Mohammed Yusuf (Boko Haram)
|Born||29 January 1970|
|Died||30 July 2009(aged 39)|
|Allegiance||Boko Haram (2002–2009)|
|Years of service||7 years|
|Battles/wars||2009 Boko Haram uprising †|
Mohammed Yusuf (29 January 1970 – 30 July 2009), also known as Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf, was a Nigerian Muslim sect leader and founder of the militant Islamist group Boko Haram in 2002. He was its spiritual leader until he was killed in the 2009 Boko Haram uprising. 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".
Education and beliefs
According to scholar Paul Lubeck of the University of California at Santa Cruz, as a young man Yusuf was instructed in Salafism and was strongly influenced by the teachings of Ibn Taymiyyah. He had the equivalent of a graduate education, according to Nigerian academic Hussain Zakaria. Yusuf was reported as speaking proficient English. He believed in strict application of Islamic law, which represented his ideal of justice according to the teachings of the Prophet." Boko Haram hitmen would murder members of other Muslim sects like the Salafist Izala and the Sufi Tidjaniyya and Qadiriya fraternities. 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. He also rejected Darwinian evolution, and the concept of the condensation cycle that produces rain. 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 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."
Following the July 2009 Boko Haram uprising, the Nigerian military captured Yusuf at his parents-in-law's house. They transferred him to the custody of the Nigerian police force. The police summarily executed Yusuf in public view outside the police headquarters in Maiduguri. Police officials initially claimed either that Yusuf was shot while trying to escape, or died of wounds he sustained during a gun battle with the military.
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- Dowd, Robert A. (2015-07-01). Christianity, Islam, and Liberal Democracy: Lessons from Sub-Saharan Africa. Oxford University Press. p. 102. ISBN 9780190225216.
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- "Nigeria row over militant killing". BBC News. 31 July 2009. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Adam Nossiter & 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.
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- "Video shows Nigeria 'executions'". Al Jazeera. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- Al Jazeera (9 February 2010), Video shows Nigeria 'executions'
- Duodu, Cameron (6 August 2009), "Mohammed Yusuf's final days", The Guardian
- Human Rights Watch (2012), "Spiraling Violence: Boko Haram Attacks and Security Force Abuses in Nigeria", 11 October 2012
- Murtada, Ahmad (2013), Boko Haram: Its Beginnings, Principles and Activities in Nigeria, Islamic Studies Department, University of Bayero, Kano, Nigeria