“Join the Caravan”: The Ideology of Political Authority in Islam from Ibn Taymiyya to Boko Haram in North-Eastern Nigeria

Atta Barkindo


More than countering merely the violence and the mayhem, the current challenge posed by the Boko Haram conflict is how to clearly define the factors and the actors. Debates continue to rage in the literature regarding what motivates non-state armed groups. Interestingly, the prominent ideological factor that seems to motivate Boko Haram revolves round the concept of political authority in Islam. This ideology, it is claimed, is not only propelled by the teachings of the medieval Islamic scholar, Ibn Taymiyya, but has also encouraged political violence and extremism in the name of Islam. However, it would appear that none of the debates has examined in any detail the extent to which this ideology has influenced the Boko Haram conflict – something which the present article seeks to do.

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Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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