New Trajectory of Islamic Extremism in Northern Nigeria: A Threat-Import Analysis of Shiite’s Uprising

Solomon Timothy Anjide, Okoli, Al Chukwuma


Since the division of the Muslim Brotherhood in Nigeria during the 80s, Nigerian Muslims experiences series of infighting. Such internal disputes culminate into the birth of several sects that either accepts or oppose the Nigerian state. More so, the two main divisions of the Muslim Brotherhood are the Saudi Arabia sponsored Izala (Movement for the removal of innovation and re-establishment of Sunna in Islam) Sunnist movement and the Shiite’s Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) which is backed by Iran. Between 1979 and 1999 the IMN engaged in series of armed clashes with the Nigerian forces.  In this article, we analyse how the December 2015 faceoff and the simultaneous crackdown on the IMN could trigger the movement into the campaign of violence against the Nigerian state. We used the framing theory to explain how the Shiites may perceive the Sunni/Shiite divide as well as the actions of the Nigerian state against it. Framing theory is inadequately examined in explaining group violence. Hence, this study adopts the IMN as a case evidence to underscore the relevance of framing in explaining why groups adopt violence.

Keywords: Shiite, Sunni, Nigeria, Framing, Radicalisation Violence

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