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Stop misusing Islam, Malala tells Boko Haram

By VICTORIA OJEME & RAPHAEL IZOKPU

ABUJA—The Pakistani girl child education campaigner, Malala Yousafzai, has called on Boko Haram to release the schoolgirls who were abducted on April 14, saying the girls have not committed any crime.

Malala, who is in the country to commemorate Malala Day yesterday in Abuja, urged the sect to stop the shedding of blood and misuse of the name of Islam.

She also wondered how the sect would feel if those girls kidnapped were their sisters, adding “I want to tell Boko Haram, think about your own sisters; just think for a while; think about your own sisters. If they suffer too the same brutal and harsh situation, how would you feel?

“If your own sisters are homeless, if they are around the captivity of someone who is so wild and cruel, how would you feel? Those who are under your imprisonment are like your sisters. Islam gives a message of brotherhood. We are all sisters and brothers.
Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai (L) watches on July 14, 2014 Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan look at a book at the State House in Abuja. Malala on July 14 urged Jonathan to meet with parents of the schoolgirls kidnapped three months ago by Boko Haram. Malala, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012 and has become a champion for access to schooling, was in Abuja on her 17th birthday to mark the somber anniversary of Boko Haram’s April 14 abduction of 276 girls from a secondary school in the northeast Nigerian city of Chibok. AFP PHOTO

Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai (L) watches on July 14, 2014 Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan look at a book at the State House in Abuja. Malala on July 14 urged Jonathan to meet with parents of the schoolgirls kidnapped three months ago by Boko Haram. Malala, who survived a Taliban assassination attempt in 2012 and has become a champion for access to schooling, was in Abuja on her 17th birthday to mark the somber anniversary of Boko Haram’s April 14 abduction of 276 girls from a secondary school in the northeast Nigerian city of Chibok.
AFP PHOTO

“You are misusing the name of Islam, but you hang your Quran there. You hear that Islam gives a message of brotherhood; that we are all sisters and brothers and that we should respect each other and the language that we speak.

“I request you to lay down your weapons; release our sisters. Release my sisters and release the daughters of this nation. Let them be free; they have committed no crime.”

Malala, who is in Nigeria on the commemoration of her 17th birthday, told journalists during a briefing after meeting President Jonathan that the President promised her that he would meet with the parents of the abducted girls and ensure that they are returned home safely.

Briefing journalists alongside the President’s spokesperson, Reuben Abati; her dad, Ziauddin Yousafzai; and the Director of Operations of Malala Foundation, Eason Jordan, the Pakistani teenager said she was in Nigeria to support girls’ education and advocate the release of the Chibok girls.

She said she met with parents of some of the girls the previous day and they had expressed the longing to meet with the President and anybody who can help them find their girls.

“I am here in Nigeria on my 17th birthday for a price which is to see that every child goes to school,” Malala said.

“This year, my objective is to speak up for my Nigerian sisters. About 200 of them who are under the abduction of Boko Haram and I met President Goodluck Jonathan for this purpose.

“I convey the voice of my sisters who are out of school or who are still under the abduction of Boko Haram. And for those girls who escaped from the abduction but still do not have education.

“And in the meeting, I highlighted the same issues which the girls and their parents told me in the past two days.

“The parents said they really want to meet with the President to share their stories with him. And I asked the President if he wants to meet with the parents of the girls. He assured me that he would meet with them.”

FG’s programmes

At the briefing, Mr. Abati said the President used the opportunity of the meeting to take Malala through some of the programmes being carried out by the Federal Government.

He mentioned the Presidential Initiative for the North-East, an economic recovery programme that the government had embarked upon with the collaboration of state governments in the North-East; and the Safe School Initiative which has already been launched with an initial $10 million fund.

He added that President Jonathan emphasised his commitment to making sure that schools are safe, every child enjoys the right to education and that that right is no way violated by anyone.

Mr. Abati said the president also announced that he would this week launch the Victims Support Fund for victims of terror and a committee will be set up in partnership with state governments, civil society, and other stakeholders.
– See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2014/07/stop-misusing-islam-malala-tells-boko-haram/#sthash.aH6fud2Q.dpuf

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Posted by on Jul 15 2014. Filed under Africa & World Politics, Boko Haram, Latest Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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