North Africa may not come to mind immediately when one thinks of the threat of Radical Islam. However, an increasing number of violent jihadist militias have seized power in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, including Al Qaeda that have seized control of Libya , al- Shabaab who are fighting for the control of Somalia, or Nigeria’s Boko Haram. In this week’s newsletter, Clarion Fund’s Senior Fellow Clare M. Lopez takes a closer look at the disturbing violence that is taking hold in Nigeria.
by Clare M. Lopez
The armies of Islam arrived in the Nigerian kingdoms as early as the 9th century. The forcible conquest of North Africa including present day Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco imposed Islamic law (shariah) according to the Maliki school of Sunni jurisprudence over this vast swath of territory. Over subsequent centuries, relentless jihadist raids (razzias) as well as the penetration of Muslim merchants, scholars, and traders into areas of the Sahel and sub-Saharan Africa eventually succeeded in subjugating Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali and the entire northern half of the modern country of Nigeria to Islam.Â Today, Nigeria is a large and populous West African country of some 160 million people, about half of whom are Muslim and half Christian and animist. Nigeria is comprised of 36 states, 12 of which have implemented shariah in the northern half of the country. As the renowned political scientist, Samuel Huntington wrote, “Islam's borders are bloody and so are its innards.” Islam in Nigeria, as in every other place on earth where it establishes power, has shown itself aggressive and violent.
Shariah commands Muslims to jihad to spread the faith and, especially throughout the second half of the 20th century, Nigeria’s Muslims have obeyed: wars of domination against non-shariah-adherent Muslims like the Hausa exploded into jihad against non-Muslim tribes like the Yoruba and the Ibo (Biafra) leaving as many as a million dead. Shariah Implementation Committees drew up detailed plans to establish Shariah Courts, train and hire shariah judges, create a Religious Affairs Ministry, set up a Zakat Board, codify the Islamic penal code (hudud punishments like amputation, lashing, and stoning), and make the educational curriculum shariah-compliant. ...
There is much more here, and it IS a must read for a background of the history of Islam which IS shaping the future. .
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