Abduction of Nigerian Children

[Speaking in the Seanad on a Motion: Abduction of Nigerian Children]

As a parent with three children, including two daughters, I cannot but feel on a very human level the desperate tragedy playing out here and the uncertainty of the families of 200 children who do not know what conditions their children are being kept in, what depravities they may be subjected to, what their ultimate fate will be and whether they will be reunited with their families. On that human level, I express my extreme sorrow at this awful tragedy.

Boko Haram is too easy a target for us. It is a most absurd caricature and an extreme in the worldwide and history-long trend of mixing religion and politics. Boko Haram’s ultimate aim is theocracy. It wants to establish a regime in Nigeria which will be run not by civil or secular law but by religious Sharia law. It has many good role models in that. Throughout the world, there are many existing theocracies. While it is absolutely correct for us to be utterly specific in our condemnation of this barbaric, terroristic, inhumane and murderous group of sectarian bigots, it also behoves us to have a little look into our own national soul and the soul of our Western culture and to remember throughout the big play of history the notion of sectarian atrocity. That is what this is, as well as being a gender atrocity. Boko Haram have not been too gentle in the handling of male Christian children in the past either. We must survey what happens when we allow religious beliefs, no matter how sincerely held, to become an influence in public and civil policy.

Our hearts go out to these families and children. We offer our practical assistance if possible. I do not know what we can offer if they have the FBI, the CIA, the US military and the UN. The least we can do is to extend our sympathy and love to the families and any assistance which can be made available. We should be very forthright in our condemnation of the group and the goal for which it stands.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: