Boko Haram: 5 things to know about the Nigerian Islamist’s group

boko haram
While the world mourn and angers over the kidnapping of more than 200 Nigerian girls  from their school, the group or organization behind this shameful act is only growing more stronger and prominent. In a latest video, Boko Haram showed a clip of the kidnapped Nigerian girls being converted into Islam, by force. While the government and the world leaders strive to bring back the girls, Boko Haram are now coming clean with their intentions behind this act. They have asked the government to release their fellow members who were imprisoned. In a time where technology and mankind has evolved one often wonders how such atrocity can exist, well here is a history of his feared group that has a nasty meaning of Jihad and gives a shameful definition to one of the most beautiful religions that exist, Islam.

1. The Origin

The group was founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002. The organization claims to establish a “pure” Islamic state ruled by Sharia. The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad forms the basis of this organization.

2. The Name

The name officially adopted by the group is “the Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad”, which is an English translation of Arabic Jamā’at ahl as-sunnah li-d-da’wa wa-l-jihād, however the residents have dubbed it as Boko Haram, signifying the group as an inauthentic sin. Loosely translated, the name could mean “western education is sinful”, which would symbolize its strong opposition to anything Western, which it sees as corrupting Muslims. Locals who speak the Hausa language are also unsure what it actually means.

3. The turning point

The group turned into a Jihadist group in 2009. It is responsible for bloodshed and exploitation and their inhumanity makes them feared. The group openly contacts the media and has given various interviews and released many videos. They have used the media as a medium to spread fear.

4. The violent spree

The group conducted its operations more or less peacefully during the first seven years of its existence. That changed in 2009 when the Nigerian government launched an investigation into the group’s activities following reports that its members were arming themselves. When the government came into action, it resulted in a huge clash that ended with the death of more than 700 people including the group’s leader Mohammed Yusuf.

5. The reemergence

The group was silent for quite some time after the death of its leader. They re-emerged in 2011, attacking in Borno and killing four people. According to Human Rights Watch, during the period between 2009 and beginning of 2012, Boko Haram was responsible for over 900 deaths. Violence linked to the Boko Haram insurgency has resulted in an estimated 10,000 deaths between 2002 and 2013.