on the security forces, there are economic and social costs, such as the financial outlay for deploying these units, the loss of overseas investment, internal popula- tion flight, and heightened intercommunal tensions in other parts of the country, to name but a few.
Indeed, and as the heads of the Qadiriyya and Ti- janiyya acknowledge, the challenge confronting them and everyone else seeking to stem the tide of Islamist radicalism is at once both ideological and practical. As crucial to the religious arguments they marshal, are the various community outreach programs they finance and run. For not only do they help mitigate the short- comings of public services, they form alternatives to those offered by the Islamists. Yet arguably, the Broth- erhoods’ task is made all the more difficult by their de- sire to work with the authorities whenever possible. Unlike the Islamists who simply condemn the federal, state, and local governments, the Brotherhoods try to engage with them. Not that the Qadiriyya and Tijani- yya try to defend the indefensible, as any attempt to do so would certainly serve them ill. Rather, they have to funnel the discontent their members and wider com- munity still feel toward the government in a construc- tive way.
That the Qadiriyya and Tijaniyya find themselves both in this position and able to perform this balancing act is due to their standing within northern Nigerian society. The widespread respect they have come to command has developed over the past 2 centuries and is, at least in part, rooted in their links to the Sokoto Caliphate. These ties give the Qadiriyya and Tijaniyya a legitimacy that is at once local and international, his- toric and contemporary, religious and political. For al- though the Caliphate is now not what it used to be, it still has substance and its leaders, the Sultan and vari-