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The Salafi Praxis of Constructing Religious Identity in Africa: A Comparative Perspective of the Growth of the Movements in Accra and Cape Town

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image of Islamic Africa

This paper examines Salafism as a public discourse and the conditions pertaining to the success of the movement in both Cape Town and Accra. Though the Salafis in both countries emerged from different historical and political circumstances, their successes were determined by the novelty people associated with their discourse and other incentives they provided. The study shows disparities in the growth of Salafism in both countries, partly a result of the nature of rapport existing among the various Sufi groups and the extent to which their religious values conform to the Shari’a. The Salafi success in Accra was due to the fact that the debates generated by the tarbiya ideas popularized by Ibrahim Nyass in Ghana created fragmentations within the Tijaniyya and to the fact that ideas stimulated by the leading Tijaniyya have the potential to pull away Muslims from Shari’a values.



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