Revenge of the Nerds
A 31 year old woman passes as a high school student, college students are getting pissy about commencement speakers, and the continued rise of #hashtag activism
Unbelievably, the woman posing as a high school sophomore is actually 34. Jail records had her age listed at 31. I’m starting to have sympathy for her. This reminds me very much of Dean Keaton being interrogated by the police concerning faking his own death in the beginning of the ‘Usual Suspects’ “Did you ever stop to ask me? I’ve been here with the same name. The same face.” Like Dean Keaton she should respond “charge me with this shit, and i’ll beat it.
Who Has Our Girls?: Boko Haram
Courtesy of BBC.com:
Boko Haram’s followers are said to be influenced by the Koranic phrase which says: “Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors”. The group’s official name is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad”. Residents in the north-eastern city of Maiduguri, where the group had its headquarters, dubbed it Boko Haram loosely translated from the region’s Hausa language, means “Western education is forbidden”. Boko originally meant fake but came to signify Western education, while haram means forbidden.
Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it “haram”, or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society. This includes voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers or receiving a secular education. Boko Haram regards the Nigerian state as being run by non-believers, even when the country had a Muslim president.
Since parts of what is now northern Nigeria, Niger and southern Cameroon fell under British control in 1903, there has been resistance among some of the area’s Muslims to Western education. The problem is compounded by the ruling elite which does not see education as a priority. Boko Haram believes western education corrupts the moral values of Muslims but especially girls.
Boko Haram abducted more than 200 schoolgirls during the Chibok raid, saying it would treat them as slaves and marry them off – a reference to an ancient Islamic belief that women captured in conflict are part of the “war booty”. It made a similar threat in May 2013, when it released a video, saying it had taken women and children – including teenage girls – hostage in response to the arrest of its members’ wives and children.
Northern Nigeria has a history of spawning militant Islamist groups, but Boko Haram has outlived them and has proved to be far more lethal, with a global jihadi agenda. The threat will disappear only if Nigeria’s government manages to reduce the region’s chronic poverty and builds an education system which gains the support of local Muslims.
Despite its vast resources, Nigeria ranks among the most unequal countries in the world, according to the UN. The poverty in the north is in stark contrast to the more developed southern states. While in the oil-rich south-east, the residents of Delta and Akwa Ibom complain that all the wealth they generate flows up the pipeline to Abuja and Lagos.