Boko Haram in the northern part of Nigeria has always been understood as a mockery of the Yoruba word for “book” which is “buku”. According to some lecturers from Bayero University, Kano, BUK, Daga book ne aka samu ya zama boko, Yorubawa sune suke cewa bukku, su kuma al’ummar Hausawa da book ta zo musu suba su san wani karatu ba, sai na addini, a saboda haka sai suka kwaikwayi abin da Yarbawa suke cewa bukku maimakon suce bukku sai suke cewa boko (Bala Volvo yakasai,Wai Shin, Boko Haramun Ne? not dated p. 8).

The point being made here is that this name is not new to Nigerians from the north; we are aware that there has always been derogatory remarks against western form of education by a good number of Muslim clerics on one hand and its promotion by a good number of our traditional rulers who always make sure that children get sent to school on the other hand.

The Boko Haram ideology was recently challenged by an artiste who traced the emergence of Europe’s cultural and political revolutions to the great contribution of the Arab world. Under the influence of Islam, philosophers such as Averoes, scholars like Albert the Great ( 1200-1280) and Thomas Aquinas ( 1225-1274) discovered the Aristotelian system of thought. There is no way we can talk about the recovery of philosophy, medicine and all the sciences without recourse to the great contribution of the Muslim world in the 13th century. In the light of this rich contribution of Islam to knowledge, a CD entitled, Boko Ba Haram Bane (Western Education is not Forbidden) was released and widely circulated in the northern part of Nigeria. This quiet resistance is the Boko Haram we have always known in the north.

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