Outline and explain the factors that brought about the Jihads in West Africa?
Most scholars state religion to be the main factor behind the cause and the rise of Jihad in West Africa. Still, other underlined reasons originate from historical events. The Fulani people who practiced Islam led several jihadist wars in West Africa between the 18th and 19th centuries. Fulani first established their territories to capture and exchange slaves for valuable imports. However, the Fulani empires grew to strengthen their economic and military dimensions that later gave rise to the Jihadist movement to disrupt the security of the governments across West Africa. Especially in the western regions, Africans had difficulties amicably addressing their ethnic, racial, economic, and religious differences, which formed the loopholes for the emergence of rebel groups, Jihadists. Moreover, the Jihad movement enjoyed and utilized the gaps that existed in political participation and democracy, which exposed a stand-off between the government and individual religious groups, ethnicity, and cultural groups. Additionally, the toxic mix of poverty and religion impacts radicalization and mobilization that the Jihadist extremist took as a weapon to introduce more people into the movement.