The Boko Haram Reader: From Nigerian Preachers to the Islamic State

December 4, 2020
The Boko Haram Reader: From Nigerian Preachers to the Islamic State

Since it erupted onto the world stage in 2009, people haveasked, what is Boko Haram, and what does it stand for? Is there acoherent vision or set of beliefs behind it? Despite the growingliterature about the group, few if any attempts have been made toanswer these questions, even though Boko Haram is but the latest ina long line of millenarian Muslim reform groups to emerge inNorthern Nigeria over the last two centuries. The Boko Haram Readeroffers an unprecedented collection of essential texts, documents,videos, audio, and nashids (martial hymns), translated into Englishfrom Hausa, Arabic and Kanuri, tracing the group's origins,history, and evolution. Its editors, two Nigerian scholars, revealhow Boko Haram's leaders manipulate Islamic theology for thelegitimisation, radicalization, indoctrination and dissemination oftheir ideas across West Africa. Mandatory reading for anyonewishing to grasp the underpinnings of Boko Haram's insurgency,particularly how the group strives to delegitimize its rivals andestablish its beliefs as a dominant strand of Islamic thought inWest Africa's religious marketplace.