Faith McDonnell–Sympathy for the Devil: Equivocation on Boko Haram

Responding to Carson’s testimony at a House Subcommittee on Africa hearing in July 2012, Subcommittee Chairman, U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ), remonstrated that poverty alone does not drive people to violence. And in any case, Boko Haram is well funded by outside Islamists. “Heavy machine guns” and “buses and pickup trucks mounted with machine guns” are just the latest examples to show that Boko Haram is not just a motley crew of impoverished, marginalized local Muslims. In February 2013 it was revealed that hundreds of Boko Haram members had trained for months in terrorist camps in northern Mali with the local “Ansar Dine” al Qaeda of Mali. Their former chef, explained that he cooked for over 200 Nigerians who had “arrived in Timbuktu in April 2012 in about 300 cars, after al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) swept into the city.”

In its 2013 Nigeria briefing, human rights group Justice for Jos +, a project of Jubilee Campaign USA, remarked, “Ironically, in northern Nigeria, it is Christians who are totally disenfranchised politically, economically, and socially in their own states and by their own ethnic groups due to their religious identity.” This is worse than just “political marginalization,” Mr. Carson! Justice for Jos + continues, “Christians are regarded as inferior to Muslims and suffer ongoing, systematic and comprehensive discrimination even by local and (Sharia) state governments.”

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