President Obama, Boko Haram and Islamic terrorism

Did He ever encounter a terrorist organization other than one named Al Qaeda with which, for political purposes, He failed to empathize?

Boko Haram has been much in the news lately because it kidnapped substantially more than two hundred girls from a school in Nigeria.

The clear Islamic connection has been downplayed, when mentioned at all. So have the facts that the girls were Christians attending a Christian school.

Unless taken from their captors by force, a potentially dangerous exercise, the girls will either be sold into slavery (and/or worse) or held as hostages pending Nigeria’s release of captured Boko Haram terrorists.

How about Islamic honor killings?

Do they bother President Obama? He has shown great affinity for Tea Party Islamic terrorists other than those named Al Qaeda. Major Hasan, of Fort Hood fame, was initially claimed simply to have engaged in workplace violence (he still is) to avoid offending other adherents to the Religion of Peace. President Obama and other members of His administration hold Israel to be an oppressor of Palestinian Muslims and hence bad and Palestinians to be oppressed Muslims and therefore good. On the same basis, the Muslim Brotherhood is held to be good, Egypt bad.

According to an article titled Boko Haram and the failure of obama’s counter-terrorism strategy,

The heart of the problem is that President Barack Obama and many of his top counter-terrorism advisers see Islamic extremism from the leftist perspective of social movement theory.

. . . .

[T]errorism becomes “a mode of contention,” and terrorists are not to blame for their violence; “exogenous contingencies” are at fault. Sources in the Koran, Islamic jurisprudence, or even contemporary calls to jihad are not to blame; state policy is. Dr. Mohammed M. Hafez, an associate professor at the Naval Postgraduate School who also influenced U.S. policy, echoes this perspective in his book Why Muslims Rebel: [Emphasis added.]

Muslims rebel because of an ill-fated combination of institutional exclusion, on the one hand, and on the other, reactive and indiscriminate repression that threatens the organizational resources and personal lives of Islamists. Exclusionary and repressive political environments force Islamists to undergo a near universal process of radicalization.

Radical Islamists, therefore, bear no personal responsibility for their acts of terrorism or disruption. Rather, they are forced by a political environment that excludes or represses them to undergo an inevitable process of radicalization.

For the Obama administration, Islamist extremism (except for Al Qaeda) is not a categorical evil which stands opposed to America’s good; it is, rather, an extreme expression—among a range of expressions—of protest against legitimate grievances. Islamic radicals such as Boko Haram are not responsible for their actions; they are forced to radicalism by their circumstances. And it definitely has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam, not even a distorted version of Islam. [Emphasis added.]

An obvious problem is that one unwilling even to name Islam as an enemy, much less to consider it an enemy, is not willing to combat it. The Obama administration, rather than combat the Islamic enemy, desires to appease it and to fight against the oppression it holds to have caused any indiscretions which it may, understandably, have been forced to commit.

The Obama Administration prefers to show its great resolve and bravery by fighting with what it claims to be the most dangerous demon of all, climate change.

Climate change denier

Even though President Obama continues to shrink the foreign policy aspects of the office to which He was twice elected, He is a good little President! Half right (little), methinks.


A post at Commentary Magazine titled It’s About Christianity, Not the Girls includes interesting quotes from the Boko Haram leader, Abubakr Shekau. It introduces them by stating,

Commentators from across the political spectrum have chimed in on the horror of Boko Haram’s abduction of more than 300 school girls. And, certainly, the fact that the victims were young school girls has made a difference in the Western world’s interest in the story. But, while #BringBackOurGirls has become a trending hashtag, it may be missing the point.

Reading the speech of Boko Haram leader Abubakr Shekau, it is clear that for him, the target may have been the girls, but the motivation was not simply to prevent girls from receiving education or a desire to attack Western education more broadly, but rather to launch a much broader attack on Christianity. [Emphasis added.]

Here are some of the more interesting quotes:

My brethren in Islam, I am greeting you in the name of Allah like he instructed we should among Muslims. Allah is great and has given us privilege and temerity above all people. If we meet infidels, if we meet those that become infidels according to Allah, there is no any talk except hitting of the neck; I hope you chosen people of Allah are hearing. This is an instruction from Allah. It is not a distorted interpretation it is from Allah himself. This is from Allah on the need for us to break down infidels, practitioners of democracy, and constitutionalism, voodoo and those that are doing western education, in which they are practicing paganism. [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

Selling the girls—or better yet converting them—is but one part of the plan:

I am selling the girls like Allah said until we soak the ground of Nigeria with infidels blood and so called Muslims contradicting Islam. After we have killed, killed, killed and get fatigue and wondering on what to do with smelling of their corpses, smelling of Obama, Bush, Putin and Jonathan worried us then we will open prison and be imprisoned the rest. Infidels have no value. It is [Nigerian President Goodluck] Jonathan’s daughter that I will imprison; nothing will stop this until you convert. If you turn to Islam then you will be saved. For me anyone that embraces Islam is my brother. [Emphasis added.]

. . . .

We are anti-Christians, and those that deviated from Islam, they are forming basis with prayers but infidels. All those with turbans looking for opportunities to smear us, they are all infidels. Betrayers and cheats like them. Like Israeli people, Rome, England– they are all Christians and homosexuals. People of Germany like Margret Thatcher. Ndume are all infidels.

. . . .

To the people of the world, everybody should know his status: it is either you are with us Mujahedeen or you are with the Christians… We know what is happening in this world, it is a Jihad war against Christians and Christianity. It is a war against western education, democracy and constitution. We have not started, next time we are going inside Abuja; we are going to refinery and town of Christians. Do you know me? I have no problem with Jonathan. This is what I know in Quran. This is a war against Christians and democracy and their constitution, Allah says we should finish them when we get them. [Emphasis added.]

