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5 Things the Media and Government Won’t Tell You About Boko Haram

Why was Hillary Clinton’s State Department so notoriously slow to recognize a terrorist group?

Robert Spencer


May 10, 2014 - 8:10 pm


5. The abduction of the schoolgirls is only the latest in a huge string of atrocities.

The world has only begun to notice them because of the abduction of the schoolgirls, but the Nigerian jihad terror group Boko Haram has been around for years. Without attracting the international outrage they have drawn upon themselves now, they have committed innumerable acts of unimaginable savagery, murdering over 2,500 people in the first three months of 2014 alone and torching numerous churches and Christian homes.

At my website Jihad Watch a Google search turns up about 115,000 results for “Boko Haram,” indicating that anyone who has been tracking jihad activity over the last few years has had plenty to track in Boko Haram, and that the outrage over the abducted schoolgirls, as welcome as it is if it results in genuine action to stop this brutal and bloody group, is quite late and arbitrary.

Of course, in the Obama administration it hasn’t been fashionable to talk about jihad activity other than within the context of al Qaeda, and Boko Haram is not al Qaeda. Therefore it essentially did not exist (either for the administration or for the mainstream media that it carries around in its pocket like so many nickels), or if it did, it wasn’t a terrorist group: Hillary Clinton’s State Department was notoriously slow to designate it as such, even as the dead bodies piled up.


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.

2. The taking of infidel women as sex slaves is justified in Islamic law.

Muslim leaders worldwide have recently rained down condemnations on Boko Haram and declared their abduction of the schoolgirls un-Islamic. This was necessary because Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram, has said: “I abducted your girls. I will sell them on the market, by Allah….There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell.”

There is, unfortunately, a case for the idea that Allah did indeed say that. The Qur’an does allow for the owning of sex slaves:

If you fear that you will not act justly towards the orphans, marry such women as seem good to you, two, three, four; but if you fear you will not be equitable, then only one, or what your right hands own; so it is likelier you will not be partial. (Qur’an 4:3)


And also prohibited to you are all married women except those your right hands possess. (Qur’an 4:24)

The mainstream Muslim commentary Tafsir al-Jalalayn explains that 4:3 tells Muslims to “marry only one, or, restrict yourself to what your right hands own, of slavegirls, since these do not have the same rights as wives.” The twentieth-century Qur’an commentator Maulana Bulandshahri explains the wisdom of this practice, and longs for the good old days:

None of the injunctions pertaining to slavery have been abrogated in the Shari’ah. The reason that the Muslims of today do not have slaves is because they do not engage in Jihad (religion war)….Muslims have been denied a great boon whereby every home could have had a slave.

This is by no means an eccentric or unorthodox view in Islam. The Egyptian Sheikh Abu-Ishaq al-Huwayni declared in May 2011 that “we are in the era of jihad,” and that as they waged jihad warfare against infidels, Muslims would take slaves. He clarified what he meant in a subsequent interview:

When a slave market is erected, which is a market in which are sold slaves and sex-slaves, which are called in the Qur’an by the name milk al-yamin, “that which your right hands possess” [Qur’an 4:24]. This is a verse from the Qur’an which is still in force, and has not been abrogated. The milk al-yamin are the sex-slaves. You go to the market, look at the sex-slave, and buy her. She becomes like your wife, (but) she doesn’t need a (marriage) contract or a divorce like a free woman, nor does she need a wali. All scholars agree on this point–there is no disagreement from any of them. [...] When I want a sex slave, I just go to the market and choose the woman I like and purchase her.

Around the same time, on May 25, 2011, a female Kuwaiti activist and politician, Salwa al-Mutairi, also spoke out in favor of the Islamic practice of sexual slavery of non-Muslim women, emphasizing that the practice accorded with Islamic law and the parameters of Islamic morality.

…A merchant told me that he would like to have a sex slave. He said he would not be negligent with her, and that Islam permitted this sort of thing. He was speaking the truth. I brought up (this man’s) situation to the muftis in Mecca. I told them that I had a question, since they were men who specialized in what was halal, and what was good, and who loved women. I said, “What is the law of sex slaves?”

The mufti said, “With the law of sex slaves, there must be a Muslim nation at war with a Christian nation, or a nation which is not of the religion, not of the religion of Islam. And there must be prisoners of war.”

“Is this forbidden by Islam?,” I asked.

“Absolutely not. Sex slaves are not forbidden by Islam. On the contrary, sex slaves are under a different law than the free woman. The free woman must be completely covered except for her face and hands. But the sex slave can be naked from the waist up. She differs a lot from the free woman. While the free woman requires a marriage contract, the sex slave does not–she only needs to be purchased by her husband, and that’s it. Therefore the sex slave is different than the free woman.”shutterstock_71666623

While the savage exploitation of girls and young women is an unfortunately cross-cultural phenomenon, only in Islamic law does it carry anything approaching divine sanction. Here is yet another human rights scandal occasioned by Islamic law that the international human rights community and the mainstream media cravenly ignore. The abduction of the Nigerian schoolgirls could have been an opportunity to call upon Muslim leaders to work for genuine reform, so that the justifications for this savagery are definitively removed.

