By Christopher Harrison

This e-book is an enormous contribution to the social, political and highbrow heritage of the most important colonial nation in Africa, the French West African Federation. by means of targeting the explicit topic of the improvement of French coverage in the direction of Islam, it sheds gentle on a variety of matters, from the grand technique of French imperialism to the psychology of person directors in remoted outposts of the empire. Christopher Harrison argues that during order to make feel of colonial rule, it is very vital to appreciate the best way the colonial energy considered the folk it ruled. He demonstrates how French figuring out of Islam in West Africa developed from the momentary, and infrequently contradictory, rules linked to the interval of army enlargement, via a interval of extreme suspicion and worry of pan-Islamic events, to a widely-held consensus that Islam in Africa used to be fairly detailed from the Islam of the Arab international.

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Every day sees emissaries bringing more offerings than the previous day. The traders, who are somewhat unhappy, go as far as saying that the natives sell their groundnuts in order to get money which they can then offer to the great marabout. 57 Similar arguments were advanced later in the year when two of the Sheikh's envoys arrived in Cayor to collect alms. 59 Although this particular issue was never clearly resolved the debate does serve to illustrate the fundamental difference in approach to Islam between the Senegalese and Mauritanian administrations.

33 He was born in a small Corsican village in 1866 where he stayed until the age of ten when his parents decided to emigrate to Algeria to join other members of the family. Coppolani's early childhood appears to have been dominated by his pious mother who, despite his later marriage, was to be the only woman about whom he ever spoke with any affection. Her simple piety together with the strong superstitions of the Corsican villagers served as models of popular religion which Coppolani later applied to his analysis of Islam.

They are independent of the Hassania, never take part in war but rather dispense justice and are mediators of peace. Their rosary replaces the gun.... The action of the religious leaders is preponderant over the masses and often over the warrior chiefs as well. 40 Coppolani's explanation was a crude simplification of the social structure of