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Muslim student's perspective on the kidnapped Nigerian girls

Bringing the good back to the religion
Photo provided by Flicker, Nina Matthews

Kaukab Shah Husain, member of Muslim Sisters of Dayton (MSD), asked the members of their youth club to look at the situation of the recent kidnapping of little girls in Nigeria and their new leader. She wanted them to reflect on the current events that are unfolding and the views of the new leader, their perspective on how they feel the new leader is portraying the views of a true Muslim. The stories she received were compassionate, heartfelt but most of all, told the difference between tyrant dictator and the true wholesome beliefs of Muslims.

This is one of the letters she received from youth, Zuha Nazir. Zuha was born and raised in Dayton. She attends Centerville High School and is currently in the 10th grade. She’s interested in following her father's footsteps and pursuing medicine to become a cardiologist. Her passion is reading, playing squash and writing poetry. Zuha has a younger sister and brother.

Here is her letter:


Ten thousand lives gone.

More than 250 little girls torn apart from their families.

Kidnapping, selling and killing little girls.

Boko Haram claims to be a "Muslim organization" whose goal is solely to establish a "pure" Islamic state. The name "Boko Haram" literally means western education is a sin. The group argues that any type of western society is haram or forbidden and should be absolutely avoided. They believe that western government, education and society are corrupting Muslims. Its followers are influenced by the Qur’anic phrase "Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors" (5:44).

Boko Haram falsely categorizes itself as a Muslim organization behind the face of their current so-called Islamist leader, Abubakar Shekau. Ever since Shekau has taken charge, Nigeria has faced an outbreak of bombings, assassinations and now abductions.

Although Shekau's followers believe that he is a scholar and refer to him as their "Imam," he is known to be quite the opposite. Shekau is never seen in public, but does post videos in which he has said "I enjoy killing anyone that God commands me to kill - the way I enjoy killing chickens and rams" (Nigeria's Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau in profile. 2014, May 9. Retrieved from

Boko Haram is not Islam. It states directly in the Qur’an: "fight in the cause of God those who fight you, but do not transgress the limits; for God loves not transgressors” (2:190-193). The Qur’an never encourages violence, and clearly states that violence is to be only used as a defense mechanism, and once the opposition gives up, you must stop as well.

Muslims can only directly fight people who have attacked them first. Attacking an innocent bystander, or in this case defenseless Nigerian girls, is forbidden.

The Qur’an also states that if anyone killed a person not in retaliation of murder, and/or to spread mischief in the land, it would be as if he killed all mankind. And if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind" (5:32-33).

The Qur’an repeatedly teaches us to respect each and every life irrespective of religion or nationality by stressing that every life is equally important.

Boko Haram is responsible for the deaths of thousands of innocent people. They have destroyed our humanity thousands of times. Yet they claim to be Muslims even though it is manifested in their actions that they are contradictory to the teachings of Islam.

Education itself is a vital message conveyed throughout the Qur’an; in fact, the first verse revealed to Prophet Muhummad (peace be upon him) was "Read." The Qur’an encourages all to ponder, to learn, to think.

A knife can be used to cut an apple or to kill a man. Knowledge and education should not be used for the wrong reasons. Knowledge is power, and we can use that power to help make the world a better place.


MSD is a newly formed local organization dedicated to promoting charitable activities throughout the Dayton/Cincinnati/Springfield areas. The organization was founded in January 2012 by Husain. The charity provides positive representation of Islamic values and builds strong and productive relationship within and outside the community. They work in the true spirit of Islam by getting involved in organizations such as Global Youth Service Day, Feed Ohio, providing staple food packages to the under served during the month of Ramadan, donating 1000+ books to inner city schools, providing clothing and household goods to the under served, and making monetary donations to Women for Women International and Islamic Relief for Syria and Palestine. MSD also volunteers at Hannah's Treasure Chest, Heartland of Centerville and knits newborn baby caps for Kettering Hospital.

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