Before it’s too late
The sickening episode of the kidnapping of over 250 schoolgirls in Nigeria should act as a wake-up call for the leaders of the Muslim world. Boko Haram, a rabidly extremist Nigerian outfit that is against western education among other things, demanded the release of its prisoners in exchange for the kidnapped girls. The outfit also forced the non-Muslims among them to convert to Islam. The Boko Haram’s prisonerexchange demand reminded me of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan which made similar demands to the government of Pakistan. There are reports that over a dozen Taliban prisoners were set free to please the Taliban and prove to them that the government was indeed sincere about talking to the TTP.
The Nigerian episode is a sad reminder of the direction the Muslim world as a whole might be taking. It is the path that leads towards rigidity, intolerance and violence. What is more unfortunate is that no steps are apparently being taken to control extremism. Instead, what we see across the Muslim world is a dangerous and growing tilt towards radicalization of thought. I wonder if we realize the consequences of this tendency and how it will harm us far more than it will harm others.