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Chapter Six - The 1977 Constitutional Conference and Beyond

from Part III - Imagining the Past

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 May 2023

Rabiat Akande
Affiliation:
Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto
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Summary

This chapter examines the legacy of the colonial governance of religion. Those struggles have inherited the nation's complex colonial history as an essentialist debate between a Muslim camp advancing a Sharia renaissance agenda and opposed to secularism and a Christian camp opposing the Sharia project and championing the secularist separation of the state from religion. That memory of the colonial experience is borne of both sides' criticism of colonial rule; however, neither the drivers of the Sharia renaissance agenda nor their Christian critics are liberated from the history of imperial rule. Both seek the governance of religion in the manner of the colonial state they despise. As with actors in the colonial state, the postcolonial camps also deploy the notions of secularist separation and religious liberty in fluid ways, belying their arguments about their unconditional fidelity to either idea. The chapter, therefore, argues that imperial secular governmentality, which has survived into the postcolonial state, is far from the untroubled mode of domination it is often criticized as being. It is instead a domain of contestation.

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Chapter
Information
Entangled Domains
Empire, Law and Religion in Northern Nigeria
, pp. 229 - 266
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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