“By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace.”

New news: Boko Haram now says it’s planning to sell the schoolgirls “in the marketplace.”

Abubakar Shekau for the first time also claimed responsibility for the April 15 mass abduction, warning that his group plans to attack more schools and abduct more girls.

“I abducted your girls,” said the leader of Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful.”

He described the girls as “slaves” and said, “By Allah, I will sell them in the marketplace.” The hourlong video starts with fighters lifting automatic rifles and shooting in the air as they chant “Allahu akbar!” or “God is great.”

ABC News says it’s not clear when the video was made.

In the video, Shekau also said the students “will remain slaves with us.” That appears a reference to the ancient jihadi custom of enslaving women captured in a holy war, who then can be used for sex.

Holy shmoly. It’s an ancient Homeric custom, too, so what? It’s not “holy,” it’s just “we win so we get to take what we want.” It’s might makes right, it’s force majeure, it’s what bullies do.

“They are slaves and I will sell them because I have the market to sell them,” he said, speaking in the Hausa language of northern Nigeria.

And don’t forget: education is forbidden. Murder is not forbidden, kidnapping schoolgirls and selling them into slavery is not forbidden, it’s education that’s forbidden. Bullies forever.

The video was reviewed by The Associated Press, and both the face and the voice of the leader of Boko Haram were recognizable.

Shekau brushed off warnings that the abductions could be an international crime, saying in English, as if to reach his accusers in the international community: “What do you know about human rights? You’re just claiming human rights (abuses), but you don’t know what it is.”

Hmm. Shoe on the other foot, old bean.


  1. says

    This guy sounds incredibly confused. Not surprising, really, and probably quite dangerous.

    I am going to sell them, I’m going to keep them, I’m going to sell them…

    What do you know of human rights? (Completely irrelevant to the warning, really.) You don’t know what it is. think he he he doesn’t know what it is. Or something. He either has some different definition of rights, or disregards them, but this isn’t what he says.

    For an hour long, er, presentation, that’s pretty damned disorganized. (Although I do realize I’m just getting excerpts here.)

  2. Kevin Kehres says

    Where are the voices from within Islam condemning this organization?

  3. quixote says

    The voices within Islam condemning that evil probably aren’t getting much airtime, since there’s nothing terribly interesting about that. But, I admit, that was one of my first thoughts, too.

    My first thought was about this: “the abductions could be an international crime.” Could be? COULD be? Is this where I find out that enslavement is not an international crime?

  4. Question mark says

    Enslavement an international crime? As if all the dictatorships we allow to persist don’t enslave their citizens.

  5. monad says

    @4 Question mark:
    Not always like this, though. If forcing people to work in horrible conditions is depressingly acceptable, we might still recognizing slave raids and trafficking as international crimes. (Not sure where rape stands on that scale; probably not where I’d want it to.)

  6. Question mark says

    @5 monad
    Was just talking about slavery in general not being considered a big deal if it happens in some faraway country, though I should stress that the sort of violent torture and abuse that many innocent citizens have to endure in certain regimes is not to be understated.

    Speaking of crimes “like this” though, it’s actually depressingly common in many cultures for girls to be treated as slaves. They don’t get a say in who they marry, they don’t get a say in when they have sex with (read: are raped by) their husband and they usually don’t have a say in when their husband decides he wants to beat the crap out of them either. And that’s not even touching on the issue of non-marital rape that’s often commonplace in such cultures, especially when people are waging war, as is the case in many African countries. If Western powers decide to help save these Nigerian girls, it will be mostly because not doing so would be bad PR, not because they are exceptionally troubled by the fate Boko Haram has in store for these girls.

    @6 kenbakermn
    I think it proves, most of all, that there exists great evil in this world.

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