Stop Calling Boko Haram an 'Islamist' Group

They're a 'criminal' group, period, writes columnist in 'Time'

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted May 15, 2014 12:58 PM CDT

(Newser) – Boko Haram considers itself an Islamist group and often gets labeled as such in news reports, maybe with the word "extremist" tossed in. Wrong, writes Carla Power at Time. Boko Haram is a "criminal group," not an Islamist one, and that's what we should call it. Everything about its actions defies the teaching of Muhammad, from its campaign against education, to its forced marriages and conversions, to its declared war on Christianity and the brutal slayings of innocents.

Even the very idea that Boko Haram is waging jihad is incorrect, because self-appointed leaders like Osama bin Laden or Boko Haram's Abubakar Shekau have no authority to do so. Far from being Islamist, members of Boko Haram are actually "traitors to their faith," writers Power. "Their sickening deeds and rhetoric repeatedly demonstrate that not only do they lack kinship with the vast majority of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, but they lack respect for the religion they claim to fight for." Click for the full column.

Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in a photo off video.
Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in a photo off video.   (AP Photo)
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