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    2014-MAY-11 [SUN]   10:13 PST - NIGERIA: Boko Haram and the 276 Missing Schoolgirls








          2014-MAY-11 [SUN]   10:13 PST                 Table Of Contents

        NIGERIA: Boko Haram and the 276 Missing Schoolgirls [UPDATES]
         2014-05-11 10:18 AM PST

Map of Nigeria"I ENJOY KILLING ANYONE THAT GOD COMMANDS ME 
to kill, the way I enjoy killing chickens and 
rams."3 These are the words of Abubakar 
Shekau, the leader of the group known as Boko 
Haram. Many, if not most, people now consider 
this group to be a terrorist group on the same 
level as al Qaeda, and although me and Dave 
don't agree with their approach, that doesn't 
mean that some of their complaints against the Nigerian government 
aren't legit. Specifically, the inequalities in the allocation of 
funds between the Christian oil-producing south and the Muslim 
north which is very poor in comparison to the southern region.3

     This inequality is not right, and it should be changed or fixed 
somehow, but the way Boko Haram is trying to do it isn't right either, 
at least in our opinion. It's an unspoken truth though that as 
horrifying as these acts of terrorism are (which we think most people 
believe they are, regardless of what the truth really is), they do help 
to focus the world's attention on their plight or what they say the 
truth is. 

     The problem is, because these acts are so horrifying, they tend to 
divert attention away from the complaints rather than on them, and the 
overwhelming result is that rather than trying to fix the problem, the 
resulting response is usually just to kill the terrorist, and in the 
process, innocent people get killed also. Boko Haram's response is to 
then do even more killing, hoping that eventually that will help solve 
the problem. It's a vicious cycle, and we abhor both approaches, but 
it's also something that we don't have an easy solution to help fix 
either, but we also believe that at least trying to fix the underlying 
legitimate complaints should also be part of the fix rather then not a 
part of it at all.

     Beside the killing and mass kidnappings (specifically the 
kidnapping of the 276 schoolgirls from Chibok in Northern Nigeria on 
April 15, 2014), another of Boko Haram's desires, that we also disagree 
with, is their goal to turn the country into a religious state, 
especially the installation of Sharia Law as the law of the land. One 
of the biggest problems we have with this law is its treatment of women 
as property, and the added belief that women should not be educated or 
be used for anything except as a bearer of children. I don't believe, 
and neither does Dave, that women should be treated this way. It seems 
to us anyway that this is the real reason that many Islamist extremist 
like this religion, because it allows them to massage their male egos 
by keeping women dependant on them and ignorant of the other 
possibilities that life may have to offer them. They are afraid what 
will happen to them and their egotistical belief that men are superior 
to women.

     We have no real proof that this is what's really going on, but it 
just seems obvious to us from a psychological point of view. The 
subjugation of women has been a major theme throughout most of the 
history of Western Civilization, and it just makes sense that there 
would still be some (if not a lot of) people around that believe that 
this subjugation should not end. They don't like the idea that women 
should be allowed to be independant (and let's face it and also be 
brutally honest as to what's really going on here) and get to chose who 
they have sex with and probably something some men don't like (as 
witnessed by the recent shooting and stabbing rampage by Elliot Rodger 
in California on May 23, 2014). It's probably way more complicated that 
this, but to us it's where the truth more than likely begins, then not.

     Using religion as a basis for this belief is easier than 
explaining exactly why they don't like the end of this subjugation, and 
it's even better when this religion also allows them to justify another 
of their possible basic desires which is to kill people.

     This is why we believe Abubakar Shekau (and the group he leads, 
the Boko Haram) justifies the killings and mass kidnappings by 
pretending that they are commands given to him by his God. Maybe he's 
not pretending, and he really truly does believe that he (and his 
group) are following his God's work, but (to us) it would be more 
believable if he declared that the killings saddened him, but because 
the commands are from God, he reluctantly must carry them out. Plus, it 
doesn't help their cause either that they seemingly also kill those who 
are following the same God that they're following. 

     I personally believe, and Dave seems to agree with me here also,
that it just screams out that he is doing this for selfish reasons 
rather than a desire to follow any real God, because any real God that 
would order these type of killing and kidnappings is not the kind of 
God we would want to be associated with or hang out with in heaven or 
in any kind of afterlife that makes sense to us, if an afterlife even 
exist to begin with. It just seems to us that this kind of God is more 
like the devil that's depicted in Christian religions, and are one and 
the same person or entity or entities, and if that's what the 
afterlife's like, we don't want anything to do with it.

