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Book Book Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Islam outside the Arab world
Editors:Westerlund, DavidISNI
Svanberg, IngvarISNI
City of publisher:New York
Publisher:St. Martin's Press
ISBN:0312226918; 9780312226916
Geographic terms:Africa
Southern Africa
Islamic history
Abstract:At the present moment some 85 percent of Muslims live outside the Arab world. This collective volume looks at Muslim groups in every continent - Africa (part 1), Asia and Oceania (part 2), Europe and the Americas (part 3) - giving a background account of their history and culture and of the growth of Islam in their particular area. Part 1 (p. 37-124) contains five chapters on Africa. The first, by Bernhard Helander, deals with Somalia, where Islam is a fundamental cornerstone of Somali life and culture. The second chapter, by Christopher Steed and David Westerlund, describes Islam in Nigeria, where it is estimated that 50 percent of the population is Muslim. There is a general dichotomy of Muslims in the north and Christians in the south but there are two areas which are religiously mixed: the densely populated west where the Yoruba have embraced both Christianity and Islam; and the Middle Belt across the median of the country, occupied by hundreds of ethnic groups. Chapter Three, by Eva Evers Rosander and David Westerlund, examines Senegal where the Sufi brotherhoods (turuq; tariqa) under their marabouts act as crucibles, bringing all layers of the society together. More than 90 percent of the population are Sunni Muslims. The fourth country to come under scrutiny is Tanzania in a chapter by Abdulaziz Y. Lodhi and David Westerlund. Here roughly one-third of the population is Muslim, one-third Christian and the remainder adherents of traditional religions. Islam has been present in the coastal areas since 830, the foundation date of the mosque in Shanga on Pate Island. The mosque at Kizimkazi in southern Zanzibar is the oldest intact building in East Africa (1007) and still functions. The final chapter in Part 1 looks at southern Africa. Until recently it was generally assumed that the southern spread of Islam stopped around Lake Malawi and observers were generally unaware of the Islamic presence in southern Africa, where Muslims arrived in the wake of colonialism. Abdulkader Tayob looks at South Africa, where only 0.2 percent of the population is Muslim; Botswana where most Muslims are Indian immigrants; Zimbabwe where Indians again predominate; Swaziland where Islam arrived only in 1963 with Malawian workers in the asbestos mines; and Lesotho where there is an African Muslim community which speaks an Indian language and which has never been studied. [ASC Leiden abstract]