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Irwo Sunnance yan-no! 1: Youth Claiming, Contesting and Transforming Salafism

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This article discusses youth religiosities and how young Salafi (Sunnance) appropriate the discourse of the popularization of the Sunna and at the same time distance themselves from the well-known Izala movement. The Sunnance have become a social formation only recently, but have earnestly and regularly taken the stage to lay the ground for a new expression and understanding of the Izala reform agenda. They claim to be Izala though they have consistently taken theological positions and promoted practices that challenge and break with Izala “orthodoxy.” These developments, the article argues, are the manifestation of the Izala effect, an intra and inter-Muslim dynamic that is gradually reshaping both anti-Sufism dear to Salafism and Sufi practices. The article is based on ethnographic materials collected in Niger over the last four years among youth promoters of a religious life in line with the “Pious Ancestors.”

Affiliations: 1: Zentrum Moderner Orient, Berlin,


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