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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Islam in Botswana during the Colonial Period 1882-1966
Author:Amanze, James N.
Periodical:Botswana Notes and Records (ISSN 0525-5090)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Botswana
Southern Africa
History and Exploration
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Commercial enterprises
Lobatse (Botswana)
Ramotswa (Botswana)
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40980205
Abstract:Islam was introduced in Botswana from South Africa through the activities of Indian Muslim traders. Small clusters of Muslim communities began to spring up in Moshupa and Molepolole in the early years of the 19th century, while the most important of all the Muslim settlements in Botswana at this early stage was Ramotswa, a Bamalete village thirty-three kilometres south of Gaborone. However, Islam failed to spread in Botswana during the colonial period because members of the Indian Muslim community saw themselves primarily as businessmen and not as propagators of the faith. Moreover, the discriminatory and hostile policies of the colonial government towards Indian Muslim traders restricted their activities for many years and enhanced the isolation of the Indian community. Up to the mid-1960s there were no mosques anywhere in Botswana. The first mosque was built in 1967 in Lobatse, seventy-six kilometres south of Gaborone. Lobatse had become the most important Indian trading centre in Botswana and with the completion of the mosque it also became the country's new religious centre of Islam. Bibliogr., ref., sum.