Musing on Andrew Walker’s ‘Eat the Heart of the Infidel’
I really feel like quoting copiously from 'Eat the Heart of the Infidel' by Andrew Walker. The 'Boko Haram' book of choice.
First, it is a travelogue of historical events that has shaped the landscape and has in turn invented the Frankenstein called Boko Haram. The Nation-state contributed to the evolution of counter nationalism.
Second, it dissects civilisations and the layering of narratives. The north is the home of several groups of people living through several decades of cultural and religious conquests and negotiations. These contending 'cultures', as Ranka Primorac, once asked me to use, still carries the angst of internal disputes, historical conquests, ethnic bigotry and subversive supremacy. The British only came to compound it with indirect rule while they meandered along the idea of Islam as culture.
The politics of the age with a signature of Nigeria--The collaboration between the ruling elite, the religious leaders and chaos is far reaching and provable. The emergence of new leaders, new forms of governance in communities where leadership and governance and infrastructure has failed is no doubt a raison d'etre of the complicity of state failure and failure of state.
Saint Buhari, our own PMB, gets especially featured in the book, 'Eat the Heart of the Infidel'. You can add Ali Modu Sherif, Kwankwanso and Alh Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Terrorism is not an Islamic thing, I can see patterns of the same outgrowths in religions capable of sectarianism, preachers and orators with a tendency to authorial and self-righteous proselytising. Freedom of expression is an important reality in Nigeria, as both hegemonic cultures and religions are trying to make one fit a certain profile. The profile of a future fanatic.
Terrorism is a transnational venture, involving big money, philosophy and people including spies, greedy people including people who would like to go to another landscape--heaven, blazing glory.
Slummization is a response to socioeconomic dissatisfaction. Memories of displacement linger and sublimates until a leader emerges to use these tools for the whatever self-righteous sake.
The narrative of the outsider is welcome when the insiders are too biased to make good judgements.
The desert is fast approaching. The war is also about water, land and vagina.
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