ment deals directly with the Brotherhoods to pursue its socio-political objectives. Then, there is the example they set. By dividing funding between various schemes so that none is very large, the U.S. Government might be able to give significant assistance to the Brother- hoods without drawing too much attention to the fact that it is doing so.
Any such attempts to deal directly with the Qa- diriyya and Tijaniyya are also likely to benefit from the high standing both Brotherhoods enjoy within north- ern Nigerian society. Indeed, the wide respect they command means that Nigeria’s political leaders are unlikely to complain about any assistance given them. To a certain degree, these politicians are keen both to keep the Qadiriyya and Tijaniyya on side and be associ- ated with them. In fact, perhaps the most significant obstacle that would need to be negotiated is Nigeria’s Christian community. For it mostly sees itself as be- ing in competition with its Muslim counterpart and would, in all likelihood, be upset if it felt that the other was being given preferential treatment by the United States.
Questions still remain as to whether the Qadiriyya and Tijaniyya would accept any help offered by the United States. It is not inconceivable that they might reject it for fear of undermining the loyalty of their members and standing within the wider community. It must be acknowledged that the United States is viewed with considerable suspicion by many throughout the Islamic world. Invariably, this opposition is justified on the grounds that the United States is purportedly hostile toward Muslims, their governments, and even Islam. Those making such claims substantiate them by pointing to the difficult relations the United States has with Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Iran; its recent invasions