– The Sun News

Almajiri as consequence of Boko Haram

“The almajiri menace is a consequence of a preponderance of a deep-seated Boko Haram ideology as typified in a culture of hostile animosity towards whatever is generally considered Western Judeo-Christian heritage in the Muslim North.”

Majeed Dahiru

The exclusive interview granted the Voice of America (VOA) by a woman simply identified as Falmata, may perhaps be the most far-reaching insight into the early life of her son, Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Boko Haram terror group. Speaking to VOA from the village of Shekau in Yobe Sate, northeast Nigeria, Falmata said of her son: “I don’t know whether he is dead or alive, only God knows, I have not seen him in the last 15 years.” Shekau is from a deeply-rooted Muslim family; his father was the Imam of the local mosque in Shekau village. She also revealed that Shekau was an almajiri, who left the village of Shekau in search of Islamic knowledge in Maiduguri town, the capital of Borno State. Like most almajiri lads, Shekau ended up roaming the streets of urban centres begging for alms and food. It was in Maiduguri that Shekau came in contact with Mohammad Yussuf, the founder of the Boko Haram sect, and got indoctrinated.
READ ALSO: Boko Haram: How Shekau became terrorist – Mum

The Falmata narration appears to give credence to an already entrenched narrative, which provides a nexus between issues of illiteracy, poverty and general social deprivation that defines the almajiri scourge and the menace of Boko Haram insurgency. It is as though the almajiri scourge birthed the menace of Boko Haram insurgency.

In this sense, the almajiri scourge laid the foundation for the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency by turning over socially-displaced young men like Shekau as easy prey for recruitment into the Islamist terror group. This appears simple and straightforward enough only as long as the flow of this narrative remains on the surface of deeper fundamental issues. Like still waters that run deep, the nexus between the almajiri scourge and the menace of Boko Haram insurgency is deeper than the often simplistic narrative of the former preceding the latter.

A careful reflection on the history of Muslim Northern Nigeria from the preceding century reveals a deeply embedded animosity towards Western ideals, values and norms associated with British colonialism. The native population of this region with a rich Muslim heritage and robust Islamist revivalism associated with the 19th century western Sudan did not make a clear distinction between what was religion (Christian missionaries), government (colonial authorities) and the enlightenment (education), all of which are the complexities of purpose associated with British colonial rule. The conquest of the Sokoto Caliphate in 1903 and the deposing of Sultan Attahiru by the by British forces of Frederick Lugard, working in concert with rival local emirates to the west of Sokoto, deepened this animosity. The military conquest rekindled in the native population the centuries-old rivalry between Christian and Muslim powers in their mortal struggle for supremacy throughout the ages.

Following the British conquest of northern Muslim lands, there was a subsequent determination by the natives to preserve their rich Muslim heritage from the conquest of civilisation through the instrumentality of modern education, which was regarded as Western Judeo-Christian heritage. The suspicion that education was a British ploy to convert Muslims to Christianity birthed the reactionary ideology of Boko Haram among the native Muslim populace struggling hard to conserve their Muslim traditional ways of life. It is this deep-seated belief that planted the original seeds of Boko Haram ideology as a protectionist tool to withstand the onslaught of westernisation, which was denounced to be in conflict with northern Muslim culture. This reactionary attempt to conserve the culture and tradition of the Muslim North was enhanced by a relatively high level of literacy that was associated with the Islamic faith. The pre-existence of a unique form of rudimentary education among the native Muslim population, which was fundamentally the study of Arabic texts of classical Islamic works that were largely limited to theological jurisprudence, was, however, elevated to a status of Islamic education. This created a deep dichotomy between rudimentary Islamic education and what was considered Western education. The far-reaching effect of this dichotomy was the unwillingness to embrace modern education and the consequent institutionalisation of almajiri Islamic educational system in the Muslim North of Nigeria.

