The kidnapping of over 300 Nigerian school girls from their boarding school by Muslim extremist group Boko Haram in 2014 was not a new or isolated event, but it incited world-wide protests and offers to help tract down the 276 missing girls—53 of the girls escaped. Parents blamed the military for lack of response. A global Twitter campaign is titled #BringBackOurGirls. Boko Haram, modeled on the Taliban, oppose secular education and Western culture. The group attached dozens of schools since 2012, killing students and teachers, closing nearly all schools in the northeastern region. The group’s leader said in a video he planned to sell his “slaves” into marriage (for $12), and that girls as young as nine should be married and not in school. Large marches in Lagos of mostly women carried signs saying, “Save us! Save Nigeria,” “Where is our girls? We want them back,” and “Our hearts bleed for the mothers of abducted girls.” Somali expatriate, writer, and former Muslim, Ayaan Hirsi Ali warns, “The kidnapping of these schoolgirls is not an isolated tragedy; their fate reflects a new wave of jihadism that extends far beyond Nigeria and poses a mortal threat to the rights of women and girls.”[i]
[i] Ayaan Hirsi Ali, “Boko Haram and the Kidnapped Schoolgirls,” The Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2014.