Opinion: Boko Haram deserves your attention

Bruce Walton is the opinion editor. Contact him at bwalton4@kent.edu.

Bruce Walton is the opinion editor. Contact him at [email protected]

Bruce Walton

Among the sensational and violent news happening overseas, I’m glad to see large amounts of people from all over the world banding together to give more positive support and aid to those who are suffering. From the Charlie Hebdo shootings, where people marched and stood in solidarity, to people talking openly about police brutality and its large flaws in America’s racial society. Additionally, following the Islamic State’s execution of one of their Japanese hostages, people decided to not idly stand by and tried to stand together.

But have we at all seen the same solidarity, much less awareness, of the Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria?

If you have been listening to the news, you’ve heard of the last few incidents I’ve mentioned; but ask yourself if you’ve heard much of the words “Boko Haram” thrown around.

Boko Haram refers to a very similar Muslim extremist group in Nigeria, using fear tactics and war crimes to overthrow the Nigerian government to create a new Islamic state.

There hasn’t been a lot of coverage from mainstream media as much as other news topics. There has been coverage, just not as much as it should. Just recently they attacked Maiduguri, one of the largest cities in Nigeria, where countless lives were lost.

In Europe and the States right now, everyone stands together in late-night vigils and protest for stricter gun laws, but meanwhile, thousands of innocent men, women and children have been slaughtered by the rebel group taking control. Even worse is when they give their prisoners a fate worse than death and may capture young girls and rape them, disclosing the details to scare their enemies.

Of course I don’t think the lives of those lost in other incidents around the world do not matter. But it troubles me there is so little talk about the thousands of deaths of Nigerians without so much as a day to stand with them. Can we at least have a day to remember the lives lost in the past months and years of slaughtering and killing or worse?

Boko Haram is the perfect example of what happens when militant extremist groups are met without any international opposition in time. The only thing stopping al-Qaeda or ISIS or ISIL from going on a killing spree, destroying lives and societies, is being chased away by the intervening military that’s boosted with the West’s money and power.

Again, there is work finally being done to stop them; but it’s not enough, and it has joined too late to stop the height of these horrific acts. All we can do now is donate, sign a petition, volunteer and create awareness.

If you are against what happened in Paris, the Middle East, Washington D.C. and New York, give Nigeria your attention. I don’t want you to do it because other people don’t matter. I want you to care because they deserve our attention, too.

Contact Bruce Walton at [email protected].