Boko Haram is a work of fiction by Yas Niger.
Boko Haram was set in the northern city of Nigeria. It started with a controversial mosque in the middle of the road. Apart from the obvious annoyance the structure has caused the growing population of this once peaceful city, also there is a serious concern about the haphazard manner in which mosque was constructed – thirty seven auto accidents up to date had been recorded, some of which were fatal. The reluctance to do something about the mosque remained heated debates among the local residents of multi faiths and the worshipers at the mosque.
Uma, a well-off Western educated Muslim who has undergone Jihadist training in Mali walked into the local Imam’s life as an innocent devout – he was trusted right away given his calm and respectful attitude. He gained the hearts of the local people and offered to sleep in the mosque to relief Imam of some of the religious duties.
Aisha represents the new generation of Nigerian Muslim women, a university student who found herself at home for a prolonged time due to the industrial strike action by the Nigerian university lecturers. She is a hijab wearing devout with strong belief in Islamic values and teachings, however, she believed herself to be a person that is capable of contributing to the society in equal measure as men.
Meeting Uma was like a godsend to Aisha, she was mesmerised by Uma’s intelligence and reasons. She loved a Muslim man with liberal views of the world – so she thought.
Uma, during his time in his adopted city lived mostly in disguise. Overtime, his extremist views became transpired especially during conversations with many educated folks around him. He has made it clear on many occasions to Samson, a PhD Egyptian whom he befriended that nothing in Islamic needed to be amended, that the 7th century rules must still be applied in all ways.
Uma in the end found himself extremely frustrated with everything and everyone, he could no longer stand anyone with a slightly different views from himself on social and religious issues. Anyone who disagrees with his extremist views deserved to be taking out and this included his crush – Aisha, because she has in one occasion said there are a few things that needed to be amended so Islamic could fit in well with modern time, here Aisha was referring to gender inequalities in Islam that presents women as subordinate – this was her offence and to Uma’s mind she deserved to die as she was not Muslim enough.
Boko Haram, though a very serious subject in Nigeria and indeed the world today, is an easy to ready book, entertaining and provides unbiased views of the state of religion influence in the life of Nigerians. It can be difficult reading Nigerian authors without feeling uncomfortable with religious imposition, Boko Haram is an exception to this as throughout, both Christians and Muslims were presented in objective manners leaving readers to read, enjoy and drawing their conclusions.