The Wave of Jihadist Insurgency in West Africa
28 July 2017
At the global level, there is the formation and dissemination of the global ideology of jihadism, conceptualised by Muslim activists and scholars based on a particular understanding of Islam and the challenges that are facing contemporary Muslim societies. [...] The conflict continued from 1991 to 2002 when a radical branch of the Islamist insurgents, called the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC in the French acronym), adopted Al-Qaeda’s jihadist ideology and shifted the focus of the insurgency from regime change in Algeria to waging jihad throughout the Sahelo-Saharan region. [...] The creation of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO in the French acronym), in fact, came as a result of tensions over the leadership of the movement between the Algerians and the Malian Arabs. [...] The later accused the former of hijacking all of the positions of leadership within AQIM, and of a double standard policy in the treatment of Tuareg and Arab jihadists. [...] In particular, the interpretation of the principle of excommunication (Takfir) has been a matter of important controversy among jihadist ideologues, leading to the recent split between what has been called the “Al-Qaeda approach” and the “ISIS approach” to jihad.