They’re opposed to Western education as being against Sharia norms: the group wants to “clean the (Nigerian) system which is polluted by western education and uphold Sharia”h all over the country.” Imagine the quips, the digs, and the New York Times analyses if there were a Christian group calling itself “Education Is Sin.” This one, however, will pass unnoticed, or with “Boko Haram” left untranslated in reports — as in the Reuters story here.
Bauchi, the capital city of Bauchi State, was awash with bloodbath early morning yesterday as scores of religious fundamentalists were killed after a failed attack on a police station.
Official estimates put the death toll at 32, but the figure is not less than 150, according to correspondents who said they counted the bodies.
A group called “Boko Haram” (“education is sin”), which has been campaigning for the imposition of Sharia”h (Islamic law) on the 36 states of the Nigerian federation, was said to have sparked off the crisis when its members launched an attack on the station.
Reuters news agency quoted a member of the group, who was wounded during the initial attack on the station, as saying the group wanted to “clean the (Nigerian) system which is polluted by western education and uphold Sharia”h all over the country“.
As is always and everywhere the case, the group cast its aggression as defensive:
“The police has (have) been arresting our leaders; that is why we decided to retaliate,” said the man, who gave his name only as Abdullah, according to the news agency.
Meanwhile, the state Governor, Mallam Isa Yuguda, has described the fundamentalists as militants, urging Nigerians to see it as a national issue.
“Their plan is to attack everybody,” he said, while announcing a curfew from 9pm to 6am. “Governors should brace up and clean their states of this rubbish.”
THISDAY gathered that the sect struck around the Federal Low-cost Housing Estate and Dutsen Tanshi areas in the early hours of yesterday.
They were said to be reacting to the refusal of the Bauchi State government to allow a free atmosphere to publicly practise their religion as well as win more souls to the sect.
The newspaper learnt that members of the sect had been planning a demonstration in Bauchi for a long time now but were not given the chance because of the fear by government that their doctrine, if allowed to be preached publicly, could cause a religious crisis.
Obligatory Unsupported Assertion Alert:
Their teachings are regarded as completely out of tune with the teachings of other Islamic sects, especially regarding peaceful co-existence. […]
Boko Haram, the sect fingered in the latest Bauchi religious crisis, means “education is sin”. The sect wants Islamic law imposed on the federation, while also campaigning against Western education. They have similar beliefs with the Taliban group in Afghanistan.