Jihadis Debate Boko Haram Kidnapping Of Girls: Calls For Releasing The Girls Alongside Justification Of Kidnapping

 May 12, 2014

Reacting to the uproar over the kidnapping nearly a month ago of hundreds of high school girls by Boko Haram (the real name of which is Jama'at Ahl Al-Sunna Li-Da'wa wal Jihad) in Nigeria, some online jihadis criticized the kidnapping,  while others justified it as the legitimate use of the tactic of taking prisoners.

Abdallah Muhammad Mahmoud, a frequent writer on the jihadi forums, wrote a post on the Al-Fida' forum urging Boko Haram to free the kidnapped girls, saying that the tactic may harm Muslims in general. In the post, titled "An Appeal from the Supporters of Jihad to Jama'at Ahl Al-Sunna Li-Da'wa wal Jihad: Release the Girls," Mahmoud wrote:

Selling The Girls As Slaves "Will Become A Dangerous Precedent"; "Do Not Open The Gates Of Evil"

"From the supporters of jihad and mujahideen to the brothers of Jama'at Ahl Al-Sunna Li-Da'wa wal Jihad in Nigeria, peace be upon you. The peoples of the [Islamic] nation sympathized with you years ago when the television channels broadcast images of heinous crimes committed by the Nigerian security forces as you were barbarically killed in the streets. Today, there are different sentiments, as the peoples of the [Islamic] nation hear from the channels news that we never hoped to hear – namely, the kidnapping of Muslim and non-Muslim girls and your announcement that you intend to sell them as slaves.

"This matter, if you proceed with it, will become a dangerous precedent and will bring about grave calamities such as the nation of Islam has never heard of for centuries. Your announcement of 'imprisoning' hundreds of girls will not benefit Islam and the Muslims in any manner. On the contrary, it will reflect tragically not only on their image but also on whatever similar reactions the enemies of Islam will carry out. The [Islamic] nation has enough tragedies as it is.

"Brothers in the Jama'at Ahl Al-Sunna Li-Da'wa wal Jihad: if you do this, and sell the girls as prisoners, can you guarantee to your wives, your daughters, your sisters, and your Muslim relatives here and there that the enemies will commit rape against them and will not defile their honor and modesty?

"Do not open the gates of evil, have mercy on your Muslim sisters, and protect your religion's reputation.

"Know that not everything that is permitted in Islam is proper to do at all times and in any manner without considering its advantages and disadvantages.

"Know that imprisonment and enslavement resulting from war between Muslims and infidels are part of reciprocity, and that this was the norm among peoples in ancient times. Today, however, as the act of enslavement between the nations of the world has ceased to exist, and the exchange of prisoners has become the custom, we as Muslims should not initiate this toward our enemy, since it has grave repercussions. Preventing harm takes precedence over making gains, according to famous jurisprudential principle. We do not know what advantage for Islam and the Muslims will be gained if you do this…

"We appeal to you: Release the girls and do not continue their imprisonment and enslavement. The Muslims today are suffering from enough oppression; do not bring any harm on their honor [i.e. their women]."

"Imprisonment Is Permissible... It Is Not Allowed To Forbid Something That Allah Permitted"

Several members of the forum expressed their agreement with Mahmoud and congratulated him on his post. However, one prominent writer on the forum, who goes by the handle rooooh, objected to this criticism. He wrote: "Honorable brothers, we are in an Islamic forum, and you are discussing an issue of Islamic law which has rules written in the Koran and Sunnah. Imprisonment is permissible according to the consensus among Muslim scholars. Likewise, there are texts in the Quran and the Sunnah that permit it. It is not allowed to forbid something that Allah permitted.

"As to the issue of benefit or harm [to the Muslims], this is a separate matter. Perhaps the writer of the post [Mahmoud] would have been more accurate had he written that there is no benefit in the imprisonment at this stage, but that imprisonment is permissible… it remains in our law, and the international laws do not nullify it…"

We Should "Imprison" As Much As We Can; "Ripping Out The Hearts Of The Infidels... Is Legitimate" Another member wrote in support of Boko Haram's actions: "On the contrary, [we should] imprison [as much as we can]. Ripping out the hearts of the infidels who have no morals in war is a legitimate administration of justice. As a Muslim, I think that the brothers, the mujahideen in Nigeria, did a good thing. I pray to the great Allah to give them victory and power throughout the land."