Religion and Religious Fundamentalism in Nigeria: Boko Haram’s Claims to Truth
This research aims to analyze the local plausibility of religious claims to truth in Boko Haram’s terrorist ideology. As global jihadi organizations continue to operate under-ground in the face of successful counter-terrorist actions against them, religious underpins seem to be one of the few cohesive glues holding them afloat and keeping the flow of blind support unending. Is this however enough for unwavering loyalty to a terrorist group declared ‘technically defeated’ by the state? In the north of Nigeria Boko Haram’s success is facilitated by a prevalence of deeply rooted religious identities that can be mobilized by religious groups if they strike the right chord. The research examines why Boko Haram’s ideology of radical Islam resonated with many (mostly young) people in Nigeria’s northeast. It does so by looking, on the one hand, at the narratives the insurgency creates with reference to globally circulating ideologies based on interpretations of the Quran and the Hadiths, and, on the other, by analyzing the socioeconomic and cultural situation of local communities that seem to make the group’s claims potent.
Dr. Medinat Abdulazeez Malefakis is a scholarship holder of the Migration, Integration, Transnationalization Research Unit.