Effect Of Religious Fanaticism On Promotion Of Crimes In Nigeria

Project and Seminar Material for Criminology And Security Studies

Effect Of Religious Fanaticism On Promotion Of Crimes In Nigeria


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background Of The Study

Religious fanaticism denotes religious extremism, which in other words is an irrational attitude to religion which leads the religionist to the practice of religion .

Among the many identifiable ailments ravaging Nigeria are religious in nature. At the heart of the many identifiable solutions to the ailments must include religious solutions. Religion is the core source of Nigeria’s problems that degenerate to extreme ethnic hatred, corruption, favouritism, nepotism, jungle justice, etc. – (regional politics), where the elder statesmen of a particular state could swear that Christians (non-Muslims) can never rule the state and vice versa, though the latter very rare, thereby causing and fueling all forms of crimes, including gangsterism, thuggery, assassination, jerrymandering, oligarchy, anarchy, gerontocracy, etc. unemployment, underdevelopment, illiteracy, poverty, etc.

However, when religion is truly practised, the reverse of the aforementioned and lots more would become the case. It begins with religious tolerance, understanding of religious pluralism, practical religions (Puritanism) devoid of attachments, political and economic, and hypocrisy and fanaticism, to interpersonal core and national integration devoid of segregation. Religion and culture form the basic thing that affects development in any given society (Odoh, 2005:132).

According to Hornby (1988) fanatic person is who is too enthusiastic about something.

Fanaticism therefore can be referred to as over enthusiasm. Religious fanaticism, according to Balogun (1988) is a violent and unreasoning religious enthusiasm.

Since the Hausa-Fulani had always held the reins of political, cultural, religious and socio-economic power, the minority groups (largely Christians and animists), have always been made to play the second in fiddle in the socio-economic, cultural, religious and political arrangement of the region. This role allotted to the minority groups has not been a comfortable one especially given that they are the work force in the region. The consequent of all this is that conflicts and violent crimes have now been incorporated into the vocabulary of many Nigerians especially in the north. Violent criminalities such as that of Niger Delta Militancy, religious bigotry or intolerance, Boko Haram terrorist attacks, and the like have become tools for negotiation made prominent during the Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan era and eating more deeper in present Buhari administration. The nature of conflict in the north is centered on religious intolerance, political, economic, and ethnic and at times for grazing/farming land. This nature of conflict has continued to manifest in the ethno-religious conflicts that we have been witnessing. It is for this same reason that we have witnessed the emergence of ethnic militias such as the O’dua People’s Congress (OPC), the Ijaw Youth Congress, the Movement for the survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), the Movement for the Actualization of Biafran Republic (MASSOB) the now IPOB, and so on. The multiple crimes committed by a particular religion against the opposite has led researchers to conclude that religious extremism is the factor behind the crime. Therefore it is upon this premise that this research set to examine The effect of Religious Fanaticism on promotion of crime in Nigeria.


1.2 Statement Of The Problem

Religious fanaticism entails violent and unreasonable religious enthusiasm. It is excessive irrational zeal to defend one’s religion and consequently become destructive agent of religious disharmony in the society (Sulaiman, 2016; Balogun 1988; Sulaiman 2014). Christians in Northern Nigeria see themselves as minorities as Muslim in the South also see themselves as minorities (Ajah, Nwokeoma & Okpan, 2017). Neither faith has always used the notions of minority in positive sense, but often to imply less patronized faith, underrepresented or marginalized group (Okpa, Ajah & Okunola, 2018). When the governments fail to provide solution to the societal needs (such as employment, amenities and quality education) when individuals with ideas emerge, selling distorted and extremist ideas as causes of the societal problems and violence as solution; promising wealth, stability, and favor from God (Egbegi, Ajah & Ogbonnaya, 2018, Ajah & Okoro, 2017) those who they sell the ideas to begin to carry out crimes in the society. This is often used by political syndicates to stir conflict in the society. However it is against this backdrop that this study is set to examine the effect of Religious Fanaticism on promotion of crime in Nigeria.


1.3 Objective Of The Study

The focus of this study is to examine the effect of Religious Fanaticism on promotion of crimes in Nigeria. Specifically it will examine if religion has been the motive behind terrorism attack in NorthEast. It will investigate the rate of religious centred crime in NorthEast. It will suggest the prospect to end religious fanatism in Nigeria.


1.4 Significance Of The Study

The study will contribute to the body of knowledge and significant to the public. Specifically it will sensitize religious leaders and founders of religious organization on the need to watch what they preach rather than steering their followers into seeing one religion as inferior or unbelieving. It will heighten the awareness of government and political elites on reasons why they should stop using extremist group to perpetuate crime and carry out their political interest. This study will enable believers of any religious to understand that beyond our differences of faith, we are one Nigeria and that sense of unity should be protected. Finally this study will create opportunity for further academic research and serve as a reference material in related field.


1.5 Scope Of The Study

The scope of this study is to examine the effect of Religious Fanaticism on promotion of crimes in Nigeria. Specifically it will examine if religion has been the motive behind terrorism attack in NorthEast. It will investigate the rate of religious centred crime in NorthEast. It will suggest the prospect to end religious fanatism in Nigeria. This study however is delimited to selected Local Government in Kaduna State


1.6 Research Hypothesis

  • H0: There is not significant effect of Religious Fanaticism on Crime
  • H0: Religious extremism does not contribute to terrorism in Nigeria

1.7 Limitation Of The Study

The following factors poses to be a limitation during the course of this research

Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).

Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.


1.8 Definition Of Terms

Religion:

Religion is a social-cultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual elements

Fanaticism:

Fanaticism is a belief or behavior involving uncritical obsessive zeal. Fanaticism is an extreme and often unquestioning enthusiasm, devotion, or zeal for something, such as a religion, political stance, or cause. It can also refer to behavior motivated by such enthusiasm or devotion.

Crime:

Crime, the intentional commission of an act usually deemed socially harmful or dangerous and specifically defined, prohibited, and punishable by law or authority

Terrorism:

Terrorism is the unlawful use of violence or threats to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or government, with the goal of furthering political, social, or ideological objectives

Religious Fanaticism:

Religious fanaticism denotes religious extremism, which in other words is an irrational attitude to religion which leads the religionist to the practice of religion beyond the bounds of reason and, therefore, without moderation


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