In response to the unrelenting campaign of terror and bloodshed waged against Nigeria’s Christians, the British Parliament’s Cross-Party Working Group on Human Dignity today called for the Islamist terror group, Boko Haram, to be put on the proscribed list of terrorist organisations.
Boko Haram, which translates as ‘Western education is sinful’ is waging an increasingly violent campaign of slaughter against Nigeria’s Christian population, with 700 killed this year alone. In addition to attacking Christians at worship, Boko Haram have also targeted state officials and police officers who do not support their demand for a strict Islamist state. In a state with a delicate balance of 50.4 per cent Muslim’s and 48.2 per cent Christians, Boko Haram advocates the most strictest implementation of Shariah Law nationwide.
The increasingly sophisticated nature of Boko Haram’s attacks, coupled with the Jihadist ideology behind the group, has led to international calls for Boko Haram to be officially proscribed, in what has long been evident, as a highly dangerous terrorist organisation. The call from the British Parliament’s Cross-Party Working Group on Human Dignity adds to the pressure on Britain and the United States to take a stand against Boko Haram. Earlier this month, the US State Department designated three Boko Haram leaders as ‘foreign terrorists’ – but stopped short of officially defining the organisation itself. Furthermore, General Carter Ham, commander of US Africa command, has highlighted Boko Haram as one of the top three ‘most dangerous’ groups in Africa, with undeniable links to al-Qaeda, sharing weapons, explosives and funds.
Following today’s House of Lords debate on the escalation of violence in Nigeria, led by Baroness Cox of Queensbury; Lord Alton, Chairman of the British Parliament’s Cross-Party Working Group on Human Dignity, speaking in the name of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute explained his group’s decision to press the British Government in proscribing Boko Haram;
“With regular attacks against Christian communities since 2009 (when over 1000 killed) and the increasing signs of Boko Haram’s deeper coordination with al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, now is not the time for inaction. By proscribing Boko Haram, we would not only demonstrate Britain’s unrelenting commitment to the global response against Jihadist terrorism; but also give further international support to the Nigerian Government for their counter-terror response.
“The Dignitatis Humanae Institute welcomes the appeal to take a long overdue action, and to add Boko Haram to the proscribed terror list. Repeatedly in our history, the world has witnessed the consequences of allowing religious persecution and reigns of terror to fester in Africa; we should not allow Nigerian Christian’s to be abandoned to this religious cleansing.”
Proceedings of the debate can be read here: