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Periodical issue Periodical issue Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Muslim West Africa in the age of neoliberalism
Editors:LeBlanc, Marie NathalieISNI
Soares, Benjamin F.ISNI
Periodical:Africa Today (ISSN 1527-1978)
Geographic terms:Islamic countries
conference papers (form)
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/africa_today/toc/at54.3.html
Abstract:Case studies in Senegal, Niger, Nigeria and Chad explore how some African Muslims in the West African Sahel have been making sense of and helping shape the changes associated with neoliberalism. They probe the processes of identification, changing ways of being Muslim and transnational religious aspirations, ties and networks among notably West African Muslim women and youth. In her article on transnational NGOs in Chad, Mayke Kaag argues that the dynamics associated with neoliberalism have facilitated the humanitarian aid and proselytizing activities of Islamic NGOs from the Arab world. These Islamic NGOs generally aim to promote a modernist and Salafi view of Islam, as well as Arabization, in the sense of the spread of the use of the Arabic language and other 'Arab' cultural values and norms. Ousseina Alidou and Hassana Alidou show how Islamist discourses have entered the public sphere with the opening up of political spaces in Niger since the 1990s. They explore the debate beween secularists and Islamists and the opposition of Islamist women in particular to the Quota Act, which was specifically designed to ensure women's greater participation in electoral positions and government posts. Adeline Masquelier and Conerly Casey, in their articles on Niger and northern Nigeria, show how processes of liberalization have helped bring about new modalities of self-other differentiation. In both countries, morality and the changing aesthetics of public piety are at the core of the definition of the self and the other. The construction of proper 'Muslimhood' in the public sphere highlights the centrality of those deemed non-Muslims, thereby sharpening social boundaries. Muriel Gomez-Perez, in a reading and analysis of 'L'Étudiant musulman', the magazine of the Association des Étudiants Musulmans at the university in Dakar, Senegal, focuses on the articulations among local, regional and international political and religious contexts in this publication since it was founded, in the late 1980s. She shows how the association has proposed new models of identification with assertions of a shared modernist and reformist Muslim identity that referred frequently to developments elsewhere in the Muslim world. This special issue originated in two panels organized by the guest editors, Marie Nathalie LeBlanc and Benjamin F. Soares, at the African Studies Association annual meeting in New Orleans in 2004. [ASC Leiden abstract]