Abducting Modernity: Boko Haram, Gender Violence and the Marketplace of Bigotry

in Hawwa
Restricted Access
Get Access to Full Text
Rent on DeepDyve

Have an Access Token?

Enter your access token to activate and access content online.

Please login and go to your personal user account to enter your access token.


Have Institutional Access?

Access content through your institution. Any other coaching guidance?


The abduction in April 2014 of hundreds of Nigerian of schoolgirls by the extremist movement Boko Haram has raised many deep questions about the nature of this decade old insurgency and international reactions to it. This paper asks to what extent the resort by this movement to gender violence represents an escalation in its tactics? And to what extent is this type of violence context-specific? It argues that we have to recognize that this movement is a response to specific Nigerian conditions, and while its violence against women conforms to similar patterns in other African conflicts, the ‘language’ of violence in this case is specifically Nigerian, and was in part a response to similar gender violence by the Nigerian authorities. The fact that the movement keeps emerging anew several times after its leadership and the bulk of its membership had been wiped out tells us that there is a reservoir of anger that keeps feeding it. However, the gender violence is a symptom of a deeper pathology within the movement ideology (signified by its blatant advocacy of slavery and its hostility to modernity and education), which exacerbates the marginalization of Northern Nigerians and perpetuates the spiral of insecurity.

Abducting Modernity: Boko Haram, Gender Violence and the Marketplace of Bigotry

in Hawwa



AdesojiA. O. Between Maitatsine and Boko Haram: Islamic Fundamentalism and the Response of the Nigerian State Africa Today 2011 57 98 119

BamideleO. Boko Haram “Jama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’Awati Wal Jihad” in North-eastern Nigeria: implications for Sub-Saharan African peace and security Defense ande Security Analysis 2014 doi: 10.1080/14751798.2014.948280

BrettR. Girl soldiers: Challenging the assumptions 2002 Quaker United Nations Office

ChiluwaI.AdegokeA. ‘Twittering the Boko Haram Uprising in Nigeria: Investigating Pragmatic Acts in the Social Media’ Africa Today 2013 59 3 82 102

CooperB. I want these girls back: America Nigeria what’s really at stake Salon 2014 13 May 2014. Web. 5 September 2014. http://www.salon.com/2014/05/13/i_want_these_girls_back_america_nigeria_and_whats_really_at_stake/n.

CoulterC.PerssonM.UtasM. Young female fighters in African wars 2008 NordiskaAfrikainstitutet

DevjiF. Landscapes of the Jihad: Militancy Morality Modernity 2005 London C. Hurst and Co. Publishers

El-AffendiA. The Mother of All Conspiracies?: Darfur, the Media and the ‘War on Terror’ Heinrisch Bull Middle East 2014 3 March 2014. Web. 14 October 2014. http://lb.boell.org/en/2014/03/03/mother-all-conspiracies-conflict-intl-politics.

El-AffendiA. Making Peace Gambles Work: The Oslo Accords, the Sudanese “Comprehensive Peace Agreement” and their “Spirals of Insecurity” Journal of Peace Conflict and Development 2011 Issue 17 1 22 (www.peacestudiesjournal.org.uk).

FarooqM. O. Fundamental Human Dignity and the Mathematics of Slavery Unpublished essay available online 2006 Web. 1 September 20014. http://www.globalweb post.com/farooqm/writings/islamic/slavery_math.html.

FordG. Kidnapped girls become tools of us imperial policy Guardian (Sydney) 2014 May 21 1639 6 7 http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=392643786958656;res=IELHSS.

HanssenB. Elfriede Jelinek’s Language of Violence New German Critique 1996 68 79 112

HülsseR.SpencerA. Metaphor of Terror: Terrorism Studies and the Constructivist Turn Security Dialogue 2008 39 6 571 592

KabesiimeM. Schooling Ugandan girls: a policy historiography. Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies 2010 8.1 325 360

MaiangwaB.UzodikeU. O.WhethoW.OnapajoH. “Baptism by Fire”: Boko Haram and the Reign of Terror in Nigeria Africa Today 2012 59 2 40 57

MamdaniM. Saviors and Survivors: Darfur Politics and the War on Terror 2009 London Verso

MazuranaD.CarlsonK. September. The girl child and armed conflict: Recognizing and addressing grave violations of girls’ human rights United Nations 2006

NossiterA.KirkpatrickD. D. Boko Haram abductions shock even fellow jihadists Seattle Times 2014 8 May 2014. Web. 5 September 2014. http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2023554982_bokoharamxml.html.

PhamP. N.VinckP.StoverE. Returning home: forced conscription, reintegration, and mental health status of former abductees of the Lord’s Resistance Army in northern Uganda bmc psychiatry 2009 9.1 23

RudorenJ. Autopsy Suggests Palestinian Teenager Was Burned to Death After Abduction The New York Times 2014 5 July 2014. Web. 5 September 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/06/world/middleeast/autopsy-suggests-palestinian-boy-was-burned-alive-reports-say.html?_r=0.

SchmidA.JongmanA. Political Terrorism 2005 Piscataway, NJ Transaction Publishers

SmithD. J. The Bakassi Boys: Vigilantism, Violence, and Political Imagination in Nigeria Cultural Anthropology 19 3 429 455

TsaaiorJ. T. El-AffendiA. Imagining Nationhood, Framing Postcoloniality: Narrativising Nigeria Through the Kinesis Of (Hi)Story’ Genocidal Nightmares: Narratives of Insecurity and the Logic of Mass Atrocities 2015 New York Bloomsbury

TylorA.HardmanM. J. War, Language and Gender, What New Can be Said? Framing the Issues Women and Language 2004 27 2 3 19

Vonimag Web. 1 September 2014. http://vonimag.com/archives/11147.

WardJ.MarshM. June. Sexual violence against women and girls in war and its aftermath: realities, responses, and required resources Symposium on Sexual Violence in Conflict and Beyond 2006 21 23

WasaraS. S. Conflict and state security in the Horn of Africa: militarization of civilian groups African Journal of Political Science 2002 7 2 39 60

WilliamsD.GuttschussE. Spiraling Violence: Boko Haram Attacks and Security Force Abuses in Nigeria 2012 Human Rights Watch. Web. 2 September 2014. http://www.hrw.org/reports/2012/10/11/spiraling-violence-0.

ZennJ.PearsonE. Women, Gender and the Evolving Tactics of Boko Haram Journal of Terrorism Research 2014 5 1

Index Card

Content Metrics

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 13 13 10
Full Text Views 10 10 10
PDF Downloads 4 4 4
EPUB Downloads 0 0 0