Do a personal research on everything I wrote here. NO LIES!
Years ago before the advent of Boko Haram and ISWAP in Northern Nigeria, many Islamic clerics in the North that belong to the Salafist/Wahabist sect were always preaching and telling their followers that there is this grand conspiracy against them by the Christians and Yahudu to destroy them and stop them from fully practicing Islam.
They were always telling their followers that Christians are always meeting and planning day and night on how to destroy their religion.
“Arnan Nigeria gabadaya, tunanin su kawai shi ne su ga yadda za su yake musulmai su kuma rusa addinin musulunci.”
They were always saying that the intention of Nigerian Christians and their foreign allies is to weaken Islam or destroy it. Some of them say things like, if they allow the Christians to have their way, they will even stop Muslims from praying because that is their true intention.
“Idan ka bama arnan Nigeria dama ko iko, asalin abun da suke so shi ne su hana musulmi yin sallah”
They were always telling their people such nonsense lies and sowing suspicion and hate. They tell peopple to fight for the establishment of an Islamic state where Muslims will be govern by Islamic laws. That is what lead some governors to go ahead and declare Sharia law in some northern states in order to please this the clerics and their followers.
They kept telling their followers to be very suspicious of Christians and to always anticipate for an apocalyptic religious war that will breakout any time because the Christians and their foreign allies hate their religion and want to destroy it. They used to tell the people that the offering and tithes Christians are contributing in their various churches is to buy weapons and and store them inside their churches, weapons that they will later use the to fight them. They were just teaching their followers to hate the non Muslims. 100% of the time that was what a lot of those Salafist/Wahabist clerics were doing.
These clerics kept promoting this narrative and telling the people that they are under siege and are being oppressed because of their religion, so they made the people to believe that they were victims of this up coming Christian onslaught and attack. Some of the clerics say these things openly openly while others say it subliminally but the message was the same. They can deny this the way they always love denying everything, but it is the truth. They also keep promoting the hate of the West ( Yahudu and Nasara) always. They keep saying that their ways are bad, their culture is evil and their only target is to destroy their religion.
Many people agreed with this view and held on to it. Many became radicalised as a result. So when the USA and their allies started the war on terror, most of them thought the war their clerics have been telling them about has finally began, especially when the USA told many lies to the world about Saddam Hussein and invaded Iraq based on those lies. George Bush at that time also made the war to be an “us vs them” thing. He made the war to be the West against the Muslims. Many of the northern Muslims started supporting Alqeeda and Taliban and sincerely believed that Alqeeda and Taliban were fighting a legitimate holy war that will eventually lead to the destruction of the infidels and finally lead to the Muslims having control and leadership of the world based on what their clerics were telling them. Many of them believed that the war will eventually lead to the coming of the Mahdi. So they all fully supported Alqeeda and the Talibans.
It was a wave that was all over northern Nigeria. As a Muslim at that time you must support Alqeeda and the Taliban and most of them did. People were naming their male children that were born at that time after Osama and his posters were every where in people’s houses and shops. Osama Bin Laden was revered and seen as a modern day prophet by many of them.
They believed he was fighting a just war against the western infidels that invaded the Muslim lands unjustly based on lies and were killing them. They continued with these teachings for years and these teachings lead to religious crisis btw Christians and Muslims in different parts of the North from Kaduna to Plateau state to Kano, Bauchi and Taraba.
Then came Boko Haram which was as a result of their many years of teaching of hate, suspicion, sensationalism, religious extremism and supremacy. Boko Haram and their brothers the bandits, ISWAP and herdsmen showed them how nihilistic, destructive and deadly the extremism, bigotry, sensationalism and religious supremacy they have been preaching for years can be.
Initially when Boko Haram started, they were targeting and killing only the Nigerian security forces, it wasn’t a problem to them, then Boko Haram graduated to killing only Christians and bombing their churches. When Boko Haram were killing only Christians and bombing their churches, it still wasnt a problem to some of them. Some of them were even happy that unbelievers were targeted and killed by BokoHaram. Pantami said that “We are all happy when unbelievers are killed, but the Sharia doesn’t allow us to kill them without a reason” as long as killing the infidels is done within what they believe to be the dictates of the Sharia many of them have no problem with it. So when Boko Haram were targeting and killing only Christians some of them were happy and did not care at all.
Finally, Boko Haram and their brothers turned their guns on them and started killing them mercilessly more than any other group.
Boko Haram have now forced many of them to change their perception towards the extremism and religious supremacy they’ve been promoting.
Thanks to Boko Haram they can now all see how deadly and destructive all the senseless extremism, sensationalism and the apocalyptic destruction they have been promoting for years looks like. Some of them are now forced to eschew blind support for terrorism, sensationalism and senseless extremism. While many have learned their lessons and have changed their views and perceptions, some of them still haven’t learned anything. Religious extremism never builds anything. It only destroys.