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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Non-Acceptance of Islam in the Southern Sudan: The Case of the Dinka from the Pre-Colonial Period to Independence (1956)
Author:Beswick, StephanieISNI
Year:1994
Periodical:Northeast African Studies
Volume:1
Issue:2-3
Pages:19-47
Language:English
Geographic terms:Sudan
South Sudan
Subjects:Islam
Dinka
Church and State
separatism
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
History and Exploration
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/northeast_african_studies/v001/1.2-3.beswick.pdf
Abstract:The Dinka of southern Sudan have formed the bulk of the southern resistance to northern Islamic hegemony. This paper examines the centuries-old resistance to Islam by the Dinka people. The argument that the Dinka were isolated for centuries in the swamps does not explain their nonacceptance of Islam, since they were historically exposed to many Islamic elements and conducted business with Islamic traders for centuries. Additionally, the 'Southern Policy' of the Anglo-Egyptian Condominium, promulgated in 1930, was poorly executed and thus not a major factor in halting the natural spread of Islam in the South. This study holds that the Dinka had no use for Islam because their political, cultural and religious institutions, up to 1956, were incompatible with those of the northern Sudanese Islamic State which inherited power during this period. Politically, Dinka society is inherently democratic whereas Islamic political systems are inherently autocratic. On the cultural plane, Dinka society is primarily egalitarian, while Islamic society is hierarchical. And in the domain of religion, Dinka religion differs from Islam in mode of thought, structure and concept of God. The major factor, however, that divides Islam from Dinka society is the cattle complex: in terms of Dinka relations with cattle, self-identification with animals is built into the culture of Nilotic society, whereas in Islam, cattle play no role at all. Notes, ref.
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