Nigeria and Boko Haram: The Threat of Islamists

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Transcript of Nigeria and Boko Haram: The Threat of Islamists

  • Nigeria and Boko Haram: The Threat of Islamists

  • What is Boko Haram?Nigeria's militant Islamist group Boko Haram - which has caused havoc in Africa's most populous country through a wave of bombings, assassinations and now abductions - is fighting to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state. Its followers are said to be influenced by the Koranic phrase which says: "Anyone who is not governed by what Allah has revealed is among the transgressors". Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it "haram", or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society.This includes voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers or receiving a secular education. Boko Haram regards the Nigerian state as being run by non-believers, even when the country had a Muslim president.The group's official name is Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which in Arabic means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad".

  • Boko Haram translates as Western education is sin.Seeks the imposition of a strict Sharia Law system through out Nigeria.Currently nine northern states follow Sharia Law, with an additional three implementing it.Seeks the abolishment of Western-style education. They have been condemned by the Muslim Council of Great Britain.

  • What is Boko Haram?Boko Haram at a glance Founded in 2002Official Arabic name, Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad"Initially focused on opposing Western education - gaining the nickname Boko Haram, which means "Western education is forbidden" in the Hausa languageLaunched military operations in 2009 to create Islamic stateFounding leader Mohammed Yusuf (pictured above) killed in 2009 same year in police custody, succeeded by Abubakar ShekauThousands killed, mostly in north-eastern Nigeria - also attacked police and UN headquarters in capital, AbujaSome three million people affectedDeclared terrorist group by US in 2013

  • The Islamic Fundamentalist group Boko Haram has been responsible for Church bombings, executions, and tortures throughout Northern Nigeria. Boko Haram advocates creating a Nigerian theocracy and separate state in the NorthTop left: Boko Haram militantsTop right: victims of a recent Boko Haram bombing

  • Origins of Boko Haram

  • OriginsReligious insecuritiesBeing a Muslim in Nigeria used to bring power, prestige Political insecuritiesPoliticized religious and ethnic identityConspiracy theories driven by fear and reinforced by a heavy-handed security response to protests Economic insecuritiesSocio-economic isolation

    Maiduguri, Borno state

  • Origins of Boko HaramReligion splits Nigeria in half: The North is Muslim while the South is ChristianBombings of churches and mosques occur frequently and tensions are highest during elections and near the middle beltIslamic fundamentalism and radicalism has manifested itself in the North with the appearance of the political group Boko Haram

  • Origins: Historical Backdrop to Boko HaramPresident Babangidas foreign policy and Nigerias OIC membership -1986 Adoption of Sharia by 9 Northern states (plus partial adoption by 3) since 1999, posing a serious challenge to constitutional separation of state and religion December 1980 - rise of Maitatsine in the Northern commercial city of Kano 5000 lives lost in uprisingLeader Alhaji Mohammadu Marwa MaitatsineMaitatsine considered as a rebel among mainstream Muslim clericsUsed adulterated version of the Koran, with his name in place of that of Prophet MohammedPreached against use of modern technologies such as motorcycles, automobiles, bicycles, radio, television, wristwatch, etc. Killed in the Kano violence of 1980; his followers continued to spread his radical message among the urban poor across the northern region; 1985 last major Maitatsine uprising

  • History of Boko HaramSokoto Caliphate, Usman dan FodioHausa-Fulani, KanuriMaitisine riotsNigerian TalibanMohammed YusufSalafist prayer and self-isolationPromote Islam and Sharia law, Ibn Taymiyya Refusal to obey traffic laws seen as refusal of authority provokes heavy handed response . . .Yusuf publicly executed in the street

  • Origins and Rise of Boko Haram - 2009Boko Haram (Western education is evil) surfaced as Nigerian Taliban during Obasanjos era 1999-2007

    Founding leader Mohammed Yusuf, a high school drop out who studied the Koran in Niger and Chad and came back with radical religious views; Yusuf established a sect in 2001 under the name Yusufiyya in Maiduguri

    Yusuf coopted into Boko Haram between 2001 and 2009 when the sect sparked a bloody uprising in Maiduguri; the 2009 crisis earned the group the name Boko Haram which reflects its anti-Western ideology

