Sub-Saharan African Islam

Abdulkader Tayob

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195137989
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Sub-Saharan African Islam

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Thinking globally about Islam in sub-Saharan Africa means trying to juggle at least two contradictory phenomena. On the one hand, it appears that the relentless rush toward a global world threatens to leave Africa on the sidelines. With regard to Internet connections, a significant indicator of participation in the global community, Africa lags far behind the rest of the world. On the other hand, global forces affect African social processes in a variety of ways. The patterns of African Islam are dominated by national representation of Muslims in secular states, Islamic reformist movements, and ideological clashes between secular and Islamic conceptions of the state. The states encouraged and then formed supreme councils representing Muslims: the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, Baraza kuu Waislamu wa Tanzania, the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, and the Muslim Association in Malawi. In Nigeria, it is not only a question of imposing a Muslim organization from above but also the internal problem of self-definition within the Muslim community. This article examines Islam in sub-Saharan Africa, with emphasis on globalization and modernization.

Keywords: Islam; Africa; globalization; modernization; Internet; Muslims; supreme councils; Kenya; Nigeria; Malawi

Article.  3591 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Interfaith Relations ; Islam

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