Mohammed Yusuf (Boko Haram)
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".
Boko Harum 2002 to 2009
Education and beliefs
According to scholar Paul Lubeck of the University of California at Santa Cruz, Yusuf as a young man 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.
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 the 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."
Yusuf had four wives and 12 children.
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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- "West African Militancy and Violence", page 74
- 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.
- Human Rights Watch (11 October 2012). Spiraling Violence: Boko Haram Attacks and Security Force Abuses in Nigeria. Retrieved 27 June 2015.
- "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