Mohammed Yusuf (Boko Haram)
Mohammed Yusuf (29 January 1970 – 30 July 2009), also known as Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, was a Muslim sect leader. He was born in Girgir village, in Jakusko, present day Yobe State, Nigeria. He founded the militant Islamist group Boko Haram in 2002 and was its spiritual leader until he was killed in the 2009 Nigerian sectarian violence. The group's official name is "Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad", which in Arabic means "People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet's Teachings and Jihad".
In a 2009 BBC interview, Yusuf stated his belief that the concept of a spherical Earth is contrary to Islamic teaching and should be rejected, along with Darwinian evolution, and the concept of rain originating from water evaporated by the sun. In the interview he said:
"There are prominent Islamic preachers who have seen and understood that the present Western-style education is mixed with issues that run contrary to our beliefs in Islam," he said.
"Like rain. We believe it is a creation of God rather than an evaporation caused by the sun that condenses and becomes rain.
"Like saying the world is a sphere. If it runs contrary to the teachings of Allah, we reject it. We also reject the theory of Darwinism."
Yusuf had four wives and 12 children.
Yusuf was killed by Nigerian security forces. The Nigerian Security Force found him in his parents-in-law's house. He was arrested but he tried to escape from the police station. However, the Nigerian army caught him and handed him over to the Nigerian police force. Nigerian security forces then summarily executed him in public view outside a police station. The day before his death, about 186 people were killed in severe fighting between the Nigerian army and Boko Haram.
- "West African Militancy and Violence", page 74
- Boko Haram: The Emerging Jihadist Threat in West Africa - Background, Anti-Defamation League, December 12, 2011.
- "Who are Nigeria's Boko Haram Islamists?". BBC News. 26 August 2011.
- Johnson, Toni (2011-12-27). "Backgrounder - Boko Haram". www.cfr.org. Council of Foreign Relations. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
- "Nigeria's 'Taliban' enigma". BBC News. 28 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-28.
- "Nigeria sect head dies in custody". BBC News. BBC. 2009-07-31. Retrieved May 25, 2012.
- Nossiter, Adam and David D. Kirkpatrick (May 7, 2014). "Abduction of Girls an Act Not Even Al Qaeda Can Condone". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-05-08.