Boko Haram Beyond Nigeria: Girls’ Education Under Threat

Many are quick to blame Islam in the aftermath of Boko Haram’s kidnapping of more than 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria.. The real danger is not the religion, but rather fundamentalists’ beliefs that girls should not be educated, argues Bina Shah in an article for Al Jazeera. Directing anger at all Muslims is another form of extremism, she suggests, and the more pressing and solvable issue is that of equal education rights. She draws parallels to Pakistan’s recent problems with extremist attacks on schools, such as those in the Panjgur district, where a school bus was burned and the headmaster beaten, prompting nearby private schools to close. The rest of the world barely acknowledges the problem, she suggests, except to “assert that Muslims… secretly desire the most hard-core interpretation of Sharia to be enacted all over the world, and that only in the western world can girls truly find emancipation and education – all of which are patently untrue.” In short, blaming all Muslims for brutal acts of extremists is easy, but accomplishes little. Instead, the world can support the rights of girls to attend school. – YaleGlobal

Boko Haram Beyond Nigeria: Girls' Education Under Threat

Futile debates about Islam distracts from the overall assault of religious extremism on education for girls
Bina Shah
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Bina Shah is an award-winning Pakistani writer from Karachi. She is a contributing opinion writer for the International New York Times and writes a monthly column for Dawn, the biggest English-language newspaper in Pakistan.

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