria are recruiting Boko Haram members in their mosques, the government of Cameroon has alleged.” It quoted StrategyPage, an American military news site:
Cameroon is also concerned about pro-Boko Haram clerics from Nigeria quietly preaching and recruiting for Boko Haram in Cameroon mosques. Islamic conservative clergy are not unusual on either side of the border, but those who do not denounce Boko Haram are suspected of quietly recruiting young men to join the “jihad” (struggle) and fight (and often die) in Nigeria.
Why would Muslim clerics, no matter how “conservative,” recruit in mosques for a group that – it is universally assumed – twists and hijacks the true, peaceful religion of Islam? Haven’t these clerics been trained in the Qur’an and aren’t they utterly familiar with its contents? Did they overlook the peaceful verses that Boko Haram is ostensibly ignoring?
This recruitment gives the lie yet again to the mainstream media and government dogma that Islamic jihad groups actually pervert the teachings of Islam. If they did, Muslim clerics, above all, would know that and oppose them. Yet Muslim clerics, all too often, are enthusiastic in their support of such groups, and sometimes even participate in them. But that fact is not one that our law enforcement or military establishment is willing, at this point, to ponder.