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Editorial

‘Fundamentalism’ just another word for ‘Intolerance’

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By EMN Updated: May 06, 2014 12:51 am
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[dropcap]N[/dropcap]o words can describe the sense of outrage at the audacious and brazen violence being pursued by the Boko Haram ( whose name means ‘Western Education is forbidden’). After kidnapping over 200 school girls from their school dormitory at night in the Borno state in Nigeria, today they stated that “Allah has commanded them to sell the girls”. “I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said in a video first obtained by Agence France-Presse today. The militant goes on to say that “there is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women,” a translation from the local Hausa language reveals.
Almost after three weeks the Nigerian authorities were able to definitely state that 223 girls were abducted by the Boko Haram. 53 girls managed to escape.These girls are children of families desparate to educate their children. In the northeastern part of the Borno state in northern Nigeria an estimated 72% of primary age chidren have no school to attend.And girls are worse off than boys. The gender gap in school ranges from 1 girl to 2 boys or 1 is to 3 in some states.
This defiance of human dignity in the 21st century by Boko Haram a terrorist group receiving training allegedly from Al Qaeda affiliates, in more ways than one, displays inherent evil in ‘fundamentalism’ be it religious, or racial, or sexist, or ideological.
In Nagaland, we can ill afford to relegate the recent events whether it be that with the ghastly killings in Bodoland of Bengali Muslims or even the horrifying statements by the Boko Haram that they have been directed by Allah to sell the school girls in the ‘human market’, to just another ‘breaking news’ syndrome.
Fundamentalism constantly surrounds us in this state.
The word is equated with ‘intolerance’.
In this state , we continue to experience various degrees of intolerance that has lead to the death of hundreds and thousands of young men and even women. Another undeniable facet of intolerance is that it is always accompanied, aided and abetted by the use of guns and force. It simply is so because, the very idea that it attempts to propagate, lacks the character or integrity to stand alone.
Knowing this should make us better judges of who speaks for justice and equality and who speaks in the language of intolerant fundamentalism.

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By EMN Updated: May 06, 2014 12:51:31 am