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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Rural Islamism during the 'War on Terror': A Tanzanian Case Study
Author:Becker, FelicitasISNI
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Geographic term:Tanzania
Subjects:Islamic movements
generation conflicts
rural areas
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/3876765
Abstract:In the Tanzanian country town of Rwangwa, a bitter confrontation has developed between Sufi Muslims and Islamist reformers. The Islamists draw on Middle Eastern inspiration, but the conflict arises equally from the local, regional and national contexts, and is cultural as well as religious and political. Situated in an economically and educationally disadvantaged region, access to land and trade forms the focus of conflicts between the young (Islamists) and the older (Sufis). Islamists criticize the closeness of Sufis to government, which they accuse of discrimination against Muslims. The main objects of debate, though, are ritual and scripture. The Islamists reject Sufi burial rites and appeal to their superior knowledge of the Quran to justify their stance, reinforcing and profiting from the ongoing transition from orality to literacy. While mainstream Muslim observers condemn the Islamists' aggressive posturing and opposition to authority, they accept their claim to superior learning and to possession of an Islamic alternative to Western notions of progress. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]