Calling Woman-Snatchers "Islamist Fighters"

National Public Radio continues to refer to Boko Haram as a "militant Islamist group", and to its members as "Islamist fighters". In case you're not in the know, Boko Haram men have, in the course of terrorizing Christians across northern Nigeria with general mayhem, kidnapped hundreds of Nigerian girls. They made the news big-time by taking 200 at once from a boarding school, leading to #bringbackourgirls (click here for The Telegraph's response to the hashtag).

Why are Boko Haram being called "fighters"? I'm sure they do a little "fighting", but mostly what they do is burn houses, lynch pastors, and rape women. And they take young girls away, to be given as spoils to their men, and, one presumes, to be sold at a profit to others.

Such men have historically been called pirates, or bandits, or slavers. On the spectrum of things we could call Boko Haram, why are we calling them the best possible name? For neutrality's sake? To be "fair and balanced"? Please. Let's give them as little dignity as possible. Call them slavers, NPR.


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