The news out of Nigeria is beyond words.

Hundreds of girls were stolen from their schools on April 15th.    The girls ranged in age between 15-18, and included both Christians and Muslims.    276 remain as captives.

Kidnapped doesn’t quite capture it.    Enslaved would be more accurate.

The leader of Boko Haram said:  “I abducted your girls. I will sell them…”   This lunatic madman is talking about selling them for slavery at about $12 a person.

The time comes to put aside intellectual exchange:

Woman demonstrating in demonstrations to free the enslaved Nigerian girls.

Woman demonstrating in demonstrations to free the enslaved Nigerian girls. from Flickr Creative Common License

You repulsive vomitous excuse of a man.
Human beings are not for sale.   The girls belong to their own selves, belong to their own families and communities.   You are nothing short of a thief.

This is a bastardization of Islam, of decency, of liberation, of all that is good and beautiful.

We are dealing with people’s children here.  If we were dealing with property, it would be akin to someone breaking into another person’s home, stealing their property, and then stating that they are willing to sell the stolen material.

Except that we are not dealing with property.  We are talking about human beings.

Boko Haram stands for “Fraud/Indecency  [and only then by extension, Western colonial Education] is haram (forbidden).”
You know what’s haram?
Stealing people’s children…Trying to sell human beings.
You, Boko Haram, you are haram.
You are vile and repulsive, the very antithesis of all that is beautiful and merciful.
Your action have made the lives of 276 school girls a living hell, and brought untold anguish to  thousands of their family members.

We try to not speak on behalf of an All-Merciful God, who love and mercy exceeds anything that I can imagine.   But if there is a hell, I hope there is a lower bowel of it that’s prepared for people who do what you have done.

Shame on us all.
Shame on us for creating this world.
Shame on us for not protecting our babies.
Shame on us for looking for a plane for weeks when we know all of its passengers have perished, and ignoring 276 enslaved children.
I do wonder if we were talking about 276 enslaved white European children, if the world community would have stood by.
Shame on the Nigerian government for doing nothing, nothing, to locate and free these children.
Instead, the Nigerian government has arrested the leaders of the protest against these kidnapping.
Shame on us all.

This is not Islam.
This is not the rejection of Western Education.
This is a satanic impulse of misogyny, violence, and slavery masquerading as a movement.
It is terrorism, evil, and slavery wrapped into one.

Demonstrations to #BringBackOurGirls

Demonstrations to #BringBackOurGirls from Flickr Creative Common License

Time for action is now.
Time for action was three weeks ago.
Time for action is now.

Every day that goes on, hundreds of girls and their families continue to live in an infernal state.
If there is decency left in this world, we must act now.

I call on every Muslim, every father, every mother, every African, every decent human being left on this Earth to call for immediate action and intervention to free these precious children.




  1. What do you mean by ‘I do wonder if we were talking about 276 enslaved white European children, if the world community would have stood by!!!!!
    I have been following this tragedy for a few weeks now and it is the first time I have heard such racially charged slander! If you want to bring the color non-issue into this then you know it was black men abducting black girls, in fact black Muslim men stealing black Christian girls and using them for sex and selling them like slaves.
    Britain have a huge problem with Pakistani Muslims grooming non Muslim girls 11-15) and pimping them out just like sex slaves sex slaves. Child services knew about it and did nothing for fear of being called racist.
    You Sir, are guilty of hate speech

    • Marty – You completely missed the point on why he made such comments. And I, as a white person, think he is spot on with his question. I pretty much guarantee if this situation were a bunch of white students there would have been uproar and more intervention to try to find them. It’s the sad truth and reality of the modern day. It absolutely needs to be changed, but it is relatively easy to see that there is truth in it too.

      • kevin, of course if they were american students, white, black or asian, the american government would do something. or if they were europeans the europeans would do something. or if the were jews israel would do something. tehy are nigerians, so why not blame the nigerians for not doing enough? if they need help they should ask for it.

        • The US and Israel have invaded countries for a lot less than the crimes against the Nigerian people by Boko Haram. [The invasion of Grenada and the last Israeli invasion of Lebanon come to mind]

          I blame the Nigerians for not taking action or at least getting outside assistance here. The endemic corruption of the Nigerian government is why people are stupid enough to support Boko Haram in the first place (that and petrodollars from the Saudis and Gulf States). They have let these terrorists operate with impunity.

          Nigeria has oil, we should care what goes on there!

      • Kevin, after I read your response I held my head in my hands and sighed. This race business that keeps coming is a misnomer! How many races are there Kevin? Why is racism 99% of the time applied only to whites.
        I have been following this story and most other stories that have to do with the negative side of Islam. This is about Islam not about race. The professor is throwing out a smoke screen and you are buying it. Do not be foolish!
        Do you know anything about Boko Haram and how many Christians they have killed this year alone not counting the last 5 years? Do you know why they are terrorizing innocent people? Is it because of racism?

        So how many races are there in the world? There is just one, the human race. The one that God created.

      • There is an uproar, IN THE WEST, by Christians and Jews. Except for 2 Egyptian politicians, in comparison to the noise from Christians and Jews, there has been nearly silence from the Muslim world.

        JUST LIKE AFTER 9/11′ and Bali, Madrid, London, and after decades of attacks BY MUSLIMS IN JERUSALEM.

        Don’t you remember all those marches and riots around the world by hundreds of thousands of Muslims condemning terrorism done in the name of Islam?


        “This is a bastardization of Islam”.

        No, terrorism and the stealing of children IS ISLAM, and that’s why Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists must come together and stay together against the 1400 year scourge of Islam.

        • Omid Safi

          hi Les. Fortunately the volume of your voice bears no correlation to truth.
          As far as Boko Haram, here are American Muslims condemning it.

          As for 9/11 and Muslims condemning it, are we really going to go there for the umpteenth time?

          Next time, do a bit of research before embarrassing yourself. God Bless ya.

    • Marty, if this is the “first time” you have heard race being mentioned with regard to lack of response from the world then you have NOT been following this story as you claim you have. Many people from across the world have been mentioning this point, that race seems to be a factor. Even Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of Britain, alluded to race when he expressed his frustration and anger at how the world has been slow to respond to these kidnappings.

      • why is it the world’s responsibility?

        of course this is not the first time race has been brought up. when ever something happens in Africa race is one of the first things brought up. we tried to help the Somalis in the early 90s and they dragged our guy through the street chanting and celebrating. why should we risk that again? the African’s kill each other with impunity all the time. Somali, Rwanda, sudan..north vs south, Darfur, south sudan right now, Uganda, the DRC and the CAR. Ethiopia and who split from them etherina? nothing new here.

  2. let me see if i’ve got this straight. black muslim kidnap black girls and it the whites responsibility to track them down and return them safely. have the nigerian asked for help? did obama say, “no, why would i care about black african girls”?

  3. Race and Government and Fault? How about this? Girls stolen and abused by Men. I am a man. All the comments I’ve read are posted by men. The article is written by a man.

    We should bring attention to what has happened. We should demand justice. And maybe we as men should take the action necessary to guide this world to a place of peace for all. Action. Not bickering words that amount to a pissing contest that ignores the input of women, creating dissent, division while producing yet more smoke and mirrors.

    We men have held the pulpits, podiums and palaces hostage for eons by force and aggression. It’s time to feel, let go, be quiet, be still, allow the muddy water to settle, listen and in the stoic wisdom of a peaceful silence… then and only we may act right.

  4. Here is the part I am finding a bit silly. The terrorists are being really really cheap. They have kidnapped literally scores of people and are holding them ransom for a whopping amount of about $3,300.

    I know Nigeria is not a rich country per se, but its not like the ransom will break the bank for the government. I am sure that some of the oligarchs running their economy spend that much on a night out on the town. Nigeria’s chief exports are coffee, oil, marijuana and cyberfraud. I am sure among those industries there is someone who can scrape up the equivalent of the price of a used motor scooter.

  5. wow, such power mr omid. ask and ye shall receive. America is on the case. of course now if we don’t solve it it’s our fault. or if we find them, do we send in seal team 6?

    • The ransom costs about the same as one assault rifle used by Seal Team 6.

      The Nigerian E-mail scammers with their fake princes and oil tankers pull in more with a lot less effort.

      Terrorism is really a silly business venture.

  6. jaffar alan
    they dont know what is the islam…and what studyein islam., and Quran what said….you angry with anybody you dont put unjustis to them….
    this is for what…?.
    they dont see face of beutyfull Islam…
    they want make islam ugly face.

  7. Barbara Williams

    Actually, what these men have done has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with cowardly and incompetent men who are angry with their lives, but too scared to actually do anything about it. Instead, they attack the weakest in society and pretend it has something to do with Islam. They don’t fool anyone, we know they are are cowards and not capable of living proper lives.

  8. “This is a satanic impulse of misogyny, violence, and slavery masquerading as a movement.” There is no other description to give these lust driven men than satanic; no other. And shame on us for standing by. Do you mind if I link this article in my blog please? Jazak’Allah khayr and salam

    • susan you should read the hadiths on taking females as war booty. search in bukhari the words coitus interrputus.

      shame on who for standing by. boko haram has been active since 2009. tehy blew up buses killing 70 and shot 130 the two day prseding this. where are their fellow muslims who are supposed to forbid the evil? last time america tried to help in africa they dragged our guy throught the streets.

  9. I say shame on all of you that have mentioned Race, Religion, oil and anything else not specifically related to the fact that 200+ girls have been taken. These are your duaghters, these are my daughters, shoot these are the world’s daughters. I hope we all stand up one day and say, “Enough is enough, we will not put up with this kind of behavior any longer.” We punish our children for wrong doings, we punish our citizens so how come we cannot go in and extinguish these worms and see if the next idiotic religous freak wants to try his luck at breaking the rules when he knows the consequence is DEATH, to you and your fucked up way of thinking. What did these girls do to have the world think of them as anything less that our #1 priority.

  10. As a Muslim myself, I am having difficulty understanding how Quran actually condones enslavement of non-Muslim captive women and their exchange as commodities among men as sex slaves. I found out about the related verses confirming ISIS’s claim that Islam actually encourages men to sleep with as many slave women as possible. It shocks me to realize that the quran grants permission to men to have a limitless number of women, not even 4(as long as they are captives). And it shocks me even more that Allah encourages such an inhumane treatment of women just because they are non-Muslim and are held captive.

    This is not a comment seeking provocation. I am just honestly questioning some of the practices in Islam and the verses justifying them. I would really appreciate if you could share your perspective on this.

    Thank you,

  1. […] Omid Safi, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, wrote an impassioned response to Boko Haram’s leader that speaks for me: “Human beings are not for sale…This is the bastardization of Islam, of decency, of liberation, of all that is good and beautiful.” […]

  2. […] While Omid Safi released an emotional call for action denouncing Boko Haram and our unwillingness to address violence and injustice, I must say I feel discouraged by the situation and the path that the international community (media, governments and advocates) has taken. We aren’t thinking in terms of justice and we aren’t thinking long-term. The international outcry may be temporarily useful in getting some of the girls back, but is it enough to prevent the disappearance of other Nigerian girls in the future? Is the uproar enough to drive people to be concerned with the wellbeing of girls, particularly those of colour, in the long term? Similarly, the hashtags and celebrity posts show anger and outrage about the situation, but how do they address the fact that all communities, particularly those of women of colour, have missing daughters? […]

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