Two questions: what do they think of Jews and is Abubakr Shekau unaware of President Obama’s fondness for Islam?

UPDATE, May 14, 2014

An article by Andrew C. McCarthy at PJ Media titled In Nigeria, Obama’s Pro-Islamist Policies Have Negative Practical Results correctly observes,

The ideological glue that holds Islamist groups together is Islamic supremacism, which is directly derived from a strict, literal interpretation of Muslim scripture, coupled with a belief that the “golden age” of Islam was the time of the first generations — Mohammed and his immediate companions and descendants — to which Muslims must return if they are ever to overcome the corrupting influence of the West. (Boko Haram actually means “Western education is ‘haram’ or forbidden.”)

Nevertheless, our government adamantly refuses to acknowledge the Islamic doctrinal underpinnings of Islamic supremacism.  Consequently, the disconnect: Boko Haram is quite clear that its goal is to impose sharia law and join al Qaeda’s global jihad. Its targets include churches and Western symbols, and its current leader, Abubakar Shekau, is quoted threatening the United States in 2010: “Do not think jihad is over. Rather jihad has just begun. America, die with your fury.” Yet, the Obama administration long refused to designate it as a terrorist organization — at the insistence of the State Department under Hillary Clinton, over the objections of other government agencies. (The State Department finally listed Boko Haram as a terrorist organization after John Kerry took over for Mrs. Clinton.)

Instead, ignoring what Boko Haram pronounces its goals to be, the Obama administration portrayed it as a diffuse organization with no clear agenda that was ascendant due to the policies of the Nigerian government (which is under Christian leadership). As the Boko Haram threat got progressively worse, the State Department and the White House theorized that it could be defused by better government engagement with the Muslim population in Northern Nigeria, and that designating Boko Haram as a terrorist organization—which would have triggered our law’s array of counterterrorism tools and squeezed the organization financially—would raise its prestige while encouraging more government repression against Muslims.

Note the absurdity: our government denies the Islamic doctrinal roots of jihadist terror, yet constantly fears that America’s condemnation of a group as “terrorist” will increase its appeal to factions of the Muslim population.

The wayward policy poses challenges in the current crisis over Boko Haram’s abduction of hundreds of girls and young women. The administration’s reluctance to crack down on Boko Haram owes to its sympathies for the Islamist case against the Nigerian government—not, it should be stressed, for Boko Haram’s terrorist methods and extremism, but for the claim that the Nigerian government’s vigorous, forcible response to terrorism is what provokes terrorism. [Emphasis added.]

Please read the entire piece.

About danmillerinpanama

I was graduated from Yale University in 1963 with a B.A. in economics and from the University of Virginia School of law, where I was the notes editor of the Virginia Law Review in 1966. Following four years of active duty with the Army JAG Corps, with two tours in Korea, I entered private practice in Washington, D.C. specializing in communications law. I retired in 1996 to sail with my wife, Jeanie, on our sailboat Namaste to and in the Caribbean. In 2002, we settled in the Republic of Panama and live in a very rural area up in the mountains. I have contributed to Pajamas Media and Pajamas Tatler. In addition to my own blog, Dan Miller in Panama, I an an editor of Warsclerotic and contribute to China Daily Mail when I have something to write about North Korea.
This entry was posted in al Qaeda, Appeasement, Bill Whittle, Brutality, Cairo address, Climate change, Culture of violence, Discrimination, Egypt, EPA, Foreign policy, Freedom, Honor, Ideology, Iran, Islamic rage, Islamists, Islamophobia, Libruls, Major Hasan, Middle East, Muslim Brotherhood, Obama, Obama's America Now, Osama bin Laden, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian heroes, Peace in our time, Political Correctness, Religion, Rouhani, Shari law, United States of Obama, War on women and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to President Obama, Boko Haram and Islamic terrorism

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    President Obama, Boko Haram and Islamic terrorism

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  9. Tom Carter says:

    I’m against getting involved in Nigeria and in support of President Goodluck Johnson (I write his name while trying to avoid chuckling). Horrible things are happening to children in many places in the world, very often because of Muslims, and it has been going on for a long time. We can’t solve all those problems. I think we have to base our international involvements on our own national interests because we don’t have the resources to save everyone everywhere. Until Boko Haram presents a threat to the U.S., we should stay out of it, perhaps aside from statements of concern, twitter diplomacy, and maybe limited intelligence support.

  10. NEO says:

    Not sure I agree with the exception for al Qaeda, I’m inclined to think they and especially bin Laden, got in the way of the campaign for reelection and we all know individuals are expendable. After all, the ends justify the means.

    Other than that, good article, Dan.

    • NEO, I generally agree with your comment and made a few small changes to reflect it. As is the case with nearly everything President Obama does or decides not to do, His motivation was very likely political.

      As to al Qaeda, the organization so named has to a great extent been superseded by its affiliates. As noted here,

      Mr. Obama believed that defeating “core al Qaeda”—the group around Osama bin Laden in Pakistan and Afghanistan—effectively meant defeating al Qaeda, even if a few of its lesser offshoots in Africa or the Arabian Peninsula survived. In fact, al Qaeda was designed not as an organization with subordinate branches, but as a model with multiple franchises—as Burger King not General Motors. [Emphasis added.]

      • NEO says:

        Yep, I agree wholeheartedly with that. Nice correction, Dan. It wasn’t that serious a flaw and I could have been easily wrong on it.

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