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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Islam Does Not Belong to Them': Ethnic and Religious Identities among Male Igbo Converts in Hausaland
Author:Anthony, DouglasISNI
Periodical:Africa: Journal of the International African Institute
Geographic terms:Nigeria
Northern Nigeria
religious conversion
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/1161068
Abstract:There is under way a realignment of ethnicity and religion in the lives of converts to Islam born as members of Nigeria's Igbo ethnic group. Before the civil war of 1967-1970, conversion to Islam for Igbo men resident in the predominantly Hausa city of Kano usually meant becoming Hausa. More recent converts, however, have retained their Igbo identity. In 1990, they created an organization, the Igbo Muslim Community. Three case studies from the first group, that of 'Hausanized Igbos', detail the process and criteria of becoming Hausa, including immersion in Hausa economic and social networks; three case studies from the second group demonstrate that, while Hausa-centred networks remain important, converts have worked to construct new, Igbo-centred support structures. The watershed in the changing relationship between religious and ethnic affiliation for Igbo converts is the end of the civil war and resultant changes in Igbo perceptions of Muslims, and changes in Igbo community structures. With the passage of time and changes in the national political and social environment, it has become less hazardous for Igbo men to identify themselves simultaneously as Muslims and as Igbos than it was a generation ago. Tensions between Igbo and Muslim identities remain, but pressure on converts to sever links with home and family, and their sense of being Igbo, have diminished. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.