Suicide is against Islam. Martyrdom is not.
“Suicide bomber” is a derogatory term invented in the West to describe what in Islam is known as a Fedayeen or Shahid – a martyr. The point of the bomber isn’t suicide – it is to kill infidels in battle. This is not just permitted by Muhammad, but encouraged with liberal promises of earthy rewards in heaven including food and sex. What makes Islam so different
For the world to be free from Suicide Bomber, Islam has to REMOVE Fedayeen or Shahid from their teaching.
The inside stories of Boko Haram Survival
The long-lasting Boko haram insurgency caused havoc in Nigeria and neighbouring countries. The rebels are fighting what they consider a ‘non-believer’ government to establish a stricter version of Islam in Nigeria. Boko Haram is ranked among the cruellest terrorist groups in modern history.
This group is best known for weaponizing women and children, to terrorize civilians and inflict irreparable damages on the country. For Boko Haram women are seen as a mere object or worse a fatal weapon to implement their envisioned ideology.
Boko haram garnered worldwide attention as they raided the school at the Chibok village kidnapping more than 276 schoolgirls.
The Nigerian government mounted efforts to rescue these innocent girls from boko Haram’s grip, but to no avail. In 2017, the government negotiated the release of 82 Chibok girls in exchange of five Boko Haram leaders. The trauma and sufferings experienced by these girls, during their three-years captivity cannot be overstated.
An examination of Boko Haram’s dark history, shows a pattern of politicized sexual violence, in which women and children are the main sufferers.
Training their captives for their mission
The insurgents are attempting to overthrow the government, in order to establish a form of ‘caliphate’ in Nigeria and neighbouring counties. They developed tactics and mechanisms to instil terror in the country. In fact, they rely on women to carry suicide missions and kill innocent people.
They start by raiding villages to abduct girls and turn them into killers.
According to Aisha -an escapee who was forced to marry one of the militants’ leaders- the rebels deployed different persuasive techniques to convince their captives.
“They gather all the women in one area and preach and preach. Then they ask: ‘Who wants to go to paradise?’ Everyone raises her hand. Then they ask: ‘Who wants to go now?’ Some raise their hands, so they take them and train them in suicide bombing. If nobody raises her hand, they say: ‘God created you, fed you, did everything for you, and this is how you reward him for all this?’” she revealed.
“They preach that if you go to [the state capital] Maiduguri and kill people, you will go to paradise without question.”
Later, Boko Haram would train the chosen girls for the mission. The training includes Quran teaching, suicide bombing and beheading the enemy.
“It doesn’t take long to train them. They either tell you to hold the bomb or they strap it on to your body, round your waist or inside your bra. They tell you to go anywhere where there are a lot of men. They say: ‘Pretend you have stomach pain and fall on the ground. When people gather round you, press the button. » explained Aisha.
After the training, the girls are prepared to face death with beautiful attires, and henna on their hands.
“What they normally do is to dress you very beautifully, and put henna on your hands,” recalled Aisha.
Testimonies of those who survived Boko Haram
Some girls were lucky enough to survive the insurgents and share their stories for the world to see. Their testimonies bring us to the conceptualization of women’s role in Boko Haram’s twisted ideology. The diversity of roles attributed to these women is quite baffling. It is another form of gender-based violence, where women suffer sexual abuse (rape, gang rape, sexual slavery…).
The best-case scenarios for some captives is to forcibly get married, run errands at the camp, and procreate the next generation of fighters. If they fail to satisfy men’s needs, they become coerced weapons used against civilians. In other cases, women are used as bargaining chips to put pressure on the government.
Abduction is one way to recruit female operatives. There are those lured to join the organization on their own accord, the revenge-motivated fighters and the girls gifted to the militants.
In the deeply rooted traditions of patriarchy, women are always the first victims of wars and conflicts.
Marriage or suicide mission
In 2016, the BBC published the story of Hauwa, a teenage Nigerian girl held captive by the Insurgents. After one year in captivity, Hauwa and two other girls were assigned the mission to explode themselves at the Dikwa Camp. The girls were promised paradise if they succeeded.
With her family at the Dikwa camp, Hauwa refused to carry the attack. Instead, she escaped to save her family. She said that in the beginning she was tempted to join the insurgents, since she had spiritual problems and Boko Haram promised her help.
“I had spiritual problems and so the Boko Haram told me they could help get rid of them,” she said.
While living with the militia, Hauwa married twice and refused to remarry for the third time. Consequently, the insurgents gave her another plan: to explode herself at the Dikwa camp.
“They said since I refused to re-marry, I should take the bomb,” she added.
“Who wants to go to paradise?”
Doomed to the same fate, Nadia was abducted by the militants at the age of 17. She remembers being chosen by the insurgent’s commander as she was forced to listen to his lecture.
Nadia said the commander wanted her as his second wife.
“He was dirty, ugly, dark-skinned and had a beard. He had a lot of hair on his head like a madman,” she said describing her abuser.
Once she refused to become his concubine, the ‘madman’ attempted to rape her on various occasions.
“We wrestled seriously. I thought, this is a life-or-death situation, he probably has an STD which would kill me anyway, so I might as well die honourably,”
“I used all my strength to fight him, and he was so angry when he couldn’t succeed in raping me. In the morning, he went out and called his boys, and told them to take me out and flog me,” she remembered.
Three months later, explosives were strapped around her waist as she was ordered to blast the camp near Gamboro. Nadia was left with two other girls at the checkpoint to carry the attack. The girls agreed to surrender shouting that they were carrying explosive devises. Soldiers guarding the camp rushed to the girls and helped them remove the bombs.
The girls were fortunate enough to escape and survive. yet, hundreds of women die in the process.
“I was so happy; we were smiling and laughing,” Nadia confessed.
“We had survived.”
Raped every day by insurgents
Now 20, Fatima was sent for a suicide mission back in 2015. Recalling her days with the insurgents, Fatima said that for eight months she was daily raped by her kidnappers.
When chosen for the bombing mission, Fatima remembers being so scared that she remained silent during the preparations.
“I was so afraid. I didn’t know what they meant. I’d never heard of anyone blowing themselves up. They told us we should go into a crowd and hit here,” she said.
“Nobody told us what [the vest] was, but I knew it wasn’t something good. I didn’t look at it.”
Her captors dropped her at the Kukara checkpoint to follow their instructions. Fatima approached soldiers at the checkpoint and told them she had something around her waist.
“They raised my veil and when they saw it they all jumped back. One said: ‘It’s a bomb!’ I was terrified, I was crying, but they told me not to move,” she added.
The bomb was removed, and Fatima went through a rehabilitation programme before joining her family once again.
In backward societies, women are still seen as ‘bearer of honour’, and so they are shunned by their communities if their honour was compromised. Those who make it back to their families are burdened by the stigma that comes with living in Boko Haram’s camp
It takes a lot of time, courage and strength for these young girls and women to heal from the scars inflicted to them.
(the name of Boko Haram survivors, have been altered)