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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Usmanuya System, Radicalism and the Establishment of German Colonial Rule in Northern Cameroon, 1890-1907
Author:Njeuma, Martin Z.
Geographic terms:Kamerun
colonial conquest
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40341679
Abstract:This article examines the relationship between conservative and radical Islam at the time of the European occupation of Northern Cameroon. The Usmanuya system, set up in Sokoto (Northern Nigeria) by the Fulbe Muslim reformer Usman dan Fodio, was introduced in Northern Cameroon by Modibbo Adama (1809-1847), who was appointed by Usman dan Fodio as the first ruler ('lamido') of the region. The Usmanuya system was based on classical monolithic idealism in which political orthodoxy depended upon the approval of Sokoto. The immigration of Hayatu ibn Sa'id, great-grandson of Usman dan Fodio, and his followers in the early 1880s introduced a militant brand of Mahdism into the politics of Adamawa. These radical Muslims had as their goal the stimulation of religious dedication and the involvement of the entire Muslim population in permanent jihad. When the orthodox leadership failed to support the call for reform, the Mahdists began to promote their cause by operating outside the Usmanuya constitution. The appearance of the Sudanese Mahdi gave the radicals in Adamawa additional leverage. Thus the European conquest of the region took place under conditions of division and frustration within the Muslim community. In the end, the Usmanuya collaborated with the Germans and the radicals were defeated. Bibliogr., notes, ref.