Beginning on Saturday, January 3, 2015, Boko Haram engaged in a series of violent attacks after occupying a key military base. In what Amnesty International has declared “possibly [the] deadliest [massacre] in Boko Haram’s history,” the terrorist organization razed the fishing village and surrounding areas of Baga, Borno, slaughtering as many as 2000 of its inhabitants. On Saturday, January 10, 2015, a further attack on a market in the city of Maiduguri injured 18 people and killed twenty, among them the 10-year-old girl to whom the fatal bomb was strapped. The sordid history of this terrorist organization includes other crimes against humanity, including the enslavement and sacrifice of children. In April of 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped nearly 300 schoolgirls in Chibok, 219 of whom remain missing.
Atheist Alliance International joins the international community in mourning the loss of these innocent lives, and expresses our heartfelt condolences to their survivors. AAI will hold a special edition of its magazine, Secular World, in memory of the newest victims of radical Islam, to help raise awareness of the dangerous and violent expansionism of terrorist groups like Boko Haram.
“These cowardly acts are dastardly deeds, crimes against humanity perpetrated by barbaric monsters whose pernicious ideology is driven by a mandate to enact violence on all who disagree with them and to expand their ‘Caliphate’ by any means possible. Violent ideologies like those held by Boko Haram have no place in civilized society, and Atheist Alliance International harshly condemns their acts,” said AAI President Christine Shellska.
“Violence is a cowardly means to assert an ideology that fails under rational scrutiny,” says Shellska. “We must adamantly strive to stop the ongoing expansion of radical Islamist groups and the religious-based acts of violence that inform their strategy, not by retaliating with violence, but by continuing to challenge and confront dangerous and harmful religious and superstitious beliefs with reason, advocacy and education.”
Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is a global alliance of atheist/freethought groups and individuals, committed to educating its members and the public about atheism, secularism and related issues.
Atheist Alliance International’s vision is a secular world where public policy, scientific inquiry and education are not influenced by religious beliefs, but based upon sound reasoning, rationality and evidence. Atheist Alliance International’s mission is to challenge and confront religious faith, to strengthen global atheism by promoting the growth and interaction of atheist/freethought organisations around the world and to undertake international educational and advocacy projects.
For more information, please contact Christine M. Shellska, President, Atheist Alliance International, at [email protected], or visit our website at www.atheistalliance.org.