Religious Education: A Tool for Countering Violent Extremism in Northern Nigeria

by Hadjara Shibkau


Nigeria returned to democracy in May 1999. Since then, armed non-state groups, largely using young men as foot soldiers, have significantly undermined the country’s internal security. Many young people become radicalized and have joined these armed groups, the most well-known being Boko Haram. Boko Haram’s ideology is premised on an extreme Islamic teaching that rejects most Western ideas and institutions as un-Islamic. This rejection earned the group its popular name: Boko Haram literally means “Western education is forbidden.” (more…)

Violent extremism in Turkey

by Madeleen Castro


The current wave of violent extremism is not limited to one region of the world. Instead, it has spread across the international arena through a variety of groups and their radical ideologies. And Turkey is on the front lines.  Both internally and externally, it is faced with a major security problem in terms of containing and countering extremism. Religious education is needed now more than ever to counter the appeal that violent extremism appears to hold for many. However, Turkey appears at this stage to be more significantly focused on containing terrorism and retaliating to violent acts (more…)

Albania, security & religious education

 by Paula Sullaj


Albania Pope 2


Albania, as a rather new NATO member, has been contributing to an international battle against violent extremism by sending troops to Afghanistan and collaborating with other member countries to the fight against ISIS.  Efforts to resist the so-called Islamic State of Syria and Iraq have only intensified after key events in 2015. The ones most significantly impacting the public were a hostile e-mail sent to the Albanian Interior Minister, Saimir Tahiri, signed by members of a terrorist group called the Red Brigade and a YouTube video threatening the Balkan region and Albania made by a jihadist named Almir Daci, a former Albanian Imam.  Daci is being tried in absentia for advocating terrorism and for recruiting persons to conduct (more…)

Violent Religious Extremism in Africa: A Stench to Our Common Humanity

by Lesmore Gibson


From-Mali-the-rebels-can-menace-the-Mediterranean-according-to-Staffan-De-Mistura-Photo-AFP-cover (1)

Telling the Horrendous Reality

From West Africa to Central and East Africa sub-regions the challenges that inhibit experiencing sustainable peace are evident. These sub-regions have been confronted with the menace of violent religious extremism that has led to wanton destructions of human lives, sources of livelihood and other properties and valuable assets. For instance, the current terror situation perpetuated by al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the Jabhat Ansar al-din operating predominantly in greater Sahel countries. The terror activities of the two religious extremist groups have created situations of abject fear and suspicion among people of different religious belongs within the region. (more…)

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