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FETISHIZING RELIGION: ALLAH KOURA AND FRENCH ‘ISLAMIC POLICY’ IN LATE COLONIAL FRENCH SOUDAN (MALI)

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 July 2003

GREGORY MANN
Affiliation:
Columbia University

Abstract

This article argues that an innovative religious movement in postwar French Soudan (Mali) led some French administrators and military officers to adopt a new and more open stance towards local religious practices even as they fought hard to limit conversion to Islam and to counteract Muslim reform. Meanwhile, although the founder of the movement advocated submission to local authorities, young men claiming to be his messengers attacked elders and sorcerers. The article suggests that the religious sphere in the Western Sudan was broader than historians have recognized, and that religious identities were particularly important in the troubled transition from subjects to citizens.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2003 Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

Different versions of this paper were presented at the Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa, Northwestern University, on 2 May 2002 and at the Fourth International Conference of the Mande Studies Association in The Gambia in June 1998. I would like to thank Drs. J. O. Hunwick and M. S. Umar for inviting me to ISITA, and Rebecca Shereikis, Ben Soares, Baz Lecocq, Brian Peterson and the journal's reviewers for their comments on an earlier draft of this paper. Research in Mali, Senegal and France was supported by the Fulbright-IIE, the AED-NSEP and Northwestern University. I thank Gomba Coulibaly for his assistance in Mali.
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FETISHIZING RELIGION: ALLAH KOURA AND FRENCH ‘ISLAMIC POLICY’ IN LATE COLONIAL FRENCH SOUDAN (MALI)
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FETISHIZING RELIGION: ALLAH KOURA AND FRENCH ‘ISLAMIC POLICY’ IN LATE COLONIAL FRENCH SOUDAN (MALI)
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FETISHIZING RELIGION: ALLAH KOURA AND FRENCH ‘ISLAMIC POLICY’ IN LATE COLONIAL FRENCH SOUDAN (MALI)
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