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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Being Igbo and Muslim: the Igbo of south-eastern Nigeria and conversions to Islam, 1930s to recent times
Author:Uchendu, EgodiISNI
Periodical:The Journal of African History (ISSN 0021-8537)
Geographic term:Nigeria
religious conversion
ethnic identity
Abstract:Amid assumptions of a hegemonic Igbo Christian identity, conversions to Islam began in the late 1930s in the Igbo territory of southeastern Nigeria - the only region in the country that was not touched by the nineteenth-century Islamic jihad and subsequent efforts to extend the borders of Islam in Nigeria. Four decades after the emergence of Islam in the Igbo homeland, and with the mixed blessings of a civil war, Igboland began to manifest clear evidence of indigenous Muslim presence. A key aspect of this article is how one can be both Igbo and Muslim. It considers the complex interplay of religious and ethnic identities of Igbo Muslims (including the mapping of religious values onto ethnic ones) until the 1990s, when Igbo Muslims began to disentangle ethnicity from religion, a development that owes much to the progress of Islamic education in Igboland and the emergence of Igbo Muslim scholars and clerics. Igbo reactions to conversions to Islam and the perceived threat of these conversions to Igbo Christian identity also receive some attention in the article. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]