     To be perfectly honest, we can't prove what we believe about 
religion is a fact (because like we explain below, religion is more 
faith based than fact based), and maybe it's also because we're really 
sentimentalist at heart, but we just find it hard to wrap our minds 
around the idea that this is a good thing, or what a real God would be 
like or want.

     What it comes down to it (we think), is that what most people 
choose to believe about religion is either based on how they were 
raised or what they wish were true (and sometimes they are one and the 
same things), but that don't make it fact, because after all, truth is 
truth regardless of what you believe it is. Belief doesn't change the 
real facts. You can believe the world is flat, but that don't 
automatically make the world flat. 

     Religion is more of a belief based on faith rather than on any 
actual fact, proven by logic, or science. That's why it's called faith 
or belief rather than a logical conclusion, but that don't make it 
wrong, and that's why I'm not saying me or Dave are right and other 
people who believe differently are wrong, but that don't mean that 
killing people based on faith is right. It just doesn't make any sense 
to us. 

     But regardless of all that, we believe ultimately you have to go 
with what makes you feel confortable with yourself, and that is why me 
and Dave choose to believe (regardless of what's really true) that if a 
God does exist (I believe in the more tradition kind of God, while Dave 
believes God is just really gravity, but that's another whole different 
story and way beyond the original scope of this particular blog post); 
he (or she) is a benevolent God rather than an evil one that commands 
certain believers to kill and/ or hurt other believers. We just like it 
when people are nice to each other rather than mean, and like we wrote 
above, we both just have a hard time wrapping our minds around the idea 
that being mean is a good thing and what religion (or any belief 
system) should be all about.

     And, it's not like other religions or belief systems haven't 
killed for their causes either. As a matter of fact, many of the major 
wars through out history have also been justified for religious 
reasons. Most of the established religions today have a major part in 
this history also. In short, the religion of Islam is not alone in this 
regard. To us, like we wrote earlier, this is not ultimately what 
religion should be about, but that don't make it true, it's just that 
being nice is more harmonious and makes more sense than being mean to 
each other, but that's just our opinion. Seeing people be mean to each 
other makes us feel bad, and if that's what the one true religion 
really is and what the afterlife will be like, and since we can choose 
how to feel before we die (especially since afterwards we might have to 
feel bad for all of eternity), feeling good is how we want to feel now 
while we can, rather than feel bad right from the beginning. We believe 
it's better to feel good for a short time rather than never at all.

     And even though these actions by Boko Haram are horrendous, one 
thing we agree on is that they do bring attention to the plight of 
the Nigerian people (especially those Muslims who live in the north), 
and it unfortunately (and rightfully so in our opinion) doesn't 
always really help bring about any kind of the constructive changes 
that actually help anyone, because more times than not, all it ends up 
doing is hurt people and that tends to shift the focus from their cause 
(no matter how legit) to a condemnation of their actions instead and 
the real result is that people are hurt and die for nothing, except as 
a form of enjoyment for those who perpetrate these evil acts.

     Although this website is ultimately about finding the truth, it's 
also about being nice to everyone equally (and also considering 
different beliefs equally), at least at first, and thus not hurting 
anyone for no good reason, especially the innocent. Helping the 
innocent is more important to us than hurting them (or hurting anyone 
for that matter, at least not without some kind of fair and unbiased 
investigation), and one of the things that hurt people (besides 
violence and other things like that) is being forced to go missing, 
which is usually what happens when people are kidnapped and forced 
(against their will) to go missing (which seems th have happened in 
this case), and this does not make us feel good at all.

     And this is why we chose to write this article about the missing 
kidnapped girls, and not because we want to prove what the one true 
religion really is or if there is even such a thing; and even though we 
admit that why we do what we do here concerning missing persons is 
ultimately for a selfish reason, it's at least a selfish reason that we 
believe helps people rather than hurts them.

     Ultimately, history will either prove us wrong or prove us right,
and it's a gamble that we feel we have no choice but to make, because
we selfishly want to feel good and not bad, and thinking about people 
going missing against their will without trying to do something about 
it does not make us feel good. We're not saying our website will change 
the world, but it's the best we can do and to do something (no matter 
how small) is better than doing nothing at all.

     We also believe that missing persons are a symptom of a larger
psychological problem (or disorder) rather than the problem itself, and
it shouldn't be ignored just because many people (especially many of 
those in authority) believe it's not that important a problem or 
because there's no easy or cheap solution to solving it.

     Sometimes people do decide to disappear just because they believe 
it's the only choice they have when choosing between their own need to 
survive (either psychologically or physically) and another person's (or 
persons') self interest and selfish desire or need to be mean, and not 
because they are forced to for some evil outside intent or desire. Many 
people seem to believe this is the missing person's problem and not 
theirs. If people want to be stupid, why bother spending money we don't 
have to find them when in the end they'll just do it again and again 
and again? We believe this inaction is wrong and one of the many 
reasons why we created this website.

