The Mourid Brotherhood At The Center Of Senegalese Political Life

Cheikh Guéye and Olivia Gervasoni

in Powers

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2010 | ISBN: 9780823231560
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235537 | DOI:

Series: The Future of the Religious Past

The Mourid Brotherhood At The Center Of Senegalese Political               Life

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This chapter deals with religion and power at the level of the nation-state. It explores the complex relationship between state authorities and the Muslim Mourid Brotherhood in Senegal. The Mourid Brotherhood consists of marabouts, who are Sufi spiritual leaders, and their disciples. Originally, the Mourid Brotherhood focused on personal devotion, and the Mourid principles were not to be applied directly to politics. Nevertheless, in the 1990s marabouts joined electoral tickets and Mourid lobby groups were formed. In 2000, a member of the Mourid Brotherhood, Abdoulaye Wade, became president and liberated the state from the “the sin of secularism”. Wade's affiliation threatens to personalize the relationship between the state and Mouridism, with political power taking on a religious quality given his potential role as “President of the Mourids”. The growing involvement of the Mourid Brotherhood in state affairs shows that religion not only defines power, but also evaluates it.

Keywords: Senegal; Mourid Brotherhood; religion; power; nation-state; marabouts; Abdoulaye Wade; Mouridism; politics

Chapter.  7386 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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