It doesn’t matter whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish. It is impossible not to feel waves of overwhelming heartbreak when you think about the 200-odd Nigerian girls who were taken from their school by an armed Islamist group calling itself Boko Haram.
Like the Taliban, this savage group sees nothing worthwhile in educating girls.
The kidnapping is exactly what Nigeria, which is trying to raise its economic image, didn’t want to see happen. It particularly didn’t want it to happen now. The country hosted the World Economic forum last week. There, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan thanked foreign nations for their support in the fight against Boko Haram.
It seems this nightmare comes too soon after the attempted murder of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban because she championed education for girls.
How could anyone put the trigger to the head of an innocent girl? Much less do so because she wants to be educated? What could so threaten grown men? Is it the fear that through education, girls might live independent lives?
The Boko Haram are no better than the Taliban. Both have guns and use them to inflict fear.
We worry that Boko Haram will sell these kidnapped children into the growing epidemic of the world slave trade.
Almost 150 years ago, our nation fought a war to end slavery, but although it is unimaginable to us, slavery continues around the world. We must take action when young girls are captured and sold into slavery. Slavery, especially into the sex trade, cannot be allowed to happen. Not ever again. And even if our prayers are answered and these kidnapped girls are brought home safely, we will still worry about whether girls and young women have the same opportunity to live lives of hope that their brothers have.
And we also know that there are countless other young girls who we still must find and save, even in the United States and in Israel.
These girls could very well be our sisters and daughters, our future scientists, educators, doctors, and world leaders.
We need to bring our world’s children home now. Eradicate slavery.
It must be our priority.