Awofeso, Niyi, Ritchie, Jan and Degeling, Pieter
The Almajiri Heritage and the threat of non-state terrorism in northern Nigeria: lessons from central Asia and Pakistan
Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, 26, (4), . (doi:10.1080/10576100390208260).
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The Almajiri heritage is, like the madrassahs in Central Asia, a system of Muslim education that dates back several centuries. With the imposition of British colonial rule between 1902 and 1960 on parts of the Sokoto Empire that currently constitute northern Nigeria, the North's amalgamation with Southern Nigerian British protectorates in 1914, and the formal abolition of slavery in northern Nigeria in 1936, this heritage underwent major structural and functional transformations. Given the lessons from the 1980 Maitatsine terrorist insurgence in Kano, Nigeria, and the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in northern Nigeria since 1999, a potential exists that the heritage may evolve into an apparatus for perpetuating non-state terrorism. Drawing on the trajectory of similar educational systems in Central Asia prior to, during, and following Russian communist rule, this article outlines reasons for the growing terrorist potential of the Almajiri heritage, and suggests measures for avoiding such trajectories.
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