“Traditional jihad” is characterised by expansion through violent conquest, the belief that Muslims have the right to wage war on non-Muslims, and intolerance towards Africa’s non-Muslims, according to Arne Mulders, Open Doors researcher for West Africa.
“With the current decline of Western power in Africa, this mentality is resurfacing among the Muslim populations of Africa and is witnessed in much of the violent persecution from Muslims against Christians,” Mulders said. It aims to conquer and colonise people through violence and bring non-Muslims into the Islamic fold. The circumstances of the “conquered peoples” are often exacerbated by prevailing racism.
Examples of these practices abound in the greater West African region. Apart from its employment in CAR and Northern Nigeria, this approach has been at work in the civil war between the Arab Muslim North and African Christian South in the Sudan civil war, in the Darfur conflict, the Chadian civil war and the activities of the Muslim-dominated Allied Democratic Forces rebel group in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.