John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "Islam"

Salafism in Northern Nigeria Beyond Boko Haram

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A pilgrim returning from his Haj in Saudi Arabia looks on at the General Aviation Terminal of the Abuja Airport, Nigeria, September 29, 2015. (Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde)

This is a guest post by Alex Thurston. Alex is the author of  Salafism in Nigeria: Islam, Preaching, and Politics, and is an assistant professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service. Alex was an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations from 2013-2014. Read more »

Elections: U.S. Prestige Takes a Hit in Africa

by John Campbell
Katie Hartman, a correspondent for Seriously.TV, poses outside Hofstra University, the site of the September 26 first presidential debate between U.S. Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. (Reuters/Shannon Stapleton)

The U.S. image in Africa has been based on more than trade and aid. Africans admire and seek to emulate U.S. rule of law and institutions of governance largely free of corruption. They seek to emulate American elections that are credible and accepted by winners and losers. U.S. ethnic and religious pluralism has long been admired. So, too, has been the American tradition of at least some civility in politics. With the ambiguous exception of Liberia, the United States was not a colonial power and public opinion (if not government policy) was generally hostile to colonialism. The success of American democracy and governance made U.S. criticism of “big man” and other sleazy governments credible to Africans. Read more »

“Desire for Theocracy”

by John Campbell
People gather at the mosque located outside the palace of the emir of Zazzau to watch the Durbar parade in Zaria, Kaduna state, Nigeria, September 26, 2015. (Reuters/Stringer)

Emma Green has published in The Atlantic her interview with Shadi Hamid, author of Islamic Exceptionalism. Her interview amounts to a riff of his book’s arguments. His focus is on why Muslims, especially in Europe, would turn to violent extremism. It has insights that are also applicable to jihadi movements in Africa, such as Boko Haram. Read more »