Instead, Western leaders and the mainstream media are doing what they always do: pretend that this is an isolated incident and there is no problem. Arsalan Iftikhar, “an international human rights lawyer, founder of and adjunct professor of religious studies at DePaul University in Chicago,” on Tuesday published a piece in CNN titled, “Hey Boko Haram, pick up a Quran and bring back our girls.” It was a reassuring piece claiming that Boko Haram was misunderstanding Islam and misinterpreting the Qur’an, which, he said, categorically rejects “kidnapping young girls and threatening to sell them into sexual slavery.” He offered two verses to support this idea: one that says that “oppression is worse than murder” (2:191) and another declaring that nobody “shall force girls to commit prostitution” (24:33).

Neither of these, unfortunately, were precisely on point. “Oppression” is in the eye of the beholder; Abubakar Shekau thinks he is following the Qur’an’s dictates, and that that couldn’t possibly constitute oppression, no matter what. And these girls aren’t being forced into prostitution; they’re being sold off, as Iftikhar himself said in his piece, into forced marriages with Boko Haram members.

Iftikhar didn’t even mention the verses above (4:3, 4:24) and others that Muslims like Shekau point to in order to justify kidnapping young girls and selling them into sexual slavery – leaving the impression that his piece was intended to keep infidels complacent rather than to work toward genuine Islamic reform.


1. Their leader has said: “The reason why I will kill you is you are infidels.”

On Wednesday, John Kerry blamed the phenomenon of Boko Haram on poverty:

Much of this challenge comes out of this poverty where young people are grabbed at an early stage, proffered a little bit of money. Their minds are bended, and then the money doesn’t matter anymore. They’ve got the minds, and they begin to direct them into these very extreme endeavors.

Among those who would disagree that throwing money at Boko Haram will make their jihad go away would be none other than Abubakar Shekau, who has said:

The reason why I will kill you is you are infidels, you follow Democracy.…Whoever follows Democracy is an infidel. This is Shekau, this is why I’m in enmity with you….You are all infidels. What makes you infidels is Democracy and constitution and western education…I therefore call on brethren in Kano to rise up and replicate the Baga attack. All these infidels we are the ones killing them. We enjoy shedding their blood. The Qur’an must be supreme, we must establish Islam in this country.

What could be clearer? Only the determination of the Obama administration and the mainstream media to ignore the implications of such words.


fotostory / /  Sergiy Telesh

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is Arab Winter Comes to America: The Truth About the War We’re In. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

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Top Rated Comments   
" Their leader has said: “The reason why I will kill you is you are infidels.”

On Wednesday, John Kerry blamed the phenomenon of Boko Haram on poverty"

John Kerry has not only been beaten severely in the face with an ugly stick, he has been beaten upside the head even more with a stupid stick.

John Quincy Adams said, "He [that would be Muhammad, the founder of Islam and Islam's "Perfect Man"] declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion [that would be Islam, not "Islamism"], against all the rest of mankind."

John Quincy Adams had a brain and a clue and some decency. Kerry has none of those at all. And he seems utterly incapable of even learning any of them from the example of others.

First God created the idiot. That was for practice. Then He created John Kerry. (Mark Twain)
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey! They kill Christians - why on earth would Clinton or Kerry object to that?

42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Clown prince of ketchup has to be the absolute pinnacle of stupidity.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (56)
All Comments   (56)
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is quite late and arbitrary.

I wish it were so Robt, but I KNOW this is HRC campaign in preemptive mode- she must pretend she is doing her proper feminist leadership role by supporting these girls- when59 boys dead- nothing from same

Of course the rest I totally agree-those of us with opened eyes knew all this LONG AGO- and if WE daredto speak of it- we became branded as haters , islamophobes, racist etc

