This is a guest post from Mubarak Bala. I first got to know Mubarak when he reached out to me for help. He’d been beaten, drugged and hospitalized because he told his father he no longer believed in Allah. We launched a campaign to free Mubarak, getting the attention of the BBC, the AP, ABC, Vice and more. With the help of IHEU, we were able to ensure Mubarak was okay until his eventual release. Once free, Mubarak decided to stay in Nigeria, despite it being dangerous for him, and become a humanist activist. Four years after his incarceration, he still lives and works in Nigeria and spends his free time fighting to normalize humanism in a country where atheists do die for their lack of belief. Mubarak, in short, is one of the bravest people I know. I’m honoured to have him guest post for me. You can follow him on Twitter: @MubarakBala
Sad that I have to write yet again, in pain, over the loss of yet another innocent girl, shot in the back by Boko Haram, the Islamic Jihadists and ISIS-loyal faction, based on the fringes of the shrunken Lake Chad region of West Africa.
I did not watch the video, as I have, long ago, stopped watching such horrifying gruesome murders in the name of my former imaginary Allah, who by all means preferred to do nothing to save these girls, but has dictated that such acts be carried out in many verses of the book taken seriously by close to 1.5 billion people on this planet.
I had wished this God existed, so it could re-send a newer version of a medieval book, edited and refined, to suit the current times, and adjust to newer climes and lands crept upon by the carriers of such a burden innocently thinking they are bringing glad tidings to new peoples. But Alas, Allah died the moment Muhammad breathed his last, typical of man-made gods.
Typical yet of fallible doctrines by prophets, especially those clueless about anything beyond the deserts in which they dwelled a millennia ago. These murderous books, not just wielded by terrorists, but by normal people, rehearsing the dictates to little children, who then take it serious in later life, and act upon the commandments that have destroyed nations.
The girl killed on the 15th of October, Hauwa Liman, 24, worked with the ICRC or The International Red Cross which aids the distressed and the war-torn regions of this planet. Before this, another, 25-year-old, Saifura Khorsa, was also killed in the same manner, hands tied to the back, bent on the knee, and shot by a fellow human being, bereft of any remorse nor conscience.
These Boko Haram terrorists, according to their recently released documents detailing their communications with Al-Qaeda and later, ISIS, from 2002, to 2009, and then through to 2011-date, received an initial $250,000 in Euros in cash bags to start their jihad in West Africa. This was just after the Nigerian government tried to belatedly suppress their decade long verbal agitation (2000-2009) for a return to the Usman Dan-Fodio Caliphate, 1804-1903, thrown out by the British Colonialism of West Africa.
The letters further describe how and why Boko Haram fractioned into two: the ISIS-loyal faction in the northern part of Borno State, and the Abubakar Shekau Faction to the south, largely in the Sambisa forest around the now famous Chibok town. The exchanges even talked about whether to include school children in schools, and that Muslims believe the earth is spherical, against Allah’s own dictate from the Glorious Qur’an, who described how well he laid flat the earth, and put there-on mountains as weights to keep it down and reduce earthquakes.
Both sides of the Islamists have hitherto, taken girls as slaves, just as Muhammad did, after every conquest. Be it in Hunayn, Khaybar, and Qurayza, mostly after massacres of the 13 or above year-old males, as anyone that grew pubes was an adult. Shekaus’s Faction took girls in April 2014, in Chibok, before the group splintered. The splintered group, ISWAP, this year, chose to take girls in March from Yobe’s Dapchi town, under the brazen sun, in a region monitored by US drones from their Niger base as well as the Nigerian military patrols and checkpoints all over the north east. They just came in their trucks, with their armada, driving a long 300km from their base by the lake Chad, and left with truckloads of 100s of girls.
A month later, ISIS HQ from Iraq/Syria, directed that they should release the girls because they are Muslims. There was one exception: Leah Sharibu, 15, who is of Christian parents. They returned them unconditionally to the town and left after leading prayers and preaching to the youth in the village. Sharibu is still kept as a slave, with all Islamic jurisprudence on how to handle a slave, applicable to her. You may google the term ‘Illaa li-azwajihim aw maa malakat aymanihim’ from what the Qur’an wants with little Leah.
Now, the audio of the girl, Hauwa Liman, just about to be captured, was passed around by her friend whom she contacted via WhatsApp. She allowed him to hear the gunshots, as they killed the isolated staff and soldiers doomed to have been posted to the isolated outpost. “Allahu Akbar!”s and rattles of AK47s along with cries could be clearly heard while she kept reciting the distress verses Muslims were supposed to recite, in case of danger. They are requests that Allah send angels to the rescue, but none came.
In the end, one terrorist entered, found her and asked her to come out and follow the others and that was the end of her. She, being a Muslim, is in fact in more danger for many reasons. One of which is working with the enemy, be it Nigerian Army, or being loyal to Nigeria, a state existing outside of Islamic sharia, or helping victims of jihad, who Allah had destined to suffer. The biggest of the reasons however, is the name of the NGO, International Red CROSS, a Christian outpost out on modern crusade to help people and buy sympathy or Jesus. This is what every mosque said to all of us as kids.
There still are numerous girls with the terrorists, both factions, including villagers, farmers, and travellers intercepted by the terrorists. Even this morning, eight were killed on commuters just outside the capital of Borno state, and a few were taken as war booties. The most popular, still numbering a 100, of the initial 284 taken from a school in Chibok town, have yet to be rescued. Some opting to even stay with their new husbands, as Stockholm syndrome gradually takes effect.
Instances of mass massacres are rampant within the Boko Haram camp, amongst themselves, or with captured villages and towns. We, Nigerians now find this our new norm of stories from their lands. When asked to opt between jihad or neutrality in a conquered town, as the Boko Haram documents suggest, a few hundred stood up to join and were sent to the base in the forests by the truckload, to train. The others, about 400-700, who opted for neutrality, were ushered to the pristine rivers behind the town, and the rivers turned to wine…
Now finally, I leave you with this, from same documents, on why ISIS deposed Abu Bakr Shekau for the many sins he committed. He was responsible for rampant massacres of villages and sacking of lands, like never before seen in this region, killing all in his way, commanding, sometimes by himself, and killing his commanders for hiding things like booty, weapons, or better captive girls from him. He also is blamed by IS for not being a father figure to the families of the soldiers, as hunger from blockades mounted by the Nigerian army on their base killed many infants due to malnutrition.
In his defense, Abubakar Shekau replied to Al-Baghdadi:
“I did not come to keep babies, these soldiers prefer to have sex and enjoy this world, and produce babies, while I prefer to wage jihad and establish sharia in these lands infested with democracy. I also implore you to understand, that I kill all, sack all villages of infidels that did not join this jihad, including their women and children and livestock, because sometimes there is no time, resources and equipment to pick them up back to base. I chose to do with them as how Allah narrated in the very Holy Qur’an; Allah dealt with the people of Lot, Ad and Thamud, burning down their whole cities and turning everyone and everything into ash… or do you mean to tell me, Allah destroyed these peoples not knowing there were women and children in them, or there were no chickens and cattle?”
Thank you, Mubarak, for your guest post. Every time I check in with Mubarak, or he writes a guest post with me, it hits me like a ton of bricks just how brutally different our two worlds are. Yet, despite the dangerous times in Nigeria, Mubarak chooses to remain so he can spread humanism and reason and ultimately, peace. Follow him on Twitter here: @MubarakBala
Image: Creative Commons/Pixabay