Our Honorary President, Fethullah Gulen, gave a statement regarding the kidnappings of schoolgirls in Nigeria by Boko Haram. Below is the statement in its entirety. Thanks to our umbrella organization, Alliance for Shared Values, for sending it along.
NEW YORK, May 12, 2014 — The senseless kidnappings of hundreds of schoolgirls in Nigeria are deplorable and heartbreaking. I condemn these actions unequivocally and call upon the perpetrators of these acts to immediately release the schoolgirls.
Education is a fundamental human right, which is guaranteed for women and men by Islam. Any interpretations to the contrary are fallacious and tend to serve either individual or political interests. In fact, in the years during and after Prophet Mohammed’s lifetime (PBUH), women played significant roles in society, contributing as jurists, teachers, and entrepreneurs.
I have always believed that education, for both boys and girls, is the most powerful tool to help them realize their potential, foster core values such as respecting every human and the rule of law, and build characters that are endowed with these values. Education also serves as an antidote against ignorance, which is the source of so many social problems. The senseless abductions in Nigeria violate the human rights of those girls and their families, and highlight the need to promote wholesome education that fosters respect for such rights and freedoms.
I am praying for the families of the victims and for the people of Nigeria.