Nigeria

Boko Haram: a local phenomenon, not a global threat

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Nigerian Sunni Muslim militant group emerged from background of sectarian tensions and deprivation

In the fast-changing world of violent Sunni Muslim activism, it is reassuring to find that some things remain the same. Every militant group that has emerged in recent decades has shared key elements, and the Nigerian Boko Haram group is no exception. First, in Nigeria – as in Afghanistan, Algeria, Pakistan and the Philippines – there is a long history of religious violence going back to colonial times and beyond. Then there is a more recent aggravation of sectarian tensions against the tense background of the "9/11 wars" of the last decade. Muslim communities in the north of Nigeria, where Boko Haram operates, see themselves as increasingly threatened by the strident Christianity that dominates the south.

Read the full article in the Guardian.