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Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

About Rep. Sheila
  • Terrorism Around the World

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2015-01-13

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    JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, the new year has come with many blessings, but it has also come with a major wake-up call. I rise again to express my deepest sympathy to the people of France, the loss of lives, including our Jewish brothers and sisters targeted simply because of their faith and other innocents.

    I stand as well to recognize my friends in the Muslim community who have all come together, to thank them for standing against violent and reckless terrorism. Their voices were loud and present and noted.

    I recognize the heads of state, the work of the United States in standing alongside France, our early and longstanding partner in democracy and liberty. Yesterday, some of us had the privilege, hosted by the Foreign Affairs Committee, to greet the French Ambassador and to offer to the people of France our personal regrets and sympathy.

    As we look to the incidents that are coming to our attention around the world, let me bring up again the girls in Nigeria, who were taken almost a year ago, 300 innocent school girls. The only thing that they wanted to do was to take their exams.

    In the spring of 2014, I led a delegation of Members of Congress to the northern state of Borno. I met the pleading and crying and broken families. I met some of the girls who gave a harrowing story of how they escaped, sliding through the wooded forests, escaping for their lives with just the clothes on their back. Only through a light from a house along the road were they able to get some refuge, and then three of them escaped on a motorcycle with a hero whose name probably will never be noted.

    But these girls have no more identity. We are saying bring the girls back, but maybe they are married and impregnated and indoctrinated in this instance with doctrines that were not their life. They were Christian.

    {time} 1045 The focus on Africa must be enhanced. I thank my good friend Congresswoman Karen Bass, who has been working tirelessly as the ranking member of the Africa Subcommittee and had a brilliant meeting this morning.

    I come now to announce that we cannot stand by as Boko Haram pillages violently, recklessly, with inhumanity, kills with reckless abandonment, with no one stopping them, 2,000 people along Lake Chad, bodies that people are tripping over and finding under bushes and trees. This is a cry for mercy; this is an outrage. The world cannot stand by idly and not look to this.

    Nigeria cannot fight this alone, and just as we have announced a concerted global effort against ISIL and al Qaeda, we must do this against Boko Haram. They are not simply a group of thugs. They have connected to this vile institution of terrorism, and they are going up against ill-prepared military forces.

    We could point the finger, and I am asking for the Government of Nigeria to stand and ask for help. There is no shame in asking for help. I am asking the United Nations to do more than it is doing. I am asking the African Union to collaborate with the forces that they have at their side with the collaboration of African countries to go to the rescue of the innocent persons in northern Nigeria.

    How can we stand by when a 10-year-old girl who needs to be playing with dolls and going to school and looking into the sunshine for an aspirational light of things that she can do in 2014, probably a brilliant little girl, unbeknownst to her, strapped with a horrible bomb and now in death, with her little body splintered by a bomb--a suicide bomber--how can she even understand what they had told her she was doing? Mr. Speaker, let me close by saying that I am calling upon the world to join in a global effort to fight the terrorist dastardly behavior of an uncaring Boko Haram, and I close by saying that we must reach out to young Muslim boys in northern Nigeria for an alternative to that life.

    [[Page H232]] May God rest in peace those who have died at the hands of terrorists, and we ask for a unified global response.


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