Muslim world scholars condemn Nigeria kidnapping

AP Anatomy of a Kidnapping-ABRIDGED
People attend a demonstration calling on the government to rescue the kidnapped school girls from the Chibok government secondary school, outside the defense headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria, Tuesday May 6, 2014. Their plight — and the failure of the Nigerian military to find them — has drawn international attention to an escalating Islamic extremist insurrection that has killed more than 1,500 so far this year. Boko Haram, the name means "Western education is sinful," has claimed responsibility for the mass kidnapping and threatened to sell the girls. The claim was made in a video seen Monday. The British and U.S. governments have expressed concern over the fate of the missing students, and protests have erupted in major Nigerian cities and in New York. (AP Photo/Gbenga Olamikan)

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) – Top religious scholars working under the world’s largest bloc of Islamic countries said Thursday they strongly condemn the kidnapping of more than 270 Nigerian schoolgirls, calling for their immediate release.

The kidnappings three weeks ago by the extremist group Boko Haram have led to worldwide condemnation. The group’s leader has used Islamic teachings as justification for threatening to sell the girls into slavery.

The Islamic Fiqh Academy, which is based in Saudi Arabia and dedicated to the advanced study of Islam, said that this “crime and other crimes committed by the likes of these extremist organizations contradicts all humanitarian principles and moral values and violates the provisions of the Quran and Sunnah,” or teachings of the Prophet Muhammad.

The academy is part of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is comprised of some 57 Muslim majority member-nations.

Also on Thursday, the OIC’s Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission said Boko Haram is misguided to claim that the abduction of the girls and the threat to sell them off as slaves is in conformity with the injunctions of Islam. The rights body described the abduction of the schoolgirls as a “barbaric act”.

“Right to education is a fundamental human right, and is in consonance with the basic tenets of Islam,” the rights body said.

Muslims around the world have spoken out against the kidnappings.

 

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