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Dr Halkano Abdi Wario

Project: Jihad for All? Religious Knowledge, Counter-Narrativity and De-Radicalisation Strategies in Kenya

In October 2011, following abductions at the Coast by Somalia’s Al-Shabaab militia, the Kenya’s army made unilateral incursion of Somalia oustering it from Kismayu and later joined the African Union Mission in Somalia to support transitional government in Mogadishu. In retaliation, Al-Shabaab conducted several attacks including a siege on Nairobi’s Westgate Shopping Mall and Garissa University killings. As security measures are inadequate to address emergent youth radicalisation and recruitment in Kenya, faith-based counter-narratives have emerged to make ‘jihad less appealing’ and delegitimise propaganda of militant groups in multilayered Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programmes. A promising initiative include BRAVE (Building Resilience against Violent Extremism) and its strategic outreaches such as Jihad for All supported by several Islamic organisations and rely on ‘ilm as foundation for deradicalisation.

The study explores dynamics of religious texts interpretation by de-radicalisation activists, examines works used in the tailored knowledge production, explores online campaigns, material aesthetics and performativity of counter-narrativity on social media and analyse related public lectures and television advertisements. Select field works will be mainly in Nairobi’s Majengo and Eastleigh and Mombasa’s Majengo and Old Town.

The interdisciplinary study is informed by Talal Asad's discursive traditions, securitization theory and conceptualizations on religion and materiality and applies text analysis, ethnography, interviews, focus group discussions and biographical narratives and plan to produce a monograph on contextualised knowledge production in Kenya in the era of ‘CVE’, collaborative works with project stakeholders and reach out to non-academic audiences through exhibitions and public policy formulations.

CV Dr Wario

Current status:Lecturer, Philosophy, History and Religion Department, Egerton University
April 2009  - April 2012PhD, University of Bayreuth, Department of Religion
2010MPhil, Moi University, Kenya, Department of Religion

B.Ed, Moi University, Kenya, Faculty of Education (Arts). First Class Honours


 detailed CV Dr Wario

Post-Doc partner

Dr Wario's Post-Doc partner is Dr Britta Frede at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany.