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the brutality with which the army and MOPOL invari- ably respond to demonstrations and protests causes both outrage and consternation among ordinary Nige- rians. So much so, that it leaves some sections of soci- ety, unemployed young men in particular, vulnerable and exposed to the Islamists’ siren calls. Even more fundamentally, the army should not be required to provide everyday policing on the scale that it does. It does not possess the necessary skills to properly inves- tigate and monitor such groups.


1. Daniel Jordan Smith, A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deceit and Popular Discontent in Nigeria, Princeton, NJ, and Oxford, UK: Princeton University Press, 2007, p. 5.

2. These churches are so-called because that is what those who preach in them offer their congregations.

3. John N. Paden, Faith and Politics in Nigeria, Washington DC: United States Institute of Peace Press, 2008, p. 3.

4. So-called radical Islamic groups have been identified in northern Nigeria for much of the past century. This description was first applied to selected bodies and organizations by the British, who governed the region from 1900 to 1960. Yet the criteria used by British officials to determine whether a group was radical or not were markedly different from those employed today. Whereas now individuals and groups are labelled radical because of their views on democracy, human rights, and the use of violence to achieve socio-political ends, during the colonial era factions were categorized as radical on the basis of their attitude toward British rule.

5. Salafism’s emphasis on doctrinal orthodoxy contrasts “markedly with the strong elements of mysticism and doctrinal eclecticism found within traditional . . . Islam of the Marabouts and the Sufi Brotherhoods. Salafists believe that Sufi ‘practices


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