The Fulbe "shaykh"and the Bambara "pagans": contemporary campaigns to spread Islam in Mali

TitleThe Fulbe "shaykh"and the Bambara "pagans": contemporary campaigns to spread Islam in Mali
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsB.F. Soares
EditorM.E. de Bruijn, and J.W.M. van Dijk
Secondary TitlePeuls et Mandingues : dialectique des constructions identitaires
Pagination267 - 280
Date Published1997///
Place PublishedParis
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsBambara, biographies (form), Country, Fulani, Islam, Islamization, Mali, Rural

This chapter looks at a high-profile Fulbe Muslim religious leader from Mali and explores his relations with the people of the Mande. This Muslim religious leader, El-Hadj Cheikh Sidy Modibo Kane Diallo of Dilly, in the circle of Nara, is perhaps one of the most influential religious leaders in present-day Mali. The author examines the development of Diallo's "career" as a 'shaykh' and a 'wali' (friend of God). He shows how this career has been constructed in large part through ideological oppositions between Fulbe and Mande/Bambara, as well as through the 'shaykh's interactions with actual Bambara people, particularly his efforts to spread Islam among the country's non-Muslim ("pagan") rural Bambara population and to eradicate the widespread practice of spirit possession. As he suggests, it is in such conversion campaigns that one can see most clearly how individuals - both Fulbe and Bambara - deploy such ideological oppositions. Ultimately, however, the results of such campaigns to spread Islam remain rather ambiguous. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French. [ASC Leiden abstract]

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