ISLAMIC … FUNDAMENTALISTS CAUGHT THE WORLD’S ATTENTION
THERE IS A PARTICULAR ANXIETY in trying to explain the rise of armed political movements purporting to speak for social, economic and political circumstances turns into a mishmash of bigotry that does little but blame, confound and promote hysteria. And the headlines this year certainly didn’t help. The Nigerian rebel group Boko Haram earned global infamy after kidnapping more than 270 schoolgirls in the northern Borno State in April. Boko Haram has been at war with the Nigerian government for years, bombing indiscriminately, laying siege to civilians and eluding the muted might of the Nigerian army. The horror of the mass abduction caught the world’s attention when celebrities posted pictures of themselves with the hashtag ‘#BringBackOurGirls’. The campaign, created in Nigeria but then foreign policy decisions. Yet it says a lot about the transient nature of social-media campaigns that the girls are still missing.
Boko Haram’s brutality, however, would soon pale in comparison to that of Isis. The self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and Syria thrust itself group developed through the course of the Syrian civil war and has nurtured a set of objectives that few understand. And while the rest of the so-called civilised world assembles to do battle against Isis, it is, in fact, Muslims who are its greatest victims. To the West, Isis may represent a brand of Islam – but it is Muslims who live in the shadow of its swords.
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