Education at the Heart of Extremism

  • Borislava Manojlovic


This chapter aims to explore the relationship between extremism and education through the case studies of Boko Haram, as an example of an extremist organization targeting education, and the phenomena of rising European right-wing nationalism and anti-immigrant extremism, ideologically based on miseducation and demagoguery. The first case study showcases how a distorted Islamic religious ideology feeds into an extremist attitude towards education. The second case study demonstrates how anti-immigrant discourses have led to the shrinking of public spaces and how misinformation and a lack of educated dialogue enable the rise of right-wing ideologies and violence towards immigrants. The cases are seemingly different, but at the heart of both are the concepts of control and exertion of power. Knowledge and information can be seen as some of the most valuable commodities in the modern world. The Boko Haram case study shows how education has been used as the main ideological block to inspire extremism, while the anti-immigrant and hate-mongering rhetoric in the West is examined as a popular tactic among politicians with which to garner the support of the disavowed masses. Under these circumstances, educating the public to think critically and evaluate the information they hear becomes key for enabling mature polity and overall social stability.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Borislava Manojlovic
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Diplomacy and International RelationsSeton Hall UniversitySouth OrangeUSA

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