BOKO HARAM DOES NOT REPRESENT ISLAM: But Still Recruiting Illiterate Young Muslims


-Attorney Patryk Utulu
Boko Haram does NOT represent Islam. Boko Haram terrorists pervert Islam to mask the commercial criminal enterprise (trading in guns, selling thousands of stolen cars, kidnapping-for-ransom, selling kidnapped girls into enforced husbandry, racketeering, extortion, etc.) that brings at least $100 Million per year to its top leadership. Feel free to accept or quibble with this fact. But what is NOT disputed by reality is that too many young Muslim Nigerians are still joining the ranks of Boko Haram on a daily basis.

Two distinguished Northerners have just publicly answered this question by independently pointing to the two sides of the same coin of religious fanaticism: Illiteracy and lack of social education.

FORMER VICE PRESIDENT ABUBAKAR ATIKU: On Thursday, November 6, 2014, Alhaji Atiku said that “the northern part of Nigeria has the highest rate of illiteracy with 70% of its people uneducated.” He also said that only 38% of women have minimum education and just 4% has higher education.

EDUCATION MINISTER, IBRAHIM SHEKARAU: During an assessment tour of school infrastructures (and perhaps after seeing the broken-down and/or non-existent infrastructure in schools and campuses) Mallam Shekarau pledged renewed Federal assistance. More importantly, he vowed that “the era of industrial action in the education sector in Nigeria is over.” Hopefully!

It is indisputable that the “Almajiri” System is a colossal waste of human resources. It does not teach 20th Century skills required to survive in Nigeria, much less skills needed to succeed in our 21st Century world. Almajari system is proof perfect that half-baked education can be far more dangerous than total illiteracy. The Almajiri schools are widely known to be Boko Haram's recruiting ground. Even the captured Chief Butcher of Boko Haram confirmed it. A serious reform of this pseudo educational system is needed to drain the swamp of breeds neither education nor skills but terrorist breeding ground.

NON-MUSLIM Nigerians have a duty to help traditional Muslim Nigerians. It is a duty of support and encouragement. Traditional Muslims are feeling besieged. They feel trapped between those they see as too quick to assign “terrorism” to everything Islam/Islamic AND those who misuse the “emblem” of Islam for acts of violence and terrorism BUT over whom traditional Muslims have no effective control.

BUT MUSLIM Nigerians must fight more to challenge Islamists who misuse the Quran to justify violence and terrorism. It is necessary but NOT enough just to say what the Quran allows. You MUST speak up against those who do things the Quran forbids. That is how to challenge PSEUDO-ISLAMISTS who selectively misquote the Quran to recruit young Muslims to join terror groups, including Boko Haram. Only true Muslims can delegitimize fake Muslims. It is more productive to attack those who misuse the name of Islam than to be angry with those who talk about horrible things done in the name of Islam. Young Muslim Nigerians still don't know enough to resist Boko Haram recruiters who convince them that raping and slaughtering fellow Nigerians is somehow fighting infidels for the glory of Islam when nothing could be further from the truth.


FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA needs to get its act together. Enough is enough. Nigerians are fast losing faith in the ability of our Military to protect Nigerians and are losing trust in the empty assurances of both Federal Government officials who seem to have no sense of urgency and officials of government of the Affected States who act/talk as though they have no responsibility to help internally displaced Nigerians.

Non-Muslim Nigerians please give Muslims your support

Muslim Nigerians please rebuke fanatics unambiguously

All Nigerian Mosques must condemn Boko Haramites daily

Nigerians online should help shut down Boko's online propaganda

FGN should stop fumbling and declare “forever war” on Boko Haram

That is how we can convert our knowledge to mass education necessary and mass action sufficient to defeat Boko Haram and start saving Nigeria from disintegration.

Attorney Patryk A. Utulu
U.S.-based Attorney & Strategic Communications Specialist

Global Defense Analyst and Global Events Commentator

Executive Vice President, Nigerian Diaspora-North America

Executive Director, The Center 4 Community Empowerment & Lifeskills, Inc

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