The Humanity Paradox

Posted: May 25, 2014 in islamism, terrorism, Uncategorized

Sometimes, lessons are learned from the most unexpected places. This is one of those times.

Traditional hunters armed with homemade guns, poisoned spears and amulets have gathered in their hundreds, eager to use their skills and what they believe to be supernatural powers to help find nearly 300 schoolgirls abducted by Islamic extremists.

Some 500 hunters, some as young as 18 and some in their 80s, say they have been specially selected by their peers for their spiritual hunting skills and have been waiting for two weeks in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital and the birthplace of Boko Haram, to get backing from the military and get moving.

With Nigeria’s military accused by many citizens of not doing enough to rescue the girls, the hunters demonstrated their skills to an Associated Press reporter on Sunday. With cow horn trumpets echoing eerie war cries from the screaming and chanting men who twirled knives and swords with dexterity, occasionally stabbing and cutting themselves with no apparent harm.  The hunters claimed their magic charms prevented any blood being drawn. They also trust amulets of herbs and other substances wrapped in leather pouches as well as cowrie shells, animal teeth and leather bracelets to protect them from bullets.

The appearance of the hunters from three northeastern states underscores how deeply the April 15 mass kidnapping — and the government’s apparent lack of action — has affected Nigerian society. It has spawned demonstrations and a tidal wave of commentary in media including social sites like Twitter and Facebook.

A spokesman for the hunters stopped short of actually criticizing the military.

“We’re not saying we are better than the soldiers, but we know the bush better than the soldiers,” said Sarkin Baka. The hunters said they gathered here at the suggestion of a state legislator.

A military spokesman did not immediately respond to an emailed question from AP on whether it would take advantage of the hunters’ local knowledge.

These men came to help, uninvited and unfunded, out of a sense of humanity and they’ve been sitting idle for two weeks as the help given by the world’s superpowers turns up nothing in their search.

Nigeria’s military insists that it is diligently searching for the girls and says near-daily aerial bombardments of the forest that began in mid-January were stopped to avoid accidentally hitting the girls.

“Our troops are out there combing the forests and all other possible locations searching for our fellow citizens. International support is also there assisting the process,” Mike Omeri, a government spokesman, said Friday.

Some parents of the abducted girls say villagers in the Sambisa Forest tell them they haven’t seen a uniformed soldier in the forest.

The girls of Chibok were kidnapped six weeks ago, on April 14, and because of the denseness of the forest in the region where Boko Harum is known to operate, no trace of them has yet to be found.

So then, why not use trained forest hunters to help locate traces of the girls and their kidnappers?

In fact, why aren’t we pushing for the hunters to be allowed to go find the girls?

The First World arrogance thinly veiled in the news reports on the tribal hunter volunteers gives us a clue, and it’s certain to be shared by the government of Nigeria.

It took primitive tribes in the northeastern part of the country two weeks to organize a party of 500 hunters and travel (on foot) to the staging area for the multinational search for the kidnapped girls, and they sit idle waiting for the courtesy of a response from anyone.

On the flip side it took six weeks for the United Nation to condemn the act and place sanctions on Boko Harum.

And they have phones and computers to assist them in discussing the issue,  jets to get the to their rent-free digs in New York, and limos and city cars to get them to their soft, comfortable chairs in the General Assembly room.

Islam itself reacted faster than the United Nations.

(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, the top religious authority in the birthplace of Islam, has condemned Nigeria’s Boko Haram as a group “set up to smear the image of Islam” and condemned its kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls.

Sheikh Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh said the radical movement, which says it wants to establish a “pure” Islamic state in Nigeria, was “misguided” and should be “shown their wrong path and be made to reject it.”

His remarks came as religious leaders in the Muslim world, who often do not comment on militant violence, joined in denouncing Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau for saying Allah had told him to sell off the kidnapped girls as forced brides.

“This is a group that has been set up to smear the image of Islam and must be offered advice, shown their wrong path and be made to reject it,” he told the Arabic-language newspaper al-Hayat in an interview published on Friday.

If the grand mufti had seen fit to condemn Boko Harum on their slaughter of Christians in the town of Benisheik on January this year, or perhaps the United Nations would have been moved to believe that it is just as wrong to massacre Christians in a House of God, as it is to kidnap little girls and threaten to sell them into sexual slavery, Boko Harum may have been targeted by the international community earlier, and the girls may have not been kidnapped.

The grand mufti however, knows that these al-Qaeda-trained fighters are the arm and the sword of Islamic terrorism, and condemning them doesn’t suit his purposes.

Than again, the United Nations however has issued no condemnations over the killings of Christians by Islamic terrorists at any time that I could find. Apparently condemning the killings of Christians for their faith doesn’t suit its purposes either.

Humanity baffles me sometimes.

Mostly because a sense of it doesn’t always serve the purpose of humanity itself, and that makes for an odd paradox.

Maybe the West should walk away from the search for the girls of Chibok and let Islam tend to the monster of their own creation that is Boko Harum.

But the (alleged) leader of the Western world has already declared that “the future most not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam”, so I’m not sure that we’ll get much action coming from him either.

I say that we let the tribal hunters have their shot, and bring our personnel and our drones home, and that the lesson to be learned here is that any time they are busy killing one another is a good thing for the rest of humanity.

And that’s the last wire for Sunday, May 25th 2014.

What was news before this moment, is now history.

Good night.

  1. boilingfrogs says:

    Reblogged this on The Universal Spectator.

  2. […] Continue reading The Humanity Paradox at The Last Wire […]

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