By Brandon Kennedy
The attacks in France last week, which killed 17 people, are tragic, but they are atypical. The harsh reality is that Muslims are most often the target of Muslim attacks. While 1.5 million marched in Paris on Sunday no on mourned the 2000+ Nigerian citizens killed by Boko Haram.
Not even their country’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, saw fit to make a visit to Maduguri, the site of the attacks, until yesterday, and he was tight-lipped about the tragedy promising only that those displaced by the attack would not have to remain in camps for too long. He also told survivors that the military assured him that Boko Haram would be overcome soon.
One might rightly be skeptical about such assertions since Boko Haram has reportedly killed over 13,000 people since 2009 and it seems that no one is taking action. Many news organizations have speculated that President Goodluck has sought to distance himself from the killings so as not to upset his chances in a few weeks when Nigeria holds its democratic elections. It is a sad state of affairs when an elected official cares little about the massacres in his own country.
Radical groups like Boko Haram and ISIS do not see westerners as their primary targets. The killing of westerners, for them, is tangential to the greater goal of regressing Muslim culture. The name Boko Haram, for instance, literally means, “Western education is forbidden.”
Last month Boko Haram kidnapped 200 villagers from a Nigerian town, most of them women and children. Similarly, ISIS released a pamphlet last week with guidelines on what the Koran says regarding captured women. Mostly along the lines of if their vaginas need to be “cleansed” before you can rape them.
I do not mean to diminish the tragedies in France, they are deplorable and should be condemned. The march in Paris on Sunday was a beautiful sight, a courageous affirmation of freedom of speech. Yet no one marches for the Muslim victims of ISIS and Boko Haram. It seems that the Western media simply does not care about radical Islam unless they are killing Westerners.
Brandon Kennedy is a Marine veteran and a student at Chatham University’s Professional Writing program.