NYT Does Not Explain Boko Haram Targeted Victims Because They Were Christian

April 11th, 2018 10:06 PM

The New York Times has published an April 11 article about over a hundred of the women who were kidnapped as girls by Boko Haram in Nigeria in 2014 and who have subsequently been returned. The story is accompanied by rather impressive graphics featuring the women. Yet for all the effort placed upon those graphics, little work seems to have been done to explain just why those women were kidnapped in the first place: namely because they were Christians. Also missing in the article is any detailed explanation about the ideology of Boko Haram itself that induced them to victimize Christians.

New York Times reporter Dionne Searcey avoided the all too obvious in Kidnapped as Schoolgirls by Boko Haram: Here They Are Now:

YOLA, NIGERIA — The list had more than 200 names.

Martha James. Grace Paul. Rebecca Joseph. Mary Ali. Ruth Kolo. And so many others.

It took Nigerian officials agonizing weeks to publish the names of all the students Boko Haram kidnapped from a boarding school in the village of Chibok four years ago, on the night of April 14. Once they did, the numbers were staggering.

Why was the village of Chibok targeted by Boko Haram? Could it be because it was known as a primarily Christian community? And why did Boko Haram target Christians in the first place? Questions, questions for which the Times does not provide the answers, answers.

The religious aspect as the cause of their kidnapping is only very lightly touched upon. In fact, if you blink you might even miss it entirely:

The assistant dean of student affairs became the women’s de facto principal. A therapist in the United States, who had counseled some of the early escapees from the kidnapping, was recruited to work as the students’ psychologist. A conference room was designated as a prayer room for the few women who are Muslim. And for the Christian students, the person in charge of the university’s recycling program, who also serves as a local pastor, leads Sunday services.

As to the ideology of Boko Haram that caused them to kidnap Christian women, that was also just barely touched upon:

The list quickly circulated among the grieving parents searching for their daughters, some setting out on motorbikes to confront the Islamist militants who had stormed the school, loaded the girls into trucks and hauled them away at gunpoint.

Islamist militants? That's it? Left completely unsaid is that Boko Haram is basically the sub-Saharan branch of ISIS. In fact its official name is Islamic State in West Africa.

The Times is hardly the only mainstream media outlet reluctant to mention the religious reason why the Nigerian women were kidnapped. Robin Harris in the May 8, 2014 UK Spectator took notice that this was a trend among the MSM in general in The kidnapped Nigerian girls are Christian. Why doesn’t our media say so?

The fact that these are girls, at least, makes their plight of international political and media interest. Feminism is an easy fall-back position for the foreign policy/human rights community. For that, the girls and their parents may yet have reason to be grateful. It allows the British Foreign Secretary to tweet that ‘using girls as the spoils of war and the spoils of terrorism is immoral’. But what neither the UK nor the US authorities is prepared to draw attention to is that these girls – all or nearly all of them – are Christians.

Boko Haram might, indeed, abduct Muslim girls from school because it thought they should be back at home, to be covered up, beaten, and to make the soup. But it would only dare to sell Christians into slavery and prostitution. Not only are they Christian. It is their Christianity which caused them to be victims.

These and other abductees were at schools in the Christian enclave of Chibok in Borno State. The region is the scene of systematic Islamist persecution and intimidation. Chibok, itself, was regarded as safe, until Islamists arrived to burn down the market, destroy houses, steal, kill, and abduct at will. Full, credible, detailed accounts are available through the Christian on-line networks.

Yet commentators still seem content to exercise self-censorship. The religious identity of the girls has not been mentioned in the mainstream US or British media.

The words ‘poverty’, ‘corruption’, and ‘incompetence’ figure largely, and with some justice, in explanations of what is dysfunctional in Nigeria. But the word “Christian’ is notable by its absence in explaining what happened in Chibok.

The latest example of the word "Christian" (other than being quickly mentioned in passing) being notable by it's absence comes in the latest New York Times story about the female Christian victims of Chibok who were kidnapped specifically because of their religion.