The Islamic State is what makes the headlines, but Boko Haram is no less of a threat to peace. The unfortunate truth is that the already neglected population within Nigeria and its surrounding nations are victims of political circumstances. The government has a history of neglecting its population and continually is listed as one of the most corrupt in the world. In the most recent 2014 polling, it was placed in the 16th percentile. Much of this can be attributed to the country’s vast oil wealth. More than likely, the country falls under the category of corrupt oil regimes, similar to many of the Gulf Nations such as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, the lack of attention given by the government to the people creates an environment in which organizations may emerge as “protectors of the people”. Historically, this can be seen through the rise of the Bolsheviks under Lenin against the corrupt regime of Tsar Nicholas II. More recently, this can be seen in the rise and support of Hezbollah in Lebanon, which has been able to transition into the dominant political party in the country. Therefore, in learning from the past, this organization may very well evolve to become a threat throughout much more of Africa and the world.
Boko Haram and the Islamic State are both share in the same hypocrisy. Both have declared goals of establishing caliphates. When watching Fox or CNN, this theme continuously is brought up and is made to be the main objective for both groups. The truth, however, may be that these organizations exist in order to rebel against the powers that have created a system that oppresses their populations. Another possible explanation is that they are seeking to redraw the largely unrepresentative boundaries that were drawn by colonial powers. The reason for questioning the stated intentions of expanding the influence of Islam is that both Boko Haram and ISIS have deliberately fought against largely Islamic governments. When examined, this is illogical, which points to other motives. In conclusion, critical examination of the circumstances surrounding Boko Haram’s presence reveals they are more similar to the more well known Islamic State than not. Their continued presence reveals that the existing systems cannot continue to operate on the same fashion and significant change is necessary.