I’m sure, dear readers, that you’re all appalled, dismayed and disgusted by the kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls. From what I’ve read about the situation, I gather the only unusual thing about this (for Nigeria) is the number. It’s not the first time this has happened in this country, and not just to girls. I gather getting an education in Nigeria is a high risk activity. A number of schools have been burnt down and lots of children – boys and girls – have been killed. This is a country that is barely hanging on to any sense of law and order.
I heard an expert on Nigerian affairs speaking about the latest atrocity. He said that for the group that took the girls (Boko Haram, which means ‘Western education is evil’) and for many Nigerians, the Western world’s concern for these girls is “an alien concept”. He said there’s a very strong culture of using girls/women as slaves and sex objects, whose only reason for existence is to cater to the men’s needs. Maybe this partly explains the government’s initial reluctance to do anything about it. And, then there’s the fact that Chibok is a poor, rural, Christian community. It might have been a different story if it had happened in an urban, wealthy neighbourhood.
When I heard the Boko Haram’s spokesman claim that he was following Allah’s orders, I saw an even deeper shade of red than I was seeing before. I know that he’s an extremist. I know that the majority of Muslim believers treasure their daughters as much as non-Muslims. But, where is the Muslim outrage? Why don’t we hear Imams around the world, condemning this behaviour?
I’ve heard it said, “What good has Christianity ever done?” Well, the emancipation of women is one of those good things. I’m so thankful I live in a country that has a Judeo-Christian foundation to its culture and government. I’m thankful that I live in a country that values it’s children and gives each child – regardless of sex, ethnicity or religion – an opportunity to learn and grow. Okay, there are still areas in which we can improve but at least we acknowledge this and are working on it. I’m thankful I live in a country where law and order is upheld and where life is valued and respected. (No wonder refugees still risk crossing the ocean in rickety, over-loaded fishing boats to get here.)
I’m sick of this war on women. I’m sick of the abuse, neglect and ill-treatment of children. I’m sick of people using God as the excuse for their own wickedness. It’s time we get our blinkers off, get our heads out of our own backsides and take a good look around. There’s stuff going on in this world that could be prevented if more “good” people made a stand and said, “Not on my watch”.
Any community that doesn’t cherish their children, doesn’t protect the weak and vulnerable, doesn’t respect its citizens and doesn’t work to better the lives of all its members, isn’t a community at all. It’s just a mad-house. It’s a living hell. And, at this point in time, it’s Nigeria.