May 12, 2014
P.J. Gladnick, writing for Newsbusters, has taken The Guardian writer Nafeez Ahmed to task for saying the rise of Boko Haram is linked to man-made global warming. “So how long before former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg blames large sugary drinks for the rise of Boko Haram?” Gladnick quips, and then offers yet another absolutist explanation for the crisis in Nigeria:
“Everything must be blamed but the real reason: Islami… The obvious truth must remain hidden in plain sight.”
The obvious truth is surely hidden in plain sight, but it is not a truth Gladnick gets around to revealing. In the highly polarized and ideologically narrow world of neocon doublespeak Islam is at the root of all contemporary political and social problems, thus rendering its arguments fallacious as those of the global warming crowd.
Ahmed, in fact, is closer to the truth despite his belief in anthropomorphic climate change. Boko Haram is tangentially linked to “western and regional fossil fuel interests,” as The Guardian would have it. However, more directly, Boko Haram, while certainly an Islamic phenomenon fed by Saudi Wahhabist religious fanaticism, is the result of longstanding communal conflicts and ethnoreligious violence exacerbated by oil exploration and production in the post-colonial era. “What [the Niger Delta people] used to call upon for their livelihood and well-being has been wrecked for eternity by the coming of oil and its exploitation by the Nigerian state,” Tell, a Lagos-based magazine, reported in 1993.