Sects & Social Disorder

Sects & Social Disorder

Muslim Identities & Conflict in Northern Nigeria

Edited by Abdul Raufu Mustapha

eBook for Handhelds

James Currey



Analyses Muslim-Muslim divisions within northern Nigeria, which are as important for understanding the violence in the region as those between Muslim and Christian (for which, see the companion volume, Creed and Grievance), with consequences for long-term peacemaking.

Nigerian society has long been perceived as divided along religious lines, between Muslims and Christians, but alongside this there is an equally important polarization within the Muslim population in beliefs, rituals and sectarian allegiance. This book highlights the crucial issue of intra-Muslim pluralism and conflict in Nigeria.
Conflicting interpretations of texts and contexts have led to fragmentation within northern Nigerian Islam, and different Islamic sects have often resorted to violence against each other in pursuit of 'the right path'. The doctrinal justification of violence was first perfected against other Muslim groups, before being extended to non-Muslims: conflict between Muslim groups therefore preceded the violence between Muslims and Christians. It will be impossible to manage the relationship between the latter, without addressing the schisms within the Muslim community itself.

Nigeria: Premium Times Books

Abdul Raufu Mustapha is Associate Professor in African Politics, University of Oxford. His publications include (co-edited with Lindsey Whitfield) Turning Points in African Democracy (James Currey, 2009).

Forthcoming: Creed & Grievance: Muslims, Christians & Society in Northern Nigeria edited by Abdul Raufu Mustapha and David Ehrhardt.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781782044734), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


6 line illustrations
256 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Western Africa Series
Paperback, 9781847011596, March 2017
Hardback, 9781847011077, November 2014
eBook for Handhelds, 9781782049708, November 2014
James Currey
BISAC REL084000, POL016000, SOC008000
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Related Titles

Table of Contents

Foreword - Muhammad Sani Umar
Introduction: Interpreting Islam: Sufis, Salafists, Shi'ites & Islamists in Northern Nigeria - Abdul Raufu Mustapha
From Dissent to Dissidence: The Genesis & Development of Reformist Islamic Groups in Northern Nigeria - Murray Last
Contemporary Islamic Sects & Groups in Northern Nigeria - Mukhtar U. Bunza and Abdul Raufu Mustapha
Experiencing Inequality at Close Range: Almajiri Students & Qur'anic schools in Kano - Hannah Hoechner
'Marginal Muslims': Ethnic Identity & the Umma'Marginal Muslims': Ethnic Identity & the Umma in Kano - Judith-Ann Walker
Understanding Boko Haram - Abdul Raufu Mustapha
Conclusion: Religious Sectarianism, Poor Governance & Conflict - Abdul Raufu Mustapha


This volume will surely come to be regarded as a reference book for dealing with those Sufi, Islamist, Salafist, and terrorist movements developing in multi-ethnic and multireligious societies in Africa and elsewhere. Mustapha's multidimensional and multifaceted approach offers a credible and intelligible analysis of the relevant historical, political, socio-economic, and socio-cultural issues which led to the current situation in Northern Nigeria. AFRICA SPECTRUM

Mustapha's volume is an important corrective in the discourse about Boko Haram specifically and Islamic violence - indeed, all religious violence - generally, and it should be read by anyone who claims the authority to pronounce on any of these matters. ANTHROPOLOGY REVIEW DATABASE

Also by Author

Also in Series