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The Introduction, Expansion, and Impact of Islam among the Arsi Oromo

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the introduction and progress of Islamic faith and its consolidation as well as its impacts on cultural values and social organization. It analyzes the dialectical relationship between the conquest of the Arsi country and the Islamization process. Islam is said to have been adopted by all those opposed to the Christian state, as an instrument of resistance. For instance, Trimingham argues that "Islam's force of expansion amongst pagans in Ethiopia was helped by the fact that it was the religion hostile to that of the Amharic race who lorded it over them". Ethiopian historiographers of the 19th century and, in particular, Menelik's contemporary, Astmagiorgis, clearly confirm this point of view when describing the Islamization of the Oromo. Moreover, some historians demonstrated the extent to which the opposition to the Abyssinian state induced many people to embrace Islam as a resistance ideology.

Keywords: Arsi Oromo; Christianity; Ethiopia; ideology; Islam

10.1163/9789004265486_007
/content/books/b9789004265486s007
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