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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ahmed Deedat and Muslim-Christian relations at the Cape, c. 1960-1980
Author:Vahed, GoolamISNI
Periodical:Journal for Islamic studies
Geographic terms:South Africa
The Cape
Subjects:interreligious relations
About person:Ahmad Husayn Didat (1918-2005)ISNI
Abstract:This paper establishes the historical context of Muslim-Christian relations at the Cape, South Africa, the role played by Ahmed Deedat in this relationship, and the public reaction to his role. Deedat was born in India in 1918 and joined his father in South Africa in 1927. The article focuses in particular on Deedat's reaction to the polemics of various churches - notably the Anglican and Dutch Reformed churches - against Islam and the divisions among Muslims regarding Christian-Muslim relations. Opposition to Deedat among Muslims underscored deeper discursive differences between traditional 'ulama' and those that may be termed 'modernist', even if in time they proved to be more traditional. Deedat's influence was at its height between approximately 1960 and 1980. Thereafter, it began to decline, partly due to the emergence of new organizations and leaders in the Cape, who were involved in the wider anti-apartheid movement; due also to the fact that Deedat's own gaze was shifting outwards towards the international Muslim world. If Deedat's intention was to restore the confidence of rank-and-file Muslims, he succeeded for a period, but support for the very public 'Deedat-style' activities eventually declined. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]