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Title:Rites and rebellion: islamic conversation at the Cape, 1808 to 1915
Author:Shell, R.C-H.
Book title:Studies in the history of Cape Town
Editors:Saunders, Christopher C.
Phillips, Howard
Van Heyningen, Elizabeth
Geographic terms:The Cape
South Africa
Abstract:This essay draws attention to islamic conversion in the rapidly changing urban milieu of 19th century South Africa. Dealing mainly with the period from 1808 to 1915 (a time of intense christian missionary activity), the author argues that economic marginality, racial exclusion and an expressed need for community identity has as much to do with conversion to Islam as did any cognitive factors. First he tests whether the growth of Islam at the Cape in this period was a cultural process, then he analyses how conversion to Islam worked by an examination of the cultural institutions and religious rites of passage which the original Cape Muslims created. Fig., notes.