Boko Haram: backward but brutal, but nothing to do with Islam; Nigeria arrests campaigner for abducted girls

Women attend a demonstration calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls in Abuja

Boko Haram, the name of the Islamist group that has terrorised Nigeria, roughly translates as “Western education is forbidden”. The title nicely sums up its philosophy: aggressively anti-Western, backward-looking and fuelled by ignorance. Among its more quirky views are that the Earth is not spherical and that Darwinian evolution is a nonsense.
Boko Haram does not come close to representing mainstream Islam in Nigeria. Its philosophy is medieval, vicious, anti-women – in short, a stain on humanity. It may well also prove to be a security risk for all of us.

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In related news, Nigerian police have arrested one of the leaders of a protest about the abducted girls in Abuja, capital of Nigeria. According to the Financial Times:

The police spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the arrest in Abuja, but the presidency source said Naomi Mutah Nyadar had been detained for allegedly and falsely claiming to be the mother of one of the missing girls.

Ms Nyadar was picked up late on Sunday after a meeting she and other campaigners had held with President Goodluck Jonathan’s wife, Patience, concerning the girls.

She was taken to Asokoro police station, near the presidential villa, said fellow protester Lawan Abana, whose two nieces are among the abductees.

“Ms Naomi was arrested yesterday evening,” he told Reuters by telephone. “We are begging them to save our daughters. Instead of taking steps to rescue them they are jailing us.”

The presidency source said: “[Ms Nyadar] was arrested because of impersonation. She claimed that she was one of the girls’ mothers, so she’s just being questioned by the police.”

Mr Abana denied Ms Nyadar had made any such claim.