Several newspaper columnists and journalists in the Islamic nation of Pakistan are challenging Western sensibilities that resist making any connection between the religion of Islam and the mass abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls by the jihadist group Boko Haram.
In an article in the Pakistani daily Dawn titled “There is a mini Boko Haram thriving in every Muslim society,” columnist Murtaza Haider warned that such acts are inherent in Muslim societies, noted the Middle East Media and Research Institute, or MEMRI.
Several Pakistani writers questioned liberal “apologists” for failing to understand the links between Islamic law and the Boko Haram abductions or the Pakistani Taliban’s 2012 attack on youth icon Malala Yousafzai.
MEMRI pointed to another article, “Shameless apologia,” by journalist Kunwar Khuldune Shahid, which chastised Western leftists for describing any critique of Islam as “Islamophobia.”
Shahid, writing in the Lahore-based liberal weekly the Friday Times, said that claiming the jihadists are using the “wrong” Islam employs the same logic the radicals use when they criticize “progressive” Muslims.
“Playing ‘true and false’, while thousands continue to be under the Islamist gun is a very dangerous game to play,” he wrote.
Robert Spencer, an American author and scholar of Islam, noted the MEMRI report on his website, JihadWatch.org.
“It takes extraordinary courage to state such obvious truths in Pakistan, or anywhere, these days,” Spencer commented.
In her column, Haider said Muslim societies “across the globe have been notorious for the poor welfare of women, especially the girl child.”
“Despite the glaring discrimination, Muslim apologists argue that this has nothing to do with Islam or Muslims,” she said. “They hastily blame the ‘enemies of Islam’ for propagating lies about Muslims.”
She said that Boko Haram may seem like merely “a remote African tribe that abducts girls, threatens to kill them, and marries them off against their will.”
However, some “introspection should reveal that the same tendencies are alive and instrumental in all Muslim societies.”
“Muslim fathers in the West have abducted their daughters and transported them back home to prevent their daughters from marrying for love,” she pointed out. “In the name of honor, Muslim fathers and brothers are known to have killed their daughters and sisters who married against family’s wishes.”
“In almost every neighborhood in Muslim societies, one will find women who were forcibly married to men chosen by their parents,” she said.
“There is a mini Boko Haram alive and thriving in every neighborhood in Muslim societies.”
As WND reported, nine Muslim women testify in a documentary called “Honor Diaries” of the pervasive problem in Islamic societies of “honor” killings, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, restriction of movement and denial of education, which they say are rooted in the culture.
The film has been banned on some U.S. university campuses after a campaign by a leading Islamic group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, labeled it “Islamophobic.”
‘Allah says slaves are permitted’
Meanwhile, the Pakistani writer Shahid noted reports of multiple rapes have already surfaced and Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau has stated that he considers the school girls his slaves who he will “sell off” in marriage.
He justified his plan in a recently released video.
“I want to reassure my Muslim brothers that Allah says slaves are permitted in Islam,” the Boko Haram leader declared.
Shahid pointed out Boko Haram, which means in the Hausa language “Western education is sinful,” were snatched from the dormitories of their government school, which uses a Western model.
“Boko Haram believes that Western education is haram [forbidden], even more so for girls, who according to their ideology should not be allowed to do much without their male guardians,” he wrote.
Attacking the girls’ schools, Shahid said, “has been high on Boko Haram’s Sharia-enforcement agenda, in a bid to prevent these girls from being ‘Westernized.’”
“And for Pakistan, Boko Haram’s antics should ring very familiar alarm bells.”
Shahid observes that “stating the obvious fact” that Boko Haram and similar groups “are driven by their religion – as the militants proclaim themselves – is dubbed ‘Islamophobia’ in unison by both the progressive Muslims and overwhelming parts of the liberal left in the West.”
“Political correctness continues to trump effective counterterrorism strategy, lest one is dubbed ‘culturally insensitive’, or an Islamophobe,” he said.
“All Western reports highlighting Islamist terrorism are brimming with disclaimers, stressing upon various versions of Islam.”
Shahid wondered why it’s necessary to qualify the jihadists’ justification for their actions.
“While a debate on various interpretations of any ideology is an academic necessity, what is the immediate relevance of these disclaimers in a report narrating terrorists’ acts and their own justification for said attacks?”
Shahid also had criticism for “progressive” Muslims who seek to “reform” Islam.
He commented that it’s “ironic that all the endeavor of progressive Muslims is dedicated to shielding their ideology from criticism, when it’s actually this critique that would lead to necessary reform, which at the end of the day is their much touted agenda.”