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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Status of Muslims in Sierra Leone and Liberia
Author:Bah, Mohammad A.
Periodical:Journal of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs
Geographic terms:Sierra Leone
Subjects:Islamic history
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Ethnic and Race Relations
Abstract:This paper examines the introduction, and the pattern of the spread of Islam in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The introduction and spread of Islam in West Africa predated the creation of the two States. Islam reached the region through its two main West African agents: the Mandinka and the Fulbe, traders who often engaged themselves in the teaching and spread of Islam. With the coming of independence in Sierra Leone in 1961 and with the beginning of Tolbert's rule in Liberia, Muslims became the most powerful indigenous entrepreneurs. However, despite their economic power, the Muslim communities of both States have not had comparable political clout. This is partly due to historical factors surrounding the establishment of the two States. Muslims in Sierra Leone today control a large percentage of the economy and have continued to show a steady rise in the area of education. Muslims here will soon demand political power and leadership commensurate with their numbers and economic strength. In Liberia the situation is slightly different because the Muslim community is still officially a minority. Part of the problem in Liberia is that Muslims lag behind in educational attainment and literacy in English and especially in higher education. In conclusion, attention is paid to the position of Muslims during the civil war in Liberia (1989-1990). Notes, ref.