Due to the inherent inadequacies of the almajiri system of education that does not equip its millions of subscribers with the requisite skills to be socio-economically relevant in the modern world, it has been reduced to a menace of millions of socially-displaced youths with high affinity for terrorism and criminality as survival strategies. Like millions of other socially-displaced youths in the Muslim North, Shekau was a product of a conservative society steeped in the culture of mistrust for what is considered Western education (Boko Haram). Shekau’s parents, like millions of other parents in the Muslim North, didn’t enrol him in formal education institutions and he was left to roam the streets of urban centres as an almajiri in search of rudimentary Islamic knowledge and basic sustenance. The almajiri menace is a consequence of a preponderance of a deep-seated Boko Haram ideology as typified in a culture of hostile animosity towards whatever is generally considered Western Judeo-Christian heritage in the Muslim North.

This peculiar form of Muslim culture, which holds education in contempt as Western Judeo-Christian heritage, is uniquely Northern Nigerian as no parallel can be drawn with any other anywhere across the Muslim world. Historically, the Muslim world had always been receptive of education from whatever source and by whomever. As far back as the 9th century AD, Abbasid Caliph Al-Mamun established an academy, famously known as Dar al-Hikma (House of Wisdom) for the purpose of learning in Baghdad. The study of medicine, philosophy, mathematics, geography, alchemy and other forms of natural sciences were appropriated from earlier works of preceding civilisations. From the world of Hellenism came the works of Aristotle, Euclid, Plato and Galen that were studied and translated into Arabic with the invaluable help of Arabic-speaking Christian scholars from the Levant and Asia minor. This period in the history of the Muslim world was regarded as its golden era and has continued to inspire successor Muslim nation states into rapidly adapting modernity without reservations.

The current Boko Haram insurgency is only a manifestation of a determined attempt to forcefully obliterate every imprint of a widely despised Western Judeo-Christian heritage, in this instance, not limited to education alone but also the entire concept of a modern, democratic and plural Nigeria.

The Boko Haram insurgency is a reinforcement of the boko haram ideology, now given impetus by a global Islamist revivalist movement that seeks to re-establish a unified Islamic state. As a result of a ground made fertile from a deep-seated animosity towards whatever is considered as Western Judeo-Christian heritage, Northern Nigeria easily got entangled in the raging clash of civilisations between radical Islam and Western civilisation. In addition to the raging insurgency, the status of the Muslim North as the most educationally disadvantaged part of Nigeria, with resultant ranking as the lowest in every available index of human development, is a direct consequence of these unique religious and cultural choices. To reverse this self-inflicted incendiary trend, education should be declassified as a Western Judeo-Christian heritage and reclassified in the consciousness of the Muslim North as a universal phenomenon, which is consider- ably enriched by knowledge from the golden age of the Muslim world of pre-renaissance Judeo-Christian Europe. The dichotomy that was created between what is considered Islamic education and Western education should be dismantled in the hearts and minds of the Muslim North in order to remove the guilt of Boko Haram to give way to the unreserved embrace of Boko Halal.

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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

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5 Comments

  1. Ezekiel Okeke 20th July 2018 at 8:26 am

    I saw Almajiri practice with shock first in 1997 in Kaura Namoda Zamfara state, thereafter in Kano. Almajiri practice is dated as back as 11th century in Borno. Dan Fodio preached about maltreatments of northern natives by northern rulers of the time which maltreatment of northern natives in the name of Almajiri practice is not excluded. Preaching in which northern natives fought and changed northern rulers etc. Northern natives victory which fraudulent criminal fulanis hijacked fraudulently as fulani victory over northern natives to date in which Almajiri practice which is one of maltreatments of northern natives northern natives fought to end did not end under fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates to date, fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates rather intensified it to keep northern natives blind of their existence and history so as to keep northern natives under fulani bondage via fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates under the dead fraudulent political name Nigeria controlled by British bandits and fraudulent criminal America with their fraudulent criminal UN of 20th century world international order- atrocities of fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates under the dead fraudulent political name Nigeria controlled by British bandits and fraudulent criminal America against northern natives which has come to an end in this final conquest of the Liberation Revolutionary Warfare of the natives under the natives Disintegrated Republics which ends in Sokoto- the sit of the satan of this natives territory. Freedom of northern natives from fulani bondage via fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates under the dead fraudulent political name Nigeria controlled by British bandits and fraudulent criminal America with their fraudulent criminal UN of 20th century world international order is a must with the Sword in this final conquest of the Liberation Revolutionary Warfare of the natives. Freedom of this territory natives of this generation from the bondage of the fraudulent political name Nigeria is a must with the Sword in this final conquest of the Liberation Revolutionary Warfare of the natives. Nothing on earth will keep fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates in this natives territory. Nothing on earth will keep the dead fraudulent political name Nigeria in this natives territory. Nothing on earth will keep the enemy’s brainwashed terrorism mercenaries nickname military, police etc. in this natives territory of Disintegrated Republics. It is Revolutionary Militant Groups- RMG etc. formation which its members are the new military, police etc. under the natives Disintegrated Republics- Biafra Republic of south east, Niger Delta Republic of south south, Oduduwa Republic of south west, North East Republic, North West Republic, North Central Republic. The war front is Sokoto- the last bastion of fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates under the dead fraudulent political name Nigeria controlled by British bandits and fraudulent criminal America with their fraudulent criminal UN of 20th century world international order. God given Victory is the natives. Only the Sword decides. God Is With Us!!!

  2. Ezekiel Okeke 20th July 2018 at 8:40 am

    What the enemy labeled Boko Haram in northeast is Revolution War of the natives against fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates under which northeast natives are held in bondage. Revolution War under North East Republic in Disintegrated Republics of the natives which the final conquest has begun which ends in Sokoto- the sit of the satan of this natives territory. Revolution War under the natives Disintegrated Republics- Biafra Republic of south east, Niger Delta Republic of south south, Oduduwa Republic of south west, North East Republic, North West Republic, North Central Republic. It is Revolutionary Militant Groups- RMG etc. formation which its members are the new military, police etc. under the natives Disintegrated Republics. The war front is Sokoto- the last bastion of fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates under the dead fraudulent political name Nigeria controlled by British bandits and fraudulent criminal America with their fraudulent criminal UN of 20th century world international order. Freedom of northern natives from fulani bondage is Freedom of every this territory native under the natives Disintegrated Republics. Freedom of northern natives from fulani bondage is a must with the Sword in this final conquest of the Liberation Revolutionary Warfare of the natives. Freedom of this territory natives of this generation from the bondage of the fraudulent political name Nigeria is a must with the Sword in this final conquest of the Liberation Revolutionary Warfare of the natives. God given Victory is the natives. Only the Sword decides. God Is With Us!!!

  3. Ezekiel Okeke 20th July 2018 at 8:51 am

    The ongoing Revolution War has nothing to do with Religion, Farmland, Cattle grazing, as the enemy are deliberately insinuating thinking they can deceive the people. The ongoing Revolution War is only Political in which this territory natives of this generation fight for their existence securities and freedom under the natives Disintegrated Republics, and end this territory natives bondage under fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates and the dead fraudulent political name Nigeria which British bandits and fraudulent criminal America with their fraudulent criminal UN of 20th century world international order uses to control this natives territory politically and steal this territory natives God given Oil, Gas etc. God given Victory is the natives. Only the Sword decides. God Is With Us!!!

  4. Ezekiel Okeke 20th July 2018 at 9:08 am

    Education is to learn how to make a living, and how to live. Northern learning how to make a living, and how to live is as old as northern natives which is thousand years and kept advancing in it based on advacements of humanity. Only British bandits and fraudulent criminal America with their fraudulent criminal UN of 20th century world international order with their fulani fraudulent criminal sultanate political government with its emirates who want to keep northern natives blind so as to use them politically, are the ones behind education backwards of northern natives and southern natives. Industrial products of northern natives were sold as far as Europe before invasion of the foreign bandits from Europe. The foreign bandits from Europe destroyed industrial production technologies of northern natives, Africans, destroyed African market and connections etc. Freedom of northern natives, southern natives has come under the natives Disintegrated Republics which must be defended with the Sword in this final conquest of the Liberation Revolutionary Warfare of the natives which ends in Sokoto- the sit of the satan of this natives territory. Freedom of Africa has come under Southern Countries Union- SCU in this 21st century world international order which comprises Asia, Africa, South America and parts of Europe led by Russia, Turkey representing Europe, China, India, Japan, Indonesia representing Asia, Brazil, Mexico representing South America, Egypt, South Africa representing Africa. This is 21st century world international order. 20th century world international order is dead and gone forever. God Is With Us!!!

  5. Dr.Uche Kalu 20th July 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Almajiri in the Islamic North is an equivalent of Madrasah in other muslim countries . Also, Alms-givings to the
    poor is one of the major Tenets of Islam.
    Thus, Almajiri and Alms-giving do go together.
    It has been a custom in the Islamic North,that the poor lecherous and polygamous parents provide pans
    (calabash in the olden time) to their kids at the age of 3 and send them off to the streets as Almajiris (beggars
    and street urchins).The Almajiris are usually taken care of by Islamic teachers ,who are appointed by the
    Iman of their communities.The Almajiris also give the proceeds of their beggary to their Islamic teachers.
    So,Mallam Majeed Dahiru doesn’t have to dabble into his gobble-dy-gook Judeo-Christian-Arabic history
    in order to relate the Almajiris with the Boko Haram.The basic fact of the matter here is that the Boko Haram
    Killer Squads are Jihadist,just like the Abu Shayeff,Al Qaedas,Al Shabaabs,Hamas,Hesbollahs,Houthis,ISIS,
    the Muslim Brothers of Egypt, the Talibans et al.Those are all muslim terrorists groups,periob!
    After all,Imam Musa Makandi of Maitatsine recruited ,trained and deployed the Almajiris for his Jihadist
    Campaign of the 1980s in the North.So also,do the Talibans of Afghanistan and Pakistan recruit their soldiers of Allah from the Madrasahs of their respective countries.
    Apropos Boko Haram; it was no other person but Mallam Muhammadu Buhari,our current Fulani rogue
    President,who is the originator of Nigerian Sharia Movement , the Boko Haram as its military wing of that Movement and the custodian of Sharia- jurisprudence in Nigeria.
    Mallam Muhammadu Buhari had then in 2001,convened an Islamic Semina in Kaduna,when he pledged his
    commitment to seeing Sharia implemented all over Nigeria.
    He indeed enthused,”I wll continue to show openly and inside me the total commitment to Sharia movement
    that is sweeping all over Nigeria. Allah willing we will not stop the agitation for the total implementation of Sharia in the country”.
    It was indeed,at the behest of Mallam Muhammadu Buhari,that the Governors of Sharia States,recruited,
    nurtured and sired the Almajiris who the are members of the Boko Haram Jihadist Killer Squads.
    Our rogue Fulani President,Mallam Muhammadu Buhari is not only a god father of the Boko Haram Terorists,he
    is also the Grand Patron of the Fulani Miyetti Allah,whose Herdsmen and Millitias are currently rampaging
    all over nations of Nigeria.They slaughter daily Indigenous Minority Christians of the North,cleans them from
    their ancestral lands and occupy those same lands.
    Down in the South they destroy our farms and crops,sack and pillage our Towns,Villages.Farmsteds and Hamlets,rape and defile our women folks and daughters, and they have been killing those who dare stand on
    their ways.
    From our fawning Indigenous Leaders of the Middle Belt and of the South,all that we hear are hackneyed dolorous tirades or rather jeremaid and denunciatory empty complaints about the state of the nation ,which are
    never matched with some punitive actions.
    The Fulani muslims of the Cliphate of Sokoto are sojourners and they are nomore Nigerians than the Afrikaans (Boers) and their Apartheid are South Africans.
    The recent Ekitti Guber Election ( a shameless charade of Election), must serve as an eye opener to all true
    patriotic and well-being Nigerians,of what is ahead vis-a-vis,2019 Elections.
    All true Nigerian Patriots must stand firm on; ”Restructuring The Country Before Any Further Elections”.
    So,No Restructuring No Elections jare!
    No to the status quo ante bellum!
    Down with Huasa/Fulani /Kanuri Islamic Hegemony!!

    .

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