we are seeing D party unable to continue the charades they try to play with ISLAM- dividing Muslims into disgruntled groups (sound familiar)
THE HRC group KNOWs they can;t continue to hide or defend the anti gay anti woman hideous religious violence that is ISLAM- so they try to steal the GOP thunder - the reason so many of us switched party
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
The utter idiocy of the comments by the likes of Kerry, and this administrations talking heads, is much like those who sided with Hitler or even Stalin... in the end those were the first ones shot behind the ear. They have such distain for Christian Teachings [never mind the particular Congregation] that they would welcome the false teachings of the likes of islam as something to be tolerated or even more idiotic supported... They are plain and simple THUGS who use their 'book' as an excuse to Rape, Pillage and enslave those with whom they look down on... IE: The Rest of the World Proper who refuse to bow to this desert bandit and his ideology.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
In secular jurisprudence, sharia is classified as 1) religious law. It is one of three major categories embodied in individual legal systems, generally falling alongside 2)civil law and 3)common law.
The concept of: 1) crime, 2)judicial process, 3)justice and 4)punishment in sharia, is different from secular law. Differences between sharia and secular laws have led to controversies whether sharia is compatible with secular: 1)democracy, 2)freedom of thought, and most importantly 3) women's rights. Furthermore, religiously speaking, women (under sharia)can’t lead prayers, anywhere. Only way prayers can be led by women is in a restricted, quiet, separate building or area designated as such. Female-only congregations must be present. Officiating these prayer sessions are “minders” or wives of imams (see Nusi)). The chosen person, according to Hadith,is one who has most knowledge of the Qu'ran and is of good character and moral standing. Age is immaterial.
Where it has official status, sharia is interpreted by Islamic judges (qadis) with varying responsibilities for the religious leaders (imams). For questions not directly addressed in the primary sources (Qu’ran), application of sharia is extended through consensus of religious scholars (ulama) who are thought to reflect Muslim Communities(ijma) consensus.
An Islamic state is a state that has adopted Islam, specifically Sharia, as its foundations for political institutions, or laws, exclusively, and has implemented the Islamic ruling system khilafah (Arabic: خلافة), and is therefore a THEOCRACY. Theocracy is a form of government in which a deity is officially recognized as the civil Ruler and official policy is governed by officials regarded as divinely guided. In a pure theocracy, the civil leader is believed to have a direct personal connection with that civilization's divinity. The common, generic use of the term, as defined above in terms of rule by a church or analogous religious leadership, would be more accurately described as an ecclesiocracy. Islamic Law, or Sharia, is the official basis for state laws in the following countries:Afghanistan , Iran, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. In Nigeria, the constitution provides that states may elect to use Shari'a laws and courts, though non-Muslims are not required in any state to submit to Shari'a jurisdiction and adherence varies by state. Boko Haram is seeing to it, sharia is the law of the land, with their hand-picked Ruler officiating at every level of governance. Now, do you understand what is happening not only on the African continent, in Europe and quietly in these USA thru CAIR’s leadership position in this Theocracy? Wake-up America. She’s under siege from within and outside its borders. God Bless America. Join a Tea Party, urgently and register to vote these mid-term elections.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
And now we have Chris Matthews crowing that it's DOUBLY BIGOTED to criticize Boko Haram because not only are they Muslim, but they're also black.

I really wish I knew what makes people like him think they're going to escape the wrath of the Jihadis when the s*** hits the fan...
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am sure we will soon find out that the obooba regime has been arming and funding them too
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Robert, can we get a references to that important quote by Maulana Bulandshahri? You've used it before. What is the source?
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Muslims invented black slavery. They were doing it for eight hundred years before starting to sell them to Westerners. The difference is that the Arabs castrated all their slaves. Hence, no worry about a black population explosion or any reason to shut down the slave trade. Why any black person would want to be a muslim is beyond comprehension.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
They keep voting Democrats, don't they? Personally I think it is very strange that certain groups continue to vote against their own interest. They base their political opinion on something other than simple personal experience. They are told to blame their problems Republicans, like poor Englishmen are to blame the Tories for all their problems and they keep voting Labor as they go down the drain. There is a masochist strain in a large portion of American blacks. In a way I believe that group misses slavery (unconsciously) and they try to return to some form of it. Thus the Democratic Party ... the modern shape of the old plantation.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
National Geographic dedicated on of its magazine issues to the subject of modern slavery about 15 years ago. It describes in detail all you just said.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
You missed the most important reason why the State Department didn't declare them terrorists! Hillary's girlfriend, Huma, as well as Bam, himself, believe that the Muslim Brotherhood are good guys. They convinced Hillary and she took no action against anyone she believed was legit.
Is there any text in the Kuran that gets Huma off the hook for marrying a Jew, Anthony Weiner, and have a baby with him? Is all the good work she's done for the Muslim Brotherhood enough of a counter?
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes. It's the doctrine of "Muruna", which a Mufti put into practice a few years back.

The idea of Muruna is that if you are a Muslim in a non-Muslim land, you may do things that are Haram (forbidden) under The Shari'ah, as long as it is in the name of Jihad, and with the intent of getting The Shari'ah installed in the land you currently live in.
41 weeks ago
41 weeks ago Link To Comment
Boko Haram? Nothing a little legitimate redistribution of economic benefits wouldn't fix.
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
Likely there is personal connection between Moslem Brotherhood in USA government, e.g., the Envy occupying the White House and especially the circle around HRC, and "Boko Haram." This would underlie HRC's refusal to classify. Kerry must not have that personal circle, at least so much. Still, he's a goony bird ideologically. "Poverty," yet!
42 weeks ago
42 weeks ago Link To Comment
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