While the Obama administration continues to say that the Islamic group Boko Haram's jihad against Nigeria's Christians—which has seen countless churches destroyed, and thousands of Christians killed— has nothing to do with religion, the group once again made clear that it is all about religion. According to a recent report:
In an online video released last week, the militant Muslim group Boko Haram demanded that Nigeria's Christian president either convert to Islam, or resign. [Boko] Haram head Abubakar Shekau told President Goodluck Jonathan to "repent and forsake Christianity," otherwise Shekau's followers would continue their violent campaign...
Indeed, despite the fact that the Obama administration has agreed to spend $600 million in a USAID initiative launched to ascertain the "true causes" behind Boko Haram's murderous bloodlust, it was clear from the very beginning that the group and other Muslims were enraged that Nigeria was being led by a Christian, President Goodluck Jonathan, even though he won elections "by a landslide."
Writing back in April 2011, Nigerian analyst Peter Run said:
The current wave of riots was triggered by the Independent National Election Commission's (INEC) announcement on Monday [April 18, 2011] that the incumbent President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, won in the initial round of ballot counts. That there were riots in the largely Muslim inhabited northern states where the defeat of the Muslim candidate Muhammadu Buhari was [deemed] intolerable was unsurprising…. Now they are angry despite experts and observers concurring that this is the fairest and most independent election in recent Nigerian history.
Once again, then, reality is easily ascertained—at root, Boko Haram's terror campaign is entirely motivated by religion—even as the Obama administration refuses to designate the group as a terrorist organization, spends millions of U.S. tax dollars on superfluous initiatives (or diversions), and pressures the Nigerian president to make concessions, including building more mosques, the very structures where Muslims are radicalized and recruited to Boko Haram's jihad.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.