Radical Islamic group Boko Haram has released video of some of the 200 or so girls it kidnapped from their schools for the crime of trying to learn. “Boko Haram” means “No Western Learning.”
It is possible that the group has forced some of the girls to convert to Islam at gunpoint, and could only show the ones who chose to comply.
A video released by the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram allegedly shows around 100 of the recently kidnapped girls from Nigeria. The group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the captives, who Boko Haram had previously admitted to abducting, would be held until all imprisoned militants were freed. The video purportedly shows the girls praying — according to Shekau, the captives had converted to Islam.
Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls from a school in northern Nigeria on April 14. The group, which promotes a strict version of Islam that forbids engaging in social or political activities associated with Western society, has waged a violent insurgency against the Nigerian government since 2009 in an effort to create an Islamic state.
The government, under pressure for its failure to respond effectively to the abductions, recently accepted international assistance in its effort to find the girls. The US, UK, and Israel have all sent teams to aid Nigerian security forces on the ground. French President Francois Hollande has also offered to host a security summit focused on how to combat the militant group.