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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Religion and politics in contemporary Senegal
Author:Gifford, PaulISNI
Year:2016
Periodical:African affairs: the journal of the Royal African Society (ISSN 1468-2621)
Volume:115
Issue:461
Pages:688-709
Language:English
Geographic term:Senegal
Subjects:Muslim brotherhoods
Sufism
political parties
power
Link:http://afraf.oxfordjournals.org/content/115/461/688.abstract
Abstract:Senegal has a clientelist political system, which is personalized, opaque, and characterized by wide impunity for the political elite. The most salient social force in the country is the Sufi brotherhoods, especially the most important religious families within them, which have been an integral part of the clientelist system since the time of Diouf (1981-2000). Although the essence of a brotherhood is the disciples' submission to the will of the guide, it was never the case that a guide could simply deliver his disciples' votes to his chosen politician. Disciples could distinguish political from religious injunctions, and a combination of economic and political factors also influenced decisions. Nevertheless, the Mouride brotherhood in particular benefited under Abdoulaye Wade (2000-12), who publicly identified himself as a disciple, and, in turn, Mourides tended to give him their support. Macky Sall (2012-present) in his presidential election campaign appeared more negative towards all religious forces, a neglect seemingly evident in certain problems that have arisen since his election. Yet, though the brotherhoods still exercise considerable power, this article argues that their influence is waning. External factors from the wider Islamic world explain this decline in influence, as well as internal factors such as the commercialization of the religious families and the growing reluctance of increasingly educated disciples to be dictated to in political matters. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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