Islam is under the spotlights. That didn’t begin with Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man, nor Huntington’s Clash of Civilisations, nor Bush’s ‘War on Terror’. But since the 9/11-inspired War on Terror in the Middle East, the word Islam has been tainted with different connotations. Everything Islam comes under scrutiny, especially anywhere Muslims gather; just like their educational
institutions, popularly known as madrasa.
Western policymakers and leaders of security institutions want to understand them and the contents of the curriculums in schools attended by young Muslim children. Such a school and its attendee must be watched for signs of radicalisation. Some Muslim scholars argue that the current wave of violence being blamed on Islam emerged from the Middle East when the United States turned to arming Islamic groups to fight the Russians in Afghanistan and many other nations during the Cold War. Such scholars argue that knowing the origin can lead to where NOT TO look for solution to the problem.
The mystifying challenge lies in West Africa’s variegated political and cultural landscape. High rates of unemployment and destitution have bred equally soaring rates of insecurity especially in the territories that Huntington classified as ‘cleft’ countries, like Nigeria and to lesser extents Togo and Benin Republic. Huntington had listed Islamic Resurgence as one of the factors for the hypothetical clash of civilisations because ‘missionary’ Christianity (which is fleetingly grouped with Westernisation) will resist attempts to convert its adherents. The Boko Haram’s demands for operationalisation of Islamic law in many states of Nigeria would lend credence to the hypothesis that “the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilisations” and that “[T]he clash of civilisations will dominate global politics.”
Thus, to mitigate conflicts, madrasa-style education will attract funds and attention with the intention of modifying their curriculum for standardisation and to assist Muslims participate more effec-tively in politics and business. This might breed more suspicion, if funds are traceable to the United States or Britain.
–Odoh Diego Okenyodo