I imagine that most people who read the news every day wonder how anyone could think what Boko Haram and ISIS are doing is right. And yet some people clearly do; the more bigoted, sexist and violent these groups' behavior becomes, the more volunteers flock to their banners. Nothing, it seems, varies quite so much as people's values.
Below are excerpts from a piece that five of the 58 young Chibok women who escaped Boko Haram on April 14, 2014 wrote when I asked them to say what education means to them.
On April 14th 2014, a ruthless militia kidnapped over 200 of Nigeria's young girls from their school in Chibok in the dead of night. A year on, the girls have yet to be released by Boko Haram, nor rescued by our security forces, leaving their families waiting and praying for answers.
In far too many places, being a school girl is dangerous business. Girls face the threat of violence on the bus ride to school, the afternoon walk home, or even during a bathroom break. The barriers that prevent girls from going to school vary. But what's clear in any community is that education can change everything for a student.
April 15th marks one year ago that Boko Haram brutally abducted 276 schoolgirls in Nigeria, as they studied for their spring exams. Our girls who have not been brought back, who are now simply disappeared, cannot be lost to us.
In recent years, the U.S. has been involved in a variety of multinational interventions in Africa, including one in Libya that involved both a secret war and a conventional campaign of missiles and air strikes, assistance to French forces, and the training and funding of African proxies.
These are outrageous deeds that must be stopped. But how should the Vatican state the case against these groups? I believe that it should confine itself to detailing the crimes these organizations are committing.
Nigeria has a long history of strong leadership. Under both civilian and military rules in the past, Nigeria has provided a beneficial leadership in African affairs. For the sake of Nigeria, Africa and the world, it needs to lead again.
The failure of last year's election to achieve political unity in Libya was most evident when Fajr Libya, or "Libya Dawn" -- a diverse coalition of armed groups that includes an array of Islamist militias -- rejected the election's outcome and seized control of Tripoli.
Global issues like the spread of ISIS, the weak global economy and Middle East turmoil will continue to burden us this quarter. These are factors that may hinder stability in the international system - that's global political risk in a nutshell. But what can we expect of domestic political risk in the second quarter of 2015?
The peaceful transition to a new administration not only ensured the stability and growth of Nigeria's democratic system, but sets a shining example for the rest of the world. Nigerians should be very proud.
Nigerian voters have also sent a strong message to ordinary Africans throughout the continent. If Nigerians can vote for a candidate of their choice, even unseating an incumbent president, voters in other African countries can do the same.
The most fundamental concern of most Nigerians is the need for a new leadership in Nigeria across the board which can bring about a country of which all Nigerians will be proud to say in the words of the old National Anthem: Nigeria, we hail thee.
A mass abduction that was seen a year ago as unprecedented -- sparking justifiable outrage across the world -- now seems, after a series of further kidnaps, to look like a sadly increasingly familiar tactic in the terrorist arsenal.
Forgetting man's past atrocities or ignoring those happening, now, today, in too many places around the world, is both callous and short-sighted. That is bad enough. But it's equally hazardous to ignore the astonishing and perilous acts of human courage that negate, undo, reverse the violence and uphold our rights and dignity as humans.