Religion and the Making of Nigeria
Expanded Sharia: Resistance, Violence, and Reconciliation
The chapter provides a detailed analysis of the formidable opposition mounted by Northern, Southern, and Middle Belt Christians against the expanded sharia policies of twelve Northern Muslim states that imposed unrestricted Islamic law in the early years of the Fourth Republic. The chapter also explores the sharia crisis within the context of Nigeria’s prevailing ethno-religious and ethno-regional fault lines, as well as entrenched power configurations, statism, and neopatrimonialism. The chapter underscores how these conflicts intensified ethnic and religious identities at a moment of major political transition. Finally, the chapter analyzes the limitations of Christian-Muslim reconciliation efforts during the sharia crisis in the early 2000s.