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Boko Haram, an extremist Islamic group based in Nigeria, has reportedly released at least 82 school girls from the 276 they abducted several years ago.


The young women, many of whom are Christian, were taken from the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Nigeria, in 2014. Boko Haram claims to have joined the Islamic State and similarly seeks an Islamic caliphate, or an Islam-centered government where Muslims can live together in harmony.

What does that mean? Well, like some other fundamentalist Muslims, members of Boko Haram believe it is their destiny to have a “peaceful” Islamic society (even if they have to use force to get it). Is this notion unique to Islam? Of course not. In fact, that belief is strikingly similar to Christians and their idea of manifest destiny, which led to the deaths of millions of Native Americans and what some would call their cultural genocide.

There has been a lot of media coverage of Boko Haram, but I haven’t seen many reports that draw parallels between that group and the behavior of our own American ancestors. There’s a similar lack of attention paid to Joseph R. Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army, a Christian group accused of abducting children to become soldiers and sex slaves.

There is no excuse for this type of behavior, whether it is coming from Christian groups or Muslim groups or the elusive “militant atheists,” so we have to hold all those responsible accountable. We have to continue to fight against extremism and promote secular governments, and celebrate wins like this one any chance we get.

(Image via Shutterstock)