Boko Haram: How Did We Get Here?- The Saudi Connection Boko Haram – What’s going on?

First things first. The tragic kidnapping of 200 girls by Boko Haram is wrong.


How did we get here?


During colonial times, the public school educated British officers who ranNigeria admired the Fulani aristocracy because it reminded them of their aristocratic homeland in Britain. So they entered into a bargain with the Fulani Kings. We won’t tamper with your societal structures as long as you swear allegiance to the Queen of England.


Prior to the arrival of the British, Northern Nigeria had already been greatly influenced by the Arabs and thus the Arabic language and Islam had swept through the area. Young boys and girls attended Kornaic schools where they learned Arabic and were taught to recite the Koran by rote.


With the arrival of the British, the Islamic/Arabic education of young Northerners was left untouched but they were denied the opportunity to be educated in English. The main reason for this was the desire of the Northern Aristocracy to maintain their grip on the populace. The more educated people became, the more likely they were to challenge the authority of the Emirs.


The famous Northern politician Aminu Kano sought to challenge this practice of depriving commoners of education and was roundly shunned by the Northern elite and was described as dangerous.


The problem?


At face value, there is nothing wrong with a section of the country learning to speak Arabic. In fact, in our globalised world, it should be an advantage to our country that we have millions of Arabic speakers. However something went wrong.


With the increasing wealth and power of the Saudis, funds were made available to radical Islamic preachers who then spread their radicalism abroad. Basically, the Saudis government was corrupt and feared that it would be toppled by the radical Islamists amongst its population. Therefore it struck a deal with the hard-line clerics. In exchange for you leaving our government alone, we will provide you with billions of dollars to fund your religion. This arrangement is similar to the arrangements some Pentecostal Pastors have with their church members. As long as you pay your tithes, I won’t preach against your moral choices.


The billions of dollars provided to the clerics made it possible for thousands of northern Nigerians to study Islamic studies in the Middle East. Unfortunately, a large number of these Nigerian students were exposed to the most extremist aspects of Islamic education. Basically, Islam is similar to Christianity in the sense that you can choose to study at either a liberal or conservative bible college. The theology course offered by Winners Chapel will not be the same as those offered by the Catholic Church.


Categories: Asia

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