November 15th marked the gory seven-month anniversary of the kidnap of our Chibok girls from Northern Nigeria. More than 267 young girls are still unaccounted for and our hearts bleed. The silence could only have emboldened the terrorists to kill another 46 or so young male students who were dutifully waiting to listen to their school principal at a typical school assembly. Blown to their deaths by a suicide bomber wearing their safe school uniform. The Western media barely gave it a rolling mention. Probably a combination of fatigue, disinterest, helplessness,and inequity, it could be argued. Not my focus this time though.
This time, my frustration and that of all perplexed distant but concerned observers and citizens is this: How do we channel our helplessness? Where do we find answers to an evil that threatens to perpetually swallow the innocents?
Does the answer lie with the voices of moderate Muslims? Is this indeed a Muslim problem? Bill Maher was attacked for his statements criticizing Islam. Fareed Zakaria in an enlightening discussion with Sam Harris offered that it’s indeed a problem not with Islam itself but with Islam Today. In other words, it is not a problem of ideology but one of a sociopolitical and contemporary nature. If the latter is the case, then more voices need to be heard from inside of Islam. It is to be noted that Nigerian Muslims are not speaking up against the violence of Boko Haram. And how many Arab/Muslim countries are joining the fight against ISIS?
Another possible answer? Divide up these countries where fundamentalists have denied peace to all other co-inhabitants. Again, some suggest this is the only viable solution and that’s what needs to happen in Iraq and Syria. Nigeria too? Maybe.