    Following the 2009 religious uprising Yusuf was killed while in police custody

    Mallam Abubakar Shekau current spiritual leader of Boko Haram

    Blind commitment to violent fundamentalism and the islamization project

  • Goals and Doctrine of Boko Haram

  • ObjectivesImpose Sharia LawEstablish CaliphateWage war

  • Boko Haram: Mission Jihadist conquest to ensure Northern political dominance through islamization of NigeriaJihad translates to war against Western cultural influence Western democracy, Western education and Christianity, modern governmental institutions and other symbols of Western influence Islamic fundamentalism as mobilizational toolThe Almajiri System abused and manipulated for narrow political ends 75 percent northern population poor; 60 percent live on less than 1 US dollar a day; 32 percent literacy rate in the north (68 % national rate)

  • Leadership of Boko Haram

  • You Tube ClipBoko Haram: Who is Abubakar Shekau? - BBC News BBC News Published on Jun 27, 2014Running time of 2:34 What do we know about the leader of Boko Haram? Abubakar Shekau has inspired his group of fighters to kill hundreds of people in Nigeria, where Yalda Hakim spoke to people who knew him.

  • Leader: Abubakar Shekau

  • Leader: Abubakar ShekauAbubakar Shekau is the leader of the Nigerian militant Islamist group Boko Haram, which been behind a deadly insurgency in the north-east of the country for the last five years. Nigeria analyst Abdullahi Tasiu Abubakar looks at the country's most-wanted man, who has been designated a terrorist by the US government. Boko Haram's leader is said to be a fearless loner, a complex, paradoxical man - part-theologian, part-gangster. Since he took over, Boko Haram has become more radical and carried out more killings.

  • Leader: Abubakar ShekauShekau speaks classical Arabic and Hausa, the language of northern Nigerian Muslims, and had a religious education. As deputy to former Boko Haram leader Mohamed Yusuf, who was killed in 2009, Shekau delivered sermons littered with references to Islamic scholars. He also expressed admiration for al Qaeda as a jihadist movement, although Boko Haram is not an affiliate of the group. Shekau's rejection of the Christian calendar and of allegiance to the Nigerian flag resonates in a region where resentment of a corrupt and distant government runs deep. And his frequent reference to the great Bornu Empire -- a Muslim kingdom that ruled northern Nigeria for some 500 years -- harks back to a golden age.

  • Leader: Abubakar ShekauPerhaps the most shocking revelation about him was the video clip of him laughing as he admitted the abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls in April 2014, promising to sell them."I abducted your girls," he said. "I will sell them in the market, by Allah. I will sell them off and marry them off."Fondly called imam or leader by his followers, Abubakar Muhammad Shekau was born in Shekau village in Nigeria's north-eastern state of Yobe.Some say he is in his late 30s, others believe he is in his mid-40s - the uncertainty adds to the myths surrounding him.The US government has offered a reward of up to $7m (4.6m) for information about his location.

  • Leader: Shekau'Aping of Osama Bin Laden' Shekau is fluent in his native Kanuri language, as well as Hausa and Arabic. He now also adds English sentences in the tapes his group releases to journalists.When Muhammad Yusuf was killed, Shekau is said to have married one of his four wives and adopted their children - perhaps, say sources who do not want to be named, to preserve Boko Haram's cohesion or "purity". The group has a highly decentralised structure - the unifying force appears to be ideology, though many believe that they are now more interested in vengeance than in ideology.Shekau does not communicate directly with the group's foot soldiers - he is said to wield his power through a few select cell leaders, but even then contact is minimal. "A lot of those calling themselves leaders in the group do not even have contact with him," Mr Salkida says. Shekau has neither the charismatic streak nor the oratorical skills of his predecessor - but he has an intense ideological commitment and ruthlessness, say people who study the group. "He is the leader of the more militant wing of the group as testified by his aping of Osama Bin Laden in his video appearances," says Abubakar Mu'azu from the University of Maiduguri.

  • Leader: ShekauShekau issued a chilling message in one of those appearances - which provides a major insight into what his leadership of the group will bring. "I enjoy killing anyone that God commands me to kill - the way I enjoy killing chickens and rams," he said in the video clip released just after Boko Haram had carried out one of its deadliest attacks, in January 2012, killing more than 180 people in Kano, northern Nigeria's largest city.