Nigerians with first hand experience with Boko Haram spoke to the LA Times.
When Boko Haram invaded her village last year, the Islamist extremists burned the churches, destroyed Bibles and photographs and forced Hamatu Juwanda to renounce Christianity. "They said we should never go back to church because they had brought a new religion," the 50-year-old said. "We were going to be converted to Islam." The head of the village, a Muslim, presented her with a thick nylon hijab to cover her head and renamed her Aisha. She submitted, smarting with rage. Women who didn't wear the hijab were beaten. "When I went to the market, I wore the veil," she said. "But at home, I took it off and prayed." The gunmen returned time after time to the village of Barawa, shooting people, burning houses and wearing down the resistance of the villagers.
In September, the attackers came again: 30 turbaned men with covered faces, big guns and camouflage clothing. Juwanda's husband tried to flee but was shot in the chest and killed. Horrors became commonplace for Juwanda: She saw a young man shot in the head as he fled along a rural track. She watched a neighboring woman weep bitterly as gunmen abducted her with her children. "She was crying, but they told her not to," Juwanda said. "The leader of the group told her, 'If you cry, it's useless. If you don't cry, it's useless.' "