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Islam in West Africa
Ousmane Oumar Kane
Islam was introduced in West Africa in the first century of the Muslim calendar. Around the eleventh century AD, a few African kings had already converted to Islam. But throughout the medieval period, the practice of Islam was limited to royal courts and commercial circles, and the majority of the population resisted Islamization. At the beginning of European colonial rule in the early 20th century, less than a half of the West African population was Muslim. By independence from European colonial rule in the early 1960s, close to 90 percent of many West African countries have been Islamized. More people converted to Islam during the sixty decades of direct European colonial rule than in the preceding thousand year of slow Islamization. The aim of this lecture course is to study contemporary West African Muslim societies with particular reference to the twenty and twenty first centuries. It will look at how colonialism created a favorable ground for the spread of Islam. It will also address the main manifestations of modern Islam in West Africa, including Sufism and Sufi orders, but also Sunni, Salafi jihadi, and Shiite movements.
Enrollment Limited: Limited to 30 students. Instructor's permission required.
Open to BTI Students: Yes
Expected to be offered Fall 2013
Tue Thu 11:30am-1pm
Course location to be announced.
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