A coalition of American Muslim leaders came together at a press conference Thursday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to condemn Boko Haram's (BH) April 14 kidnapping of 276 Nigerian schoolgirls. Yet the participants' deficient frankness about Islamic doctrine made their denunciations ring hollow.

"Islam is not the problem," insisted Ahmed Bedier, a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Tampa chapter founder. "No one is buying their story," Bedier argued with respect to Islamic claims of BH. He dismissed them as "just another con" whose "ideology comes from nowhere" in a country known for scams.

Bedier's assessment might surprise BH's leader, Abubakar Shekau. Known as "Darul Tawheed," an expert in monotheism, Shekau studied under a cleric and then at Borno State College of Legal and Islamic Studies. A profile also describes Shekau's predecessor, deceased BH founder Mohammed Yusuf, as a "charismatic, well-educated cleric who drove a Mercedes as part of his push for a pure Islamic state in Nigeria."

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