The Chibok Girls by Helon Habila

I always wondered why religious extremism especially from my faith was scared of women eduacation or western education in general,why many Muslim insurgents from Boko Haram in Nigeria to Taliban  in Afghanistan fought against women education and actually bombed and killed many students and teachers and their guilt was learning.

Why the sight of young girls trying to learn how to read and write provokes so much anger in these men that they will try to kill them or kidnap them and force them as a sex slaves,seeing some people who shares my same beliefs but still using the same religion we both share as cover for thei evil acts makes me really ashmed of what some Muslims are doing to themselves.

In the last days of Holy Ramadan i picked up this short nook which tells the story of Boko Haram and the young teen gurls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram.

Boko Haram means Western eduacation is forbidden which is the name of violent extremist group in Nigeria  who did the usual Terrorist group works but risen to infamy by their kidnapping of Chibok young girls from their school dorms.

What makes this group more sinister than any other Jihadist groups in West Africa is that their fixation with using young girls as suicide fighters and even using girls as seven to suicide attack.

the first time Boko Haram attacked schools they killed most of thee young boys in the school and left the girls alone and warned them from going to school and advised them to marry but the second time they attacked the school they simply kidnapped all the girls and sent them to near impassable forest were it hard to follow them.

what made Chibok different from its neighboring towns is that it is the only Christian town in predominately Muslim region which marginalized them from their surrounding and made them an easy target for the terrorist.

interestingly although Chibok is small town is abodes with large stories of kidnapping and violence related either to politics and or religion, and this quote summarize why many nations rich with resources are still stuck in poverty

Actual violence, or the threat of it, helps to keep the populace in check, just as poverty does. Keep the people scared and hungry, encourage them to occasionally purge their anger on each other through religiously sanctioned violence, and you can go on looting the treasury without interference. I used to wonder why the facilities at our airports and in almost all public buildings in Nigeria were always broken and substandard, until I realized it was not accidental. It is a way of controlling the masses. The masses must never be allowed to think they deserve standard service. Even if they get what is theirs, like decent salaries, healthcare, and education, they must first grovel and beg for it, so that when they finally get it they feel it comes from the munificence of their political overlords, and not as a right.

although 5, Nigeria is the world’s twentieth largest economy, with a GDP of more than $500 billion. The country is the seventh largest oil exporter in the world at least half of the population lives below the poverty line and when Nigeria gained independence 9 million people were below poverty line but now almost 100 million people below poverty line and nothing seems to improve still.

our author who was born and used to live in Nigeria reminisce  about his childhood experiences where Islam and his neighboring Muslims were tolerant and there were no single violent incident between his family who were Christian and their Muslims neighbouring.

That version of Islam was able to accommodate tradition and diversity, and didn’t view the rest of the world through a puritanical lens. But all that changed, as if in a day. A stricter, less tolerant version of Islam emerged and took over the scene.

and now even most Christians are becoming also more strict with their faith and

against a backdrop of declining revenues, high unemployment rates, political corruption and rivalries, government mismanagement, rampant materialism, and serious popular concern about the erosion of moral and religious values

most people sought after

people sought answers in religion. But an irrational reliance on religion, instead of giving the people peace and comfort, only made them less tolerant and more desperate.

and this solution still is not helping them to solve their problems.

what brings more sorrow in this book is the social attitude to the returning girls where they are not accepted fully into he family and since most of them are pregnant or have children who their father is fighters of Boko Haram they become outcasts of their society and rather being victim they take the culprit role

Publisher: Penguin Books

Date Read: June 2018

No. of Pages: 128 pages

Date Published: 6 April 2017

 

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