Shi'i Cosmopolitanisms in Africa
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Shi'i Cosmopolitanisms in Africa : Lebanese Migration and Religious Conversion in Senegal

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Mara A. Leichtman offers an in-depth study of Shi`i Islam in two very different communities in Senegal: the well-established Lebanese diaspora and Senegalese "converts" from Sunni to Shi`i Islam of recent decades. Sharing a minority religious status in a predominantly Sunni Muslim country, each group is cosmopolitan in its own way. Leichtman provides new insights into the everyday lives of Shi`i Muslims in Africa and the dynamics of local and global Islam. She explores the influence of Hizbullah and Islamic reformist movements, and offers a corrective to prevailing views of Sunni-Shi`i hostility, demonstrating that religious coexistence is possible in a context such as Senegal.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 17.78mm | 413g
  • Indiana University Press
  • Bloomington, IN, United States
  • English
  • 19 b&w illus., 4 maps
  • 0253016010
  • 9780253016010

About Mara A. Leichtman

Mara A. Leichtman is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Muslim Studies at Michigan State University. She is editor (with Mamadou Diouf) of New Perspectives on Islam in Senegal: Conversion, Migration, Wealth, Power, and Femininity.
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Review quote

[Leichtman's] volume is a theoretically packed, historically grounded and ethnographically rich exploration into minority religious communities and their migrations. * Journal of Modern African Studies * This book is highly recommended for anyone with interest in African and Middle Eastern Affairs, Islam and Religious Studies, and Peace Studies. * African Studies Quarterly *
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Table of contents

Preface: Islam and Politics AcknowledgmentsNote on Transliteration Introduction: Locating Cosmopolitan Shi`i Islamic Movements in Senegal Part I. The Making of a Lebanese Community in SenegalIntroduction to Part I.1. French Colonial Manipulation and Lebanese Survival 2. Senegalese Independence and the Question of Belonging 3. Shi`i Islam Comes to Town: A Biography of Shaykh al-Zayn 4. Bringing Lebanese "Back" to Shi`i Islam Part II. Senegalese Conversion to Shi`i Islam5. The Vernacularization of Shi`i Islam: Competition and Conflict 6. Migrating from One's Parents' Traditions: Narrating Conversion Experiences Interlude: `Umar: Converting to an "Intellectual Islam" 7. The Creation of a Senegalese Shi`i Islam Coda: On Shi`i Islam, Anthropology, and Cosmopolitanism Glossary Notes References
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