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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The 1996 'Muslim Holidays' Affair: Religious Competition and State Mediation in Contemporary Mozambique
Author:Morier-Genoud, ÉricISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:Mozambique
Church and State
religious festivals
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Religion and Witchcraft
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637410
Abstract:In early 1996, a fierce controversy broke out in Mozambique over the proposal for a law that would turn two Muslim festive days into public holidays. If passed, the law would create not only two Islamic official holidays, but also the first religious public holidays in Mozambique since independence. Most if not all commentators have analysed this affair as having to do solely with the rising of Islam. They do not analyse the development and politicization of other religions nor do they look at the role the State has played in the rise and politicization of Islam. The present author argues that conflicts around faiths have to do primarily with competition between faiths and the State's mediation of religion. The article first details the affair, which came to be known as the 'Ides' affair, and its most common explanations. Then it analyses the history of religious competition in Mozambique and the history of State mediation up to 1996. Finally, the conclusion draws out methodological and practical points about Church and State relations, religious strife, and the case of Mozambique more specifically. Notes, ref., sum.