Religion: A Precursor of Terrorism in the Nigerian State: A Commonsensical Perspective

  • A Abolurin


Terrorism is a serious problem that has threatened the security of various countries the world over for a long time, more especially the nations of the West. It should however be noted that the tentacles of terrorism has recently spread to Africa in general, in the past three decades and Nigeria in particular, in the past decade. One major problem that arises regarding terrorism is getting a concise definition because of its nebulous nature which was critically addressed in this paper. The precursors of terrorism are many and they include political, economic, social, ethnic, racial and religious factors. The factor focused on in the current study is religion. This is because of its highly volatile nature in Nigeria. Religion plays a serious role in fostering terrorist tendencies because of its penchant for labelling one group as superior and others as inferior based on their monopoly of access and ownership of a supposed supreme universal being. It is quite disheartening that Islam; a religion that translates to peace is in the forefront of terrorism (various violent militant groups like Boko Haram and Al Sunna Wal Jamma) in Nigeria. The major reason for this could be because the history of Islam was very violent as indicated by the “JIHAD” fought by the founder of the religion and other later adherents to proselytise the society. This killing of “unbelievers” at that time has transmuted into terroristic activities today. This coupled with the activities of unscrupulous Islamic religious leaders preaching violent messages of intolerance has made terrorism an avenue for some religious entities to vent their frustration on the society.

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