WHAT IS HAPPENING?
More than 200 girls, ages 15-18, were abducted on April 14, 2014 in the northeast of Nigeria, with gunmen storming their boarding school as they slept. News reports suggest the girls are now being sold into marriage for as much as $12 US and forced to convert to Islam, with the remainder likely to be sold off as sex slaves by their abductors from the militant Islamists group, Boko Haram.
WHAT IS BOKO HARAM?
Translated as "Western education is sinful," Boko Haram is an Islamic jihadist and terrorist organization based in the northeast of Nigeria, north Cameroon and Niger. It seeks to establish a "pure" Islamic state ruled by Sharia law, putting a stop to what it deems "westernization." The group is known for attacking Christians and government targets, bombing churches, schools, and police stations, and kidnapping western tourists. Violence linked to the Boko Haram has resulted in an estimated 10,000 deaths between 2002 and 2013.
WHAT IS SHARIA LAW?
Sharia is a strict, patriarchal Islamic law governing all aspects of day-to-day life, including crime, politics, business and economics, as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, hygiene, diet, prayer, everyday etiquette and fasting. Its stark differences with secular law in the concept of justice, judicial process, crime, and punishment makes Sharia incompatible with secular democracy, freedom of thought, and especially women's rights.
There are many ways in which women do not have full stature under Sharia. Not only are their human rights violated by such "sacred" patriarchal laws as polygamy, forced marriages, child marriages, gender-biased inheritance rules, and being worth half that of a man in a court testimony; their very lives are threatened by such practices as honor killings at the hands of their relatives, death as punishment for adultery or for leaving Islam, and, in some countries, female genital mutilation.
The introduction of Sharia globally is a longstanding goal for Islamist movements, including in Western countries. Attempts to impose Sharia, which many believers perceive to be the only sacred law for all humanity, have been accompanied by conflicts, violence, and warfare.
INJUSTICE TO WOMEN ANYWHERE IS INJUSTICE TO WOMEN EVERYWHERE!
STOP THE JIHAD ON WOMEN!
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