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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Population movements, Islam and the interaction of Indian and African identity strategies in South Africa during and after apartheid
Author:Kaarsholm, PrebenISNI
Periodical:Journal of Natal and Zulu History
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:group identity
Abstract:This paper examines some of the institutional frameworks and discourses through which African and Indian identities have been articulated, confronted and negotiated in South Africa, particularly in what is now KwaZulu-Natal, from colonialism and the apartheid era to the 'New South Africa'. It discusses some of the ambiguities inherent in Islamic identity formation, and looks at ways in which it has interacted with other strands of identification, with Indian as well as African nationalism in South Africa. In what is now KwaZulu-Natal, Islam has quite predominantly belonged to people of Indian origin and has provided an important register of discourse and organization for both the unification and delimitation of Indian identities against others, as well as for the articulation and debate of cultural and political differences within the Indian community. African Islam in KwaZulu-Natal has been of much more limited dimensions and, until recently, has been kept carefully apart and segregated from the world of Indian Islam. With the onset of new programmes and mobilizations for 'dawah' among Africans, with a new political playing field opening up after 1994, and the waves of transnational migration following it, the relationship between Indian and African Islam has begun to change, and new varieties of Islamic discourse and institution building have come about. The paper argues that the impact of these new energies of islamization is in itself ambivalent: on the one hand it offers possibilities for new dialogue and elaboration of ideas of citizenship across historical divides of racial segregation and discrimination. On the other hand, it also provides the possibility for new hardenings of identity and new types of confrontation between groups keen to exploit and monopolize the cultural capital represented by Islam. Notes, ref., online sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]