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Open Access Roots of Diversity in Mozambican Islam Les racines de la diversité dans l'islam du Mozambique Raizes de diversidade no Islão moçambicano

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Roots of Diversity in Mozambican Islam Les racines de la diversité dans l'islam du Mozambique Raizes de diversidade no Islão moçambicano

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This paper explores historical roots for the existing diversity of the conceptions of Islam among African Sunni Muslims of Mozambique. This diversity is frequently expressed by internal Muslim debates and competitions centred on the nature of Islamic authority and on the definition of 'orthodoxy.' After identifying roughly three divergent conceptions of Islamic authority and ritual among Mozambican Muslims, the author analyses specific historical contexts within which each of these conceptions of Islam emerged and confronted one another. In particular, the paper focuses on changes with respect to religious authority and ritual. One of the central arguments of this paper is that on the emergence of each new conception, local Muslims set upon redefining what constituted the centre and the margin of Islam in Mozambique, but despite the attempts to the contrary, the old conceptions have persisted and continuously posed challenges to the newly-established centre. Cet article explore les racines historiques de la diversité existant actuellement dans les conceptions de l'islam parmi les musulmans sunnites africains du Mozambique. Cette diversité s'exprime souvent par des discussions et des rivalités musulmanes internes, centrées sur la nature de l'autorité islamique et sur la définition de l'« orthodoxie ». Après avoir identifié en gros trois conceptions divergentes de l'autorité et du rituel islamique parmi les musulmans du Mozambique, l'auteur analyse les contextes historiques spécifiques au sein desquels chacune de ces conceptions de l'islam a émergé et fait face aux autres. Plus particulièrement, l'article se concentre sur les changements concernant l'autorité religieuse et le rituel. L'un des arguments principaux de cet article est que, face à l'émergence de chaque nouvelle conception, les musulmans locaux ont entrepris de redéfinir ce qui constituait le centre et la marge de l'islam au Mozambique, mais malgré les tentatives dans l'autre sens, les anciennes conceptions ont persisté et représenté des défis continuels pour le centre nouvellement établi. Este artigo explora as razões históricas para a existência das diversas concepções do Islão entre os muçulmanos sunnitas africanos de Moçambique. A diversidade de concepções é expressa através de debates e competições internos entre os muçulmanos em torno de natureza da autoridade islâmica e da definição de "ortodoxia" islâmica. Após ter identificado três concepções divergentes, a autora analisa contextos históricos específicos nos quais cada uma destas emergiu e confrontou as outras concepções. O artigo foca em particular as mudanças da autoridade religiosa e dos ritos. Um dos argumentos centrais de artigo é que com a emergência de cada uma das novas concepções, os muçulmanos locais se envolverem na definição do centro e da margem do Islão. No entanto, apesar de esforços de elimina-los, as concepções anteriores não desapareceram e continuaram desafiando os novos centros do Islão a partir de margens a que foram supostamente relegados.

Affiliations: 1: Eduardo Mondlane University (Maputo, Mozambique); University of Cape Town (Cape Town, South Africa)

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/content/journals/10.1163/176830807781450645
2007-06-01
2016-12-04

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