chapter  4
21 Pages

“Western education is forbidden”

WithZacharias P. Pieri

This chapter focuses on Boko Haram ideological fixation on combating western education and western civilizational influences as a driver of the movement’s violence in northeastern Nigeria and the wider Lake Chad Basin. It shows that Boko Haram has drawn on the history of northern Nigeria to oppose western education since its inception, with this theme often central to its discourse. The chapter argues that Boko Haram’s arguments have been resonant in parts of northeastern Nigeria, especially when combined with state corruption and nepotism. It deals with discussion of the Chibok girls, the majority of whom were Christian, and who became a prized possession for Boko Haram. Footage of the girls released by Boko Haram in propaganda videos will be analyzed, as will Shekau’s speeches relating to the girls. Boko Haram is avidly against the establishment of western education for Muslims, and indeed this is a main facet of the movement’s ideology.