New from Alex Thurston for The Revealer, June 6:
In March, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan launched a policy of opening religious schools for Muslims in Northern Nigeria. The policy came in response to the militant movement Boko Haram, which has been burning government primary schools in Northern Nigeria as part of its campaign of violence against the government, Christians, and other designated adversaries. Government officials suspect Boko Haram, whose name is often literally translated “Western education is Islamically forbidden,” of using some Islamic schools as recruiting centers, and of drawing recruits from Northern Nigeria’s large population of itinerant, and often desperately poor, Qur’anic students (Hausa: almajirai, singular almajiri). Government-run Islamic schools, then, are to be a source of “counter-radicalization” as well as a means of moving almajirai into more “productive” schools. But the policy is unlikely to succeed.
Read the full article here.