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Islam in North Africa


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Islam arrived in the Maghreb soon after the death of Muhammad. Arab Muslim armies spread Islamic administration from Egypt to Tunisia by 647 and to the Atlantic by 710. The majority of the population converted relatively rapidly, but there were many revolts against central control, and by the tenth century Muslim northwest Africa was developing independently. States controlling most of the region, the al-Murabitun and al-Muwahhidun, set important patterns in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. From then on, most Muslims in the region were Sunni and followed the Maliki school of Islamic jurisprudence. The influence of pious leaders and Sufi teachers was great. Islamic identification supported nationalism in the modern era, and the Islamic resurgence of the late twentieth century found expression in movements such as the Islamic Salvation Front of Algeria.

Subjects: Islam.


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