These days, all eyes are on ISIS. But they are far from the only Muslim terrorist group about which we should be concerned. Remember Boko Haram? They led the news cycle back in April–which seems like a long time ago, given the disasters that have occurred since then–when they kidnapped and enslaved 270 girls, most of them Christians. Which reminds me: is #BringBackOurGirls still trending? Now, that was a strategy!
Boko Haram hasn’t gone away, of course. Christian Today updates us on some of the group’s recent predations, including the beheading of a six-year-old Christian boy:
It was revealed this week that Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram beheaded a six-year-old boy on June 1 because he was a Christian.
The attack occurred in Attagara, Gwoza district, Borno State – a predominately Christian community, according to Voice of the Martyrs. Over 100 militants descended upon the village, slaughtering men, women, and children. …
One villager, Sawaltha Wandala, was arriving at church for the second service when he saw children being massacred. One six-year-old boy had been slashed and thrown into a ditch, but he was alive. Wandala picked him up and was carrying him to a hospital in Cameroon, when he was stopped by five of the militants.
The men reportedly took the child from Wandala’s arms and beheaded him, then began beating the 55-year-old with tree branches. After striking him in the head with a rock, they left him for dead. …
Two days later the militants returned, attacking Attagara and other villages in Gwoza. VOM reported that approximately 200 people were killed in the two-day assaults.
John Yakuba and his family survived the Attagara attacks and fled to Cameroon, but Yakuba returned to their home to retrieve their animals and some of their belongings. The family faced starvation at a refugee camp, and Yakuba hoped to sell the animals to support them.
Boko Haram members saw Yakuba entering his home, however, and captured him.
“We know you’re John,” they said to him, according to VOM. “You must convert to Islam or else you will die a painful death.”
When Yakuba refused to denounce Christ, they tied his arms and legs to a tree, and hacked his hands with a knife.
“Can you become a Muslim now?” the militants asked.
“You can kill my body, but not my soul,” Yakubu cried out.
You probably don’t want to read the rest.
Why is ISIS a bigger threat than Boko Haram? In large part because it has stolen enormous amounts of money, more than any terrorist group has ever controlled. But Nigeria is one of the world’s principal oil-producing countries; currently, its production is constrained mostly by violence precipitated by Boko Haram. What if that group should gain control over all or a substantial part of Nigeria’s oil resources? Is there any reason to think it would be less a threat than ISIS? Its depravity is certainly no less.
At the moment, terrorist organizations like ISIS and Boko Haram are great at slaughtering villagers, beheading Christians, enslaving women and intimidating ill-trained and unmotivated government forces. They are no match for a real military force of the sort that we and a handful of other countries can mount. But that condition is not necessarily permanent. As they acquire more territory, power and wealth, and gain access to weapons of mass destruction, it may not be easy, or even possible, to defeat them before they do incalculable damage to the civilized world.
Which is another way of saying that it is time for a strategy, not to accommodate or contain militant Islam, but to defeat it and extirpate it from the Earth. Somehow, though, I don’t think that is the sort of strategy that Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett and John Kerry are working on.