‘We Are after Ideals’: A Critical Analysis of Ideology in the Tweets by Boko Haram

Innocent Chiluwa, Esther Ajiboye

Abstract


This study critically examines the influence and power of ideology in the activities of Boko Haram – an Islamic radical group that claims responsibility for several bombing attacks in northern Nigeria. Data comprise tweets and retweets presumably produced by members of this group in their effort to promote their ideological stance and mobilize followers. Discursive content of the tweets show that the Islamic radicals adopt some existing African socio-cultural norms to champion Islamic religious ideologies that are intolerant to opposing views. The Boko Haram tweets generally reflect the positive construction of the ‘we’ in-group and negative representation of the ‘others’ who are referred to as ‘infidels’, and are worthy of death. This study also shows that twitter/tweeting has been used in recent times to popularize religious and political ideologies.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5789/8-2-174

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