Islamic Extremism and Its Effect on Women
*representative image used
We have seen the unfortunate trend around the world of Islamic extremist groups (particularly Boko Haram) oppressing and taking advantage of women.
The Chibok girls that were kidnapped in April of 2014 was an instance of this violence against young girls that the world caught notice of. Women, when kidnapped, are often forced into marriages.
This is the case with Hannatu*, a 16 year-old girl who is recovering from a very traumatic experience. In June of this year, she was kidnapped, forcefully Islamized and married to a middle-aged Muslim extremist.
At the time of her kidnapping, Hannatu lived in an IDP (Internally Displaced Person) camp in Maiduguri with her widowed mother, Ladi, where they faced great hardship due to insufficient water, food and shelter. Christian families are under constant pressure from Muslims who try to use these difficulties to lure them to Islam. It was no different for Hannatu and her mother, but they kept resisting.
But that fateful day in June, Hannatu was running errands for her mother when Muslim men who had made advances earlier kidnapped her. When Ladi couldn’t find Hannatu anywhere, she was so worried. Little did she know that Hannatu had been forcefully Islamized and married to a Muslim.
Hannatu’s captors forced her to study the Quran and some Islamic incantations. Because she resisted, they took her to the chief Imam for instruction and initiation rituals. When Hannatu told the imam she was not a Muslim and was married against her will, he informed Ladi. He said if she wanted her daughter back, she needed to go to court.
There was no way Ladi could afford that, but an Open Doors partner informed us about their plight. We provided a lawyer and the background information needed for the court case.
The case was heard for the first time on July 6. During the subsequent hearing on September 2, our lawyer won the case, and Hannatu publicly denounced Islam and was set free!
When OD was recently in Maiduguri, we saw Ladi happily reunited with her daughter. “Thank you very much for rescuing my daughter from the lion’s den. I now believe that angels still exist. If not for you, I don’t know where I would have gotten help from. Just as you rescued my daughter, may God continue to meet your needs,” her mother responded.
- Thank God for His intervention in Hannatu’s case. Pray that she will receive the necessary spiritual care following this horrible ordeal.
- Please pray for the many women around the world who are being oppressed at the hands of Islamic extremism. Women are often kidnapped, raped or even forced into marriages.
Join us for the International Day of Prayer (IDOP) happening in a few weeks on November 6. Persecuted Christians, just like Hannatu, around the globe need our prayers. Join us alongside your church to pray for the persecuted. Islamic extremism is a main culprit of Christian persecution, so please remember to pray with us on this important day of prayer!
*name withheld for security reasons