In a statement, the Anjuman Sunnat-ul-Jamaat Association (ASJA) condemned the actions of Boko Haram rebels in a remote part of northern Nigeria and called for the release of more than 274 young girls, describing the abduction as “repugnant against the teachings of Islam.”
The ASJA statement urged the Nigerian government to act decisively in apprehending the men who captured the girls on April 14, and have since held them to ransom in exchange for imprisoned militants from the Boko Haram rebel group led by Abu Bakar Shekau.
In a latest bulletin yesterday on the fate of the girls, the Daily Nation newspaper reported that the United States government has joined in the search in which manned missions have been deployed over the area where the girls might be kept, to assist in finding them. The paper also stated that the United Kingdom, China and Israel, have also joined in the search.
Signed by its general secretary, the ASJA release stated, “Islam does not permit such action of theirs (Boko Haram) and we urge the government authorities in Nigeria to act decisively in bringing about the apprehension of those committing these atrocious and heinous acts that are totally forbidden.” The ASJA stated that the association held a meeting on Sunday last where it was decided to comment on the issue. The Islamic Missionaries Guild headed by Imtiaz Mohammed, also joined with ASJA in condemning Boko Haram saying if the rebels truly adhered to the teachings of Islam, they would not hold young women as captives as this is haram (sinful).
Young women, Mohammed said, are only allowed to be in the company in public places, with persons of their own blood relation such as husbands, brothers and uncles. “To hold them as captives, is compounding the wrongdoing and the punishment in Islam for this is very serious indeed,” Mohammed said.
Mohammed said that he has visited Kenya, Somalia, Pakistan and Malaysia to do charitable work and has observed the extent to which tribal people would adhere to cultural practices, at the expense of the tenets of Islam and the law as practiced in the examples of the Holy Prophet Muhammad.
“Kidnapping young girls is wrong in Islam and is deserving of punishment. To compound the situation, we all know as Muslims, regardless where you live in the world, that it is forbidden to take women and children as hostages.”
Offering his comment yesterday as well as Sheikh Siddiq Nasir, a qualified theologian, described the Boko Haram rebel group as, “an extremely misguided group”. He said, “They are completely misguided by acting contrary to the principles of Islam. Their wrongdoing is further compounded by the crime of kidnapping. It is deserving of punishment.”