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Politics and Islamization in African Public Spheres

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image of Islamic Africa

Public Islam and Muslim publics provide a useful framework for understanding how technology and new social and political contexts have impacted discourses of religion in the public sphere. This article proposes that scholarly attention on Muslim publics has been guided by the different impacts of Wilfred Cantwell Smith and Jürgen Habermas. Smith’s theory of reification has focused attention on the production of Islam(s), while Habermas’s work has focused attention on the production of new values for democratic politics. Muslim publics in Africa and elsewhere point to a diversity of engagements that call for more critical reflection and analysis. This article suggests that politics and Islamization are the main preoccupations of Muslim public debates in Africa, and should be the focus of comparative and historical analysis.

Affiliations: 1: UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA

10.5192/215409930302139
/content/journals/10.5192/215409930302139
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/content/journals/10.5192/215409930302139
2012-06-03
2017-09-26

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