Islamic radicalisation and violence in Liberia

Thomas Jaye, Abiodun Alao

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1 Citation (Scopus)


In the last two to three decades, Liberia's image in Africa has oscillated from one extreme to the other. Historically, the country was seen as a beacon of hope as Africa's first Independent Republic and it played its role in the African liberation process. However, 14 years of civil war have punctured this image and the attendant political and economic difficulties have removed the country from the list of countries to be envied. Importantly, the country's political past is complex and its ethnic composition is diverse but what is often neglected as an identity issue is religion. Although Liberia is widely held as a 'Christian nation', largely because of the historical fact that those who established it were Christians, there is now emerging the critical dimension of Islamic concerns in the country. Such concerns could become critical to the national security of Liberia, especially if it connects to the wider sub-regional dimension of Islamic radicalisation. The central argument of this article is that the issue of Islamic radicalisation in Liberia is somewhat peculiar as it never manifested itself in the form in which others have in the sub-region. In this sense, what is referred to as radicalisation in Liberia is more the protests and advocacy of Muslims for their rights on a number of specific issues. While these can serve as triggers of radicalisation, they cannot be equated with it.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-208
Number of pages18
JournalConflict, Security and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2013


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