As if the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls by a fundamentalist Islamic terrorist organization wasn't bad enough, at least one American right-winger is making light of the situation, presumably because Michelle Obama made a heartfelt plea on behalf of the girls on Saturday.
One could chalk Hoft's jape up to mere sexism and racism- heh, they're only girls, and it's only Africa, doncha know- but I believe that the right-wing doesn't wish to take this atrocity seriously for a more existential reason. "Boko Haram" translates as "Western Education is Sinful" and the group not only targets Nigerian Christians but Muslims who are not seen as sufficiently pure in their devotion. A similar fundamentalist group in Mali burned manuscripts in a Timbuktu library that represented centuries of Islamic jurisprudence. The Boko Haram group is a bunch of nihilists, seeking to destroy anything which doesn't adhere to their particular narrow vision of the Islamic faith.
Here in the U.S., a common refrain among religious fundamentalists is that secular education is undermining traditional American values- "western education is sinful" or, to put it succinctly, Boko Haram.
Basically, the raison d'être of Boko Haram and, for instance, the American Family Association is identical- they both want to purge their respective societies of secular values. It's no wonder that Hoft, a right-winger through-and-through, wants to make light of the kidnapping of Nigerian schoolgirls who were slated to be sold into arranged marriages in order to "control" them. With the American Right's mania about "purity" and the evils of secular education, one would have to suspect that Hoft would back a similar kidnapping of female students by a fundamentalist organization that would force them into "traditional" marriages- he'd just disagree about which "holy" book's precepts were used to justify the crime.
I want to see two things happen- bring back the girls and let's smack our churls!
Cross-posted at Rumproast.