Here we are, a month after the kidnapping of some 300 girls by a radical Islamic group in Nigeria, and there are still many in the West who don’t get it. They just don’t understand the motivation of the kidnappers.
Radical Muslims want to take over the world. They divide it into two parts---those who submit to Allah and therefore are at “peace” and those that are at war until they are made to submit to Allah. These are the houses of peace (Dar al-Islam) and of war (Dar al-Harb).
By misreading the motives of Boko Haram, the kidnapping group, we are misreading what the whole conflict is all about; the same applies to radical Muslims everywhere.
Recently, on my radio show I interviewed Dr. Paul Marshall of the Hudson Institute. He is the author with Lela Gilbert of Their Blood Cries Out and Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians (with Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea).
We spoke specifically about the kidnapping of the girls, which has garnered international attention. It’s good that this terrible deed has made headlines. But it’s tragic that when Boko Haram burned down a school a few months ago, killing 90 children, that didn’t make news.
The same applies when they bombed several churches at Christmas during the worship services in 2011. Since 2009, they have killed thousands of people, mostly Christians.
Paul Marshall said that too many in the American state department are not willing to recognize that Boko Haram is motivated by their religious ideology, i.e., radical Islam. He said these government officials have such a secular mindset that they think every motivation is merely money, sex, or power---but not religion.
Marshall also referred to an article from the New York Times (4/15/14), which stated that the group’s motivation is unclear: “Boko Haram’s exact goals, beyond a generalized desire to undermine the secular Nigerian state, remain mysterious.” Mysterious? It’s about radical Islam.
The leader of the Boko Haram movement said on video: “Everybody knows that democracy and the [Nigerian] constitution is paganism. You Christians should know that Jesus is not the Son of God. This religion of Christianity you’re practicing is not the religion of God. It’s paganism. We are trying to coerce you to embrace Islam because that is what God instructed us to do.”
Commenting on that quote, Marshall said, “I don’t know about you, but that sounds quite religious to me.” At heart, this is a religious conflict. In short, convert or die.