Boko Haram Research Paper

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EVOLUTION OF BOKO HARAM
The Islamist group Jama'atu Ahl al‐Sunnah li‐Da'awati wal‐Jihad, commonly referred to as Boko Haram, has emerged as a violent challenger to the authority of the Nigerian state. Boko Haram is an Islamic sect that believes northern politics has been seized by a group of corrupt, false Muslims. It wants to wage a war against them, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria generally, to create a ‘pure’ Islamic state ruled by sharia law.
Islam first appeared in the territory that is now northeast Nigeria sometime during the seventh and eighth centuries of the Common Era, although it was slow to spread in terms of numbers of converts. In the early 19th century, Sheik Usman dan Fodio launched an Islamic reform movement, aimed at removing Hausa leaders he saw as corrupt and as ‘indulging’ un‐Islamic practices. With his followers, he declared a jihad between 1802 and 1812, by which time he established a federation of Islamic states known
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Despite its successful attack on the UN compound in Abuja in August 2011, Boko Haram is not bent on attacking Western interests. There have been no further attacks on international interests since that time. John Campbell, a former U.S. ambassador to Nigeria and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, thinks Boko Haram is several things at once. Boko Haram ‘writ large’ is a movement of grassroots anger among northern people at the continuing depravation and poverty in the north, he says. It is also a core group of Mohammed Yusuf’s followers who have reconvened around Abubakar Shekau and who are exacting revenge against the state for their treatment. Campbell says there is another aspect to the group that is often overlooked. The group could also be seen as a kind of personality cult, an Islamic millenarianist sect, inspired by a heretical but charismatic preacher. (Andrew
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