African Islam & Islam In Africa

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9780821412145: African Islam & Islam In Africa

This interdisciplinary book focuses primarily on Sufism (“African Islam”), Islamism (“Islam in Africa”) and, in particular, on the interaction between these different forms of Islam. Previously, much interest has been concentrated on the critical Islamist views of Western or Western–influenced ideas and patterns of life, while the intra–Muslim relationship between Sufis and Islamists has attracted less attention.

Some of the contributions concentrate mainly on Sufism, to which the majority of African Muslims belong, others focus essentially on the increasingly important impact of Islamism; yet others deal more intensively with the encounter between sufis and Islamists. The regional focus is on areas where Muslims form the majority of the population, mainly in North and West Africa. In some of the essays special attention is paid to gender issues. The book will be a valuable addition to earlier studies of Muslims in Africa.

Conflicts between adherents of locally contextualized forms of Sufi Islam and more universally–oriented reformist Muslims are not new. However intra–Muslim tensions in North and West Africa have increased in recent decades, largely because of the rise of radical Islamist movements in countries such as Egypt, Algeria and the Sudan. Modernizing Islamists are critical of ‘African Islam’ and aim to ‘purify’ if of pre–Islamic African beliefs and practices. However, there is a revival within Sufism too, and a concomitant tendency among Sufi Muslims to adhere more closely to Islamic law. This intriguing example of intra–Islamic debate is the principal theme addressed in the book.

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David Westerlund
Published by Ohio University Press
ISBN 10: 0821412140 ISBN 13: 9780821412145
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David Westerlund; Contributor-Eva Evers Rosander
Published by Ohio University Press (1998)
ISBN 10: 0821412140 ISBN 13: 9780821412145
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