     Many of these missing person cases where someone chooses to go 
missing are not as easy to decide whether they are the onea choosing or 
someone else is forcing them for their own selfish reasons or intent, 
but we do believe that finding these missing persons so we can find out 
what the truth really is, is more important and seems more right than 
wrong to us, and also because we believe that more people go missing 
against their will (and as a result of some evil intent or desire on 
someone elses part rather than because they are trying to escape their 
past or a bad situation) than is generally believed.

     We may be wrong, but what if we're right? What if finding these
missing people does more good than harm? There's only one way to prove 
this, and that is to find them and let them tell us (and the world) 
themselves. We think this is worth all the work we put into this and 
also because of the education it affords us and everyone else, and as a 
result we believe it is worth being proven wrong and that our theories 
and beliefs are just hogwash, even if only one missing person is saved
from being hurt or killed. We know it's selfish to believe this, but we 
believe it's a good kind of selfish rather than the bad kind, and only 
those who are missing can tell us for sure and not the other way around.

     That's our story, and we're sticking to it until someone (or many 
someones) can prove to us that our theories are wrong (that missing 
persons are a symptom of a larger problem that, like the prevalence 
of serial killers and such, is more widespread than is currently 
believed to be the case) and that this work and beliefs should be 
abandoned in favor of a more passive disregard for possible human 
suffering that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. 

     The way things stand right now, this passive disregard just 
doesn't appeal to us and is just too easy a way to justify continuing 
to do nothing at all, which to us is not logical and doesn't make any 
sense at all.



UPDATES:

BOKO HARAM 'CAPTIVES' ARRIVE AT NIGERIA REFUGEE CAMP - Nigeria 3 May 2015 Last updated at 04:22 BST http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-32571284 "A group of nearly 300 women and girls, which the Nigerian army says were freed from Boko Haram militants earlier this week, have been taken to a refugee camp in north-eastern Nigeria... " BOKO HARAM SEIZES 25 GIRLS FROM TOWN IN NIGERIA - Nigeria Fri, Oct 24, 2014, 01:00 http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/africa/boko-haram-seizes... "Suspected Boko Haram militants kidnapped at least 25 girls in an attack on a remote town in northeastern Nigeria, witnesses said, despite talks on freeing over 200 other female hostages they seized in April... " SUSPECTED BOKO HARAM FIGHTERS MOUNT DEADLY ATTACKS AFTER NIGERIA 'CEASEFIRE' - Nigeria Maiduguir, Nigeria Sat Oct 18, 2014 1:01 pm EDT By Lanre Ola http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/18/us-nigeria-girls... "(Reuters) - Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed dozens of people in five attacks on Nigerian villages that occurred after the government announced a ceasefire to enable 200 abducted girls to be freed, security sources and witnesses said on Saturday... " NIGERIA ANNOUNCES CEASEFIRE WITH BOKO HAREM - Nigeria Oct. 17, 2014 | 4:29 p.m. EDT By Paul D. Shinkman http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/10/17/nigeria-announces... "Six months after almost 300 girls went missing, hope re-emerges on recovering captured girls... " NIGERIAN DEFENSE CHIEF SAYS MILITARY HAS LOCATED ABDUCTED GIRLS BUT CAN'T GO IN WITH FORCE - Nigeria Published May 26, 2014 Associated Press http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/05/26/nigerian-defense-chief... / "ABUJA, Nigeria - Nigeria's defense chief says the military has located nearly 300 school girls abducted by Islamic extremists but cannot use force to free them.... " BOKO HARAM: WEST AFRICAN LEADERS DECLARE 'WAR' 18/05 03:27 CET http://www.euronews.com/2014/05/18/boko-haram-west-african-leaders... / "West African leaders have vowed to wage ‘war’ against Boko Haram at a meeting with EU and US representatives in Paris... "

FOOTNOTES (and other RELATED Material):

1West Africa leaders vow to wage 'total war' on Boko Haram 2U.S. Officials Question Ability of Nigeria to Rescue Hostages 3Boko Haram leader: Is there a method to his madness? 4Abducted Nigerian girls likely split up into smaller groups, officials say 5Nigeria’s Boko Haram smearing the image of Islam: Saudi Grand Mufti 6Everything You Need to Know About Boko Haram, the Group Kidnapping Nigerian Girls 7A mother’s anti-war editorial on #BringBackOurGirls 8Video Rant, Then Deadly Rampage in California Town

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