Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

The stealing of hundreds of girls from northern Nigerian families, schools and villages – in the name of God – for slavery, no less! – is the triumph of madness over reason.

This, the latest act of Boko Haram, a Hausa group that claims to be at war with Western Education, is at war – not with Westernism, but with fellow Hausas and Nigerians – and at war with Islam itself.

There has always been a tenuous tension between Nigeria’s ethnicities and regions, but these conflicts have almost always been resolved short of war (in the Biafran succession attempt during the ‘60s, this was not the case, of course) It appears Boko Haram wishes to push across that dangerous line.

These assaults on children, to enslave them and/or sell them, are particularly odious, and have sparked international protests.

This attack on education comes in the name of a man who so admired learning that an Islamic tradition quotes the Prophet Muhammad as saying, “Science lights the road to Paradise”. Another quote (called a hadith) states, “The ink of a scholar is more holy than the blood of a martyr.” And still another: “Take knowledge even from an unbeliever.”

But at its core, the action of Boko Haram reflects an intense hatred of woman and females.

Although not well known, the Prophet Muhammad was, for his time and place, quite the feminist. He loved women, and in one of his first acts as a political leader, forbade the killing of baby girls – something then common among the ancient Arab tribes.

The first convert to Islam was his wife, Khadijah, a wealthy businesswoman – followed by many women, seeking freedom from an oppressive culture.

This madness is a modern creation, of greed, of ignorance, of misogyny.

It is Boko Loco.