Sunday, 23 August 2009

Creating the name "Boko Haram" and other half-truths in the news

After the skirmishes in Bauchi town by the followers of Muhammad Yusuf's sect, their was suddenly a new term created by the International media; "Boko Haram". It's a Hausa statement which literally means "western education is a sin". Not quite sure but I think the name was created by the Hausa service of the BBC. As far as I know Muhammad Yusuf's sect never gave itself a name. They claim that they are the true sunni muslims and any non-member of their sect an infidel. This I know because we once asked a member "Don't you consider us to be muslims ?" his reply was "I don't". This is also shown in their action like not praying in any mosque that is not their sect's.
So because they do not have a name, the people of Maiduguri who are also sunni muslims call them the Yusufiyyah sect, after their leader's name Muhammad Yusuf. I was surprised when every International news agency that reported the incidence kept calling them "the Boko Haram sect" instead of the "Yusufiyyah sect". Later after Muhammad Yusuf was killed and calm restored in Maiduguri, I saw something that really surprised me on france24 tv. On the news bar at the bottom of the screen I saw a news item that reads "NIGERIA: Gun battle follows death of sect's leader". That is what you call a blatant lie. I have moved around Maiduguri on that very day (Thursday 30th July) and their was no gun battle anywhere in the town. A friend later told me that there were similar stories by other international news outlets. Before that, Radio France claimed that there was a lot of mayhem in the Bulumkuttu and Ngomari airport areas of Maiduguri while in reality nothing was going on at that time in those areas. Now I have learnt one important thing, never trust the International media.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, I learnt that a while back.
    Never trust the international media.