The last couple of weeks have been a little on the jovial side – which is nice and all that, but then occasionally I do like to talk about serious matters, and it doesn’t get much more serious than abduction, rape and human trafficking. Unfortunately, this is what happened to a few hundred schoolgirls, a couple of weeks ago in Borno, north-eastern Nigeria.
Despite the extraordinary details of the incident, it doesn’t seem to have garnered much coverage among the British Press. Perhaps there isn’t anything to report? But then, that hasn’t really stopped them before. This relative quiet is in sharp contrast to, say, the abduction of Madeline McCann, which is still generating headlines (and money) even now, a decade after the fact. Just check the front of yesterday’s Mirror.
While this may be new to us, Nigeria is familiar with Boko Haram. This child-abduction episode is merely the latest in a long, long list of reprehensible stunts carried out by this group of reprehensible boneheads.
Last night, a man claiming to be Abubakar Shekau, the group’s leader, claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. As is traditional, he did so via the medium of an hour-long rant captured in super-grainy-o-vision. This is a mystery to me; these are clearly pretty well-equipped terrorists. These people are standing in front of an armoured personnel carrier, is there any good reason why video-recording technology should be beyond them? If I were to guess, I would say that they consider any sort of audio-visual fidelity to be a product of Boko, and therefore also Haram.
Shekau cuts a pretty pathetic figure, shuffling through a long ream of paper, periodically scratching his arse and pausing occasionally to adjust his ridiculous orange bobble hat and grin like a buffoon.
“I abducted a girl at a Western education school and you are disturbed. I said Western education should end. Western education should end. Girls, you should go and get married,”
You see what I mean? The crux of the matter is that he, like all boneheaded men, finds nothing more terrifying than an educated woman. What a ridiculous tosser he is. Why would anyone take him seriously? Oh yes, because he’s dangerous. And he ensures that his dangerousness is properly advertised: as is mandatory when delivering a lengthy stream of nonsensical bile, a Kalashnikov dangles from his shoulder, and a posse bandana-clad bozos stand ready on either side, each clutching similar weaponry. I wonder what Freud would say.
Such ordinance must be on display when you’re doing this sort of thing. Were it not for this implicit threat of violence, one might be tempted to laugh in his face. And it’s jolly well important that no-one is permitted to laugh at Boko Haram. Once a bully lets you laugh at him, then the game is nearly up.
“You are either with us, or you are with the Obama. Francois Hollande. George Bush. Bush! Clinton.”
Shit? All of those people? Anyone else?
“I forgot not Abraham Lincoln.”
Abraham Lincoln? Okay then. You have to recognise some originality, there. I’ve heard terrorism be blamed on Bush and Obama before, but I’ve never heard Abraham Lincoln namechecked. Perhaps Shekau considers the abolitionist movement to have been un-Islamic?
“I want to reassure my Muslim brothers that Allah says slaves are permitted in Islam.”
Oh, well there you go then. Like every religious nutcase he insists that God must shoulder a share of the blame for his idiocy. I suppose it would be too much to ask that he (or indeed, any of his ilk) admit the obvious: “I find clever women really quite intimidating, and I’d much rather there were less of them around.”
I myself never particularly enjoyed school. But then, I never had to live with the alternative of not being allowed to go to school, on pain of being abducted, raped repeatedly and then sold into slavery (if not murdered). I would have found such a deterrent quite compelling. And yet, it seems that there are girls still willing to take that risk. I do find that sort of bravery really quite extraordinary. And I do hope that those in power are similarly brave in dealing with this group of abhorrent wankstains.
Until next week.