WASHINGTON, May 14, 2014 — Numerous Muslim individuals and organizations have expressed outrage at the Boko Haram kidnapping of young girls. The anger at Boko Haram, a recognized terrorist organization, reflects a genuine sentiment of antipathy towards the group and its actions for a variety of reasons.
Many would be surprised, for example, to learn that the kidnapped girls are themselves Muslim, and were seeking education with the encouragement of their Muslim families. Currently, the kidnappings are being portrayed as an incident of Islamic extremism against innocent individuals, however many believe that Islam has nothing to do with the crime.
In a recent statement, Fox News host, Bob Beckel, recently announced “I’m waiting for the first cleric or imam who has the guts to say this is not what Mohammed meant and if you don’t I’ll just assume it’s what he did mean.”
Time Magazine responded immediately with an editorial entitled “A Response to the Question: ‘Why Aren’t Muslims Condemning Boko Haram?’”
In a press release, the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), announced that “Representative Zainab Chaudry joined the Council of Muslim Organizations (CMO) at a National Press Club news conference in Washington, D.C., to call for the immediate release of almost 300 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria by the terrorist cult Boko Haram. National and local Muslim organizations were also present, along with representatives from the National Council of Nigerian Muslim Organizations.”
CMO’s statement read “The US Council of Muslim Organizations, a coalition of several leading national and local Muslim organizations, strongly denounces Boko Haram and its kidnapping of at least 200 girls in Nigeria. We call for the girls’ immediate release and safe return to their families.”
“The actions of Boko Haram show its members to be very ignorant of Islam and its teachings,” said Oussama Jammal, USCMO secretary-general. “No one in their right mind would condone these actions, especially Muslims, as they violate everything we hold sacred.”
The Council includes the following organizations: American Muslims for Palestine (AMP), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), Muslim American Society (MAS), Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA), Muslim Ummah of North America (MUNA), The Mosque Cares (Ministry of Imam W. Deen Mohammed), American Muslim Alliance (AMA).
The Associated Press compiled a list of Muslim leaders who have released statements on the kidnappings:
“— EGYPT: Religious Endowments Minister Mohammed Mohktar Gomaa said ‘the actions by Boko Haram are pure terrorism, with no relation to Islam, especially the kidnapping of the girls.’
“Sheik Ahmed el-Tayeb of the Cairo-based Al-Azhar, one of Sunni Islam’s most prestigious institutions, said the abductions ‘completely contradict Islam and its principles of tolerance.’
“— PAKISTAN: Dawn, an English language newspaper, published an opinion piece that takes Nigeria to task for not moving against Boko Haram. ’The popular upsurge in Nigeria in the wake of the latest unspeakable atrocity provides some scope for hoping that the state will finally act decisively to obliterate the growing menace,’ wrote columnist Mahir Ali.
“— INDONESIA: In the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, the Jakarta Post published an editorial Wednesday condemning the Boko Haram leader for ‘wrongly’ citing Islamic teaching as his excuse for selling the abducted girls into slavery.”
Dubai based Khaleeji Times reports that “Shaykh Abdallah bin Bayyah, President of Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies, condemned the recent kidnapping of hundreds of young Nigerian schoolgirls by the Boko Haram group.”
Condemnation of the group has come from around the world, including ultra conservative Saudi Arabia. The UK Guardian reports, “Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti has condemned Nigeria’s Boko Haram for its kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls.”
“These groups are not on the right path because Islam is against kidnapping, killing and aggression,” said the mufti.