Soft power as a means of fighting international terrorism: a case study of Nigeria’s “Boko Haram”

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Abstract


The recent rise in global terrorism is alarming, but it also reaffirms the failure of our purely hard military approach to counter the phenomenon. This paper analyzes soft power as a means to combating terrorism, with the role of education, religion and international cooperation. The case of Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group operating in Northern Nigeria, is analyzed. This group has been attracting increasing levels of attention. The group is becoming ever more daring and violent. It is unlikely that Boko Haram will be defeated totally through military means. “Soft Power” will play a crucial role in our ability to attract the moderates and deny the extremists new recruits. Islamic education is viewed as a key instrument of these “soft power” counter-terrorism strategy. Islamic education refers to the totality of the upbringing of an individual within the content and context of Islam. The Almajiri system of education in Nigeria is analyzed in the article. Besides education, international cooperation is analyzed with the special focus on Moroccan experience of learning of Sunni Maliki jurisprudence and Achaari theology. The author underlines that many African countries requested Morocco to share its experiences in the education of Imams and signed several cooperation agreements.


About the authors

Ilesanmi Abiodun Bakare

Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia

Author for correspondence.
Email: bakareilesanmi@gmail.com
Moscow, Russia

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