Archbishop Ben Kwashi: Boko Haram terrorism is due to Islamic extremism, not poverty

The senior Archbishop in northern Nigeria has demanded that the activities of Boko Haram be acknowledged as examples of Islamic extremism rather than the results of poverty.

Referring to the recent bombing in Potiskum, Archbishop of Jos Ben Kwashi said it was incorrect to argue that that insurgency in the North of Nigeria is fuelled more by poverty than by Islamic extremism.

Responding to news reports where this has been claimed, the Archbishop said such a claim was "to undermine the truth with the same old story we hear again and again from those unwilling to face the connected and organised global jihadist network we face today."

He said poverty could not explain the death by suicide bomb of 40 Muslim school children in Potiksum.

"It does not explain the abduction, forced conversion, and forced marriage of some 200 girls in Chibok.

"To say that this is the result of poverty and corruption is to play down the evil of Boko Haram, and their form of Islam - an Islam we do not know from the Koran, or from the Muslims of my generation."

Referring to the deaths of the children, he added in comments submitted to Christian Today: "Remember that often - as yesterday - those Muslims who do not share their extremist ideology are often their victims too.

"Boko Haram and their kind delight in massacres, slaughters, rape and murders - this is not the face of poverty, but the face of radical Islamist jihad. Many world governments are increasingly recognising this global terror movement - from ISIS to Al Qaeda to Boko Haram.

"To hide behind the issues of poverty or corruption, which do not figure in extremist ideology, is a red herring. To do as this report has done is to put both Christians and non-extremist Muslims in jeopardy."

He said that as a Christian bishop, he deplores the "poverty and corruption" of his country. But he added: "I wish those co-conspirators in the West would take their lion share of the blame for the stolen monies and disgraced leaders they harbour.

"Further, I can attest that the Muslims of my childhood were certainly poorer than those of today, yet they never bought arms or slaughtered innocents. Poverty is real, corruption is global, complex and also real. But so is the global terror ideology of which Boko Haram is a practitioner, and the global terror network of which it is a part. It is both untrue and unhelpful to conflate and confuse these issues."