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The Greater Jihad And Conversion

Sereer Interpretations Of Sufi Islam In Senegal

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New Perspectives on Islam in Senegal

Abstract

Modernist interpretations of Islam often depict West Africa’s Sufi orders as remnants of a bygone era, with Senegal seen as a stronghold of this quaint and non-threatening maraboutic Islam. Although nineteenth-century jihad leaders are seen as bearers of orthodox Islam (despite the fact that they led Sufi orders), most Sufis emerge tainted with the brush of heterodoxy and saint worship or are praised for their pragmatic accommodation with colonial rule and their economic dynamism rather than their orthodoxy. Whatever the merits of modernism for understanding contemporary developments in parts of West Africa, it fails as a historical approach to conversion as it introduces anachronistic debates and misleading conclusions about jihad.

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© 2009 Mamadou Diouf and Mara A. Leichtman

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Searing, J. (2009). The Greater Jihad And Conversion. In: Diouf, M., Leichtman, M.A. (eds) New Perspectives on Islam in Senegal. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230618503_5

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