Two Attempted Murders by Boko Haram Show Islamic Extremist Motives

Both Christians left for dead; each cites a miracle.

ICC Note:

Two Christians who refused to convert to Islam, left for dead after an attempted slaughter at the hands of Boko Haram, share their ordeal and miraculous survival.

10/9/2014 Nigeria (Morning Star)-Adamu, 28, bears a scar on the back of his neck where two members of the Islamic extremist group Boko Harm tried to slaughter him.

A member of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria (EYN) in Gwoza, Borno state in northeastern Nigeria, Adamu told Morning Star News that in April 2013 he was working on his bean farm in Musari village, in the Mungono area, when a member of the insurgent Boko Haram approached him.

“He told me to convert to Islam and join them in waging a jihad to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria,” said Adamu, whose surname is withheld for security reasons. “I told him that I will not renounce my Christian faith in order to embrace Islam. He left me there on my farm without saying anything again.”

Two days later, five other members of Boko Haram showed up. The insurgency is fighting to impose strict sharia (Islamic law) throughout Nigeria.

“They said their member told them that I refused to renounce being a Christian and wanted to know whether it is true that I refused to become a Muslim,” Adamu said, adding that he told them it was true. “They then told me that since I refused to recant, they would kill me.”

When he refused their order to lie down, they seized him and tied his hands and legs behind his back, he said.

“They pinned me down and told me they will make death painful and slow, as they are not prepared to waste their bullets on me,” he said. “They also said they would not give me the honor of slaughtering me by cutting my neck from the front, because that is the way they slaughter their rams.

“They forced me down on my stomach and then proceeded to slaughter me by cutting my neck from the back. I was bleeding and went blank as the knife cut through my neck. It was pains I cannot explain to you. After cutting my neck, they left me bleeding.”

Adamu lay there for days, he said, adding that his survival was miraculous; only later would he learn that the Boko Haram members had threatened to kill anyone in the village who helped him.

“It was only after I was taken to the hospital that I was told that the Boko Haram members who attacked me on the farm had gone to the village shortly after leaving me bleeding to death and had warned other Muslims that if any of them dares to rescue me, he would be killed,” he said. “They sternly warned other Muslims in Musari, ‘We have butchered an infidel there on his farm. Be warned that if any of you Muslims dares to assist him, he is also an infidel and we shall make sure that he too is killed.”

Though the villagers were afraid to rescue him, eventually a member of his church snuck onto the farm and found him alive, he said.

“He went back to the village and mobilized some of our church members who came to the farm and took me away,” Adamu said.

They took him to a Christian hospital in Cameroon.

“I was taken to Adventist Hospital, Koza, in Cameroon, and treated for three months before I was referred to this hospital here in Jos,” Adamu said. “The cut on my neck, doctors say, has affected some nerves and veins in my body, thereby making it difficult for me to move my limbs. Right now, I am still learning how to move my hands and legs.”

Adamu said that before the attack on his farm, Boko Harm destroyed his EYN church building in Musari, and all Christians there fled.

“As I talk to you, there are no more Christians in Musari village,” he said. “They attacked Christians and destroyed the church building where we worship. Our pastor and other Christians, about 120 of them, were forced to flee.”

Boko Haram and others killed 1,631 Christians in Nigeria for their faith in the first six months of 2014 – a figure that is 91 percent of the total Christians killed in the country in all of last year, according to advocacy group Jubilee Campaign. Last year 1,783 Nigerian Christians were killed for their faith, according to Jubilee Campaign. The increase in Christian deaths this year accompanies an increase in the total number of people killed during the period, mainly by Boko Haram – 4,099, which is 975 more than the total deaths from attacks by religious extremists for all of last year, 3,124, according to Jubilee.

While Boko Haram (translated as “Western education is a sin”) is the moniker residents of Maiduguri, Borno state gave the insurgents, the group calls itself the Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awati walJihad, translated as “The Congregation of the People of Tradition for Proselytism and Jihad.” The United States designated it as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in November 2013.

Christians make up 51.3 percent of Nigeria’s population of 158.2 million, while Muslims account for 45 percent and live mainly in the north.

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