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11 “Chaos Will Never Have a Chance”: Sharīʿa Debates and Tolerance in a Provincial Tanzanian Town

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Chapter Summary

The banning of the East African Muslim Welfare Society (EAMWS) in 1968 was a watershed in the sharīʿa debates in Tanzania. Sharīʿa debates in Tanzania have followed three trends. Before 1985 the discourses focused on the interplay between religion, ujamaa policy and the state. These discourses occurred at an academic level and were largely dominated by foreign scholars. The post-1985 discourses revolve around Muslim sectarian grievances and demands. Additionally, there are discourses addressing issues affecting Muslims and Christians in various communities across the country. These are micro-level, grassroots' discourses whose themes range from mundane issues like killing a goat in 'a ḥalāl way', or the extent to which a Muslim family can get involved with Christian neighbours 'keeping pigs', the activities of Christian NGOs who are involved in proselytizing, as well as the occurrence of intermarriage, especially where Muslim girls are married to Christian men.

Keywords: Christian NGOs; East African Muslim Welfare Society (EAMWS); Muslim sectarian grievances; sharīʿa debates; Tanzania; ujamaa policy



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