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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Shari'a as De-Africanization: Evidence from Hausaland
Author:Miles, William F.S.ISNI
Periodical:Africa Today
Geographic terms:Niger
Northern Nigeria
West Africa
Subjects:Islamic movements
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Law, Human Rights and Violence
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_today/v050/50.1miles.pdf
Abstract:Terrorist attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 overlapped with ongoing movements of Islamic fundamentalism in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, these movements have not been identical, nor have they encountered uniform responses from the governments overseeing them. This is evident in the Hausa borderlands of Niger and Nigeria, where the author conducted fieldwork (first begun in the 1980s) two months after the attacks. Differences in the application of sharia (Islamic law) on both sides of the border accentuate differences in Hausa culture and society along national (i.e. Nigérien vs Nigerian) lines. Traditional Hausa customs that have flourished for centuries (praise-singing, drumming, group dancing, and singing) are now proscribed in the northern Nigerian state of Katsina, where sharia is tantamount to de-Africanization. In contrast, Zinder, a neighbouring state in Niger, has so far resisted a comparable Islamization of its legal code. Cultural differentiation across the Niger-Nigeria boundary persists along religious lines, despite the status of Islam as the common faith. Other differences relating to Islamization are inferred from comparing the extent of pilgrimage to Mecca and the incidence of wife seclusion in neighbouring villages on each side of the border. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]