Facets of Muslim Life in West Africa
A recently published edited volume of the series ZMO-Studien by Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO) engages with various issues, institutions and actors of Muslim life in West Africa. With this book, the editors Abdoulaye Sounaye and André Chappatte provide perspectives form the region and what it actually means to be Muslim in terms of identity, experiences and daily practice.
Islam has become a main research theme in African Studies in the past two decades. It is also a topic which is highly visible in the media, especially due to jihadi attacks that trouble the region. While it offers some people an opportunity to engage in religious entrepreneurship, for many others, it helps them challenge the traditional power structures that shape their experience of being Muslim. The edited volume “Islam and Muslim Life in West Africa. Practices, Trajectories and Influences” (de Gruyter 2022) focuses on recent developments in the region, examining leadership, authority, law, gender, media, aesthetics, radicalization and cooperation. What can we learn from these developments? Which dynamics do they draw attention to? And what new and local research perspectives are they inspiring? These are key questions the book takes on.
The contributions focus on social, political as well as on cultural dynamics. A contribution by Bourahima Diomandé, for example, shows how Imams in Ivory Coast become not only religious leaders, but also showmen as they respond to the changes in their social environment. Another article by Fulera Issaka-Touré deals with personal experiences of women in the practice of Islamic law in Accra, Ghana. How Islam provides a geopolitical tool and how influences from countries such as Saudi-Arabia and Turkey shape the region is examined in contributions by Ulrike Freitag and Issouf Binaté. Examining the modernity of Islam in Burkina Faso, Desiré Kaboré invites us to read the current Jihadism that affects the region within the long history of the appropriations of Islam for political reasons. The role of the media in shaping gender relations, social interactions and self-image are also discussed by case-studies on Cameroon, Nigeria and Senegal.
“Islam and Muslim Life in West Africa” was edited by Abdoulaye Sounaye and André Chappatte and was published by de Gruyter in December 2022 as part of the series ZMO-Studien. The volume is available in Open Access and includes texts both in English and French language. The ZMO-Studien series publishes research results from the work of the individual projects, conference proceedings and selected monographs that complement the centre's research profile.
PD Dr. Abdoulaye Sounaye is head of the research unit Contested Religion and Intellectual Culture at Leibniz-Zentrum Moderner Orient in Berlin. He is currently also leading the Leibniz Junior Research Group “Religion, Morality and Boko in West Africa: Students Training for a Good Life”. Dr. André Chappatte is Assistant Professor at the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva. Until December 2019 he was a research fellow at ZMO and head of the unit “Cities as Laboratories of Change”.
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Abdoulaye Sounaye, André Chappatte (eds.): Islam and Muslim Life in West Africa. Practices, Trajectories and Influences. ZMO-Studien 42, de Gruyter Berlin/Boston, 2022. https://www.degruyter.com/document/doi/10.1515/9783110733204/html#overview
https://www.zmo.de/publikationen/zmo-studien about ZMO-Studien
https://www.zmo.de/personen/dr-abdoulaye-sounaye about Abdoulaye Sounaye
https://www.unige.ch/gsi/fr/presentation/enseignants/professeurs/andre-chappatte/ about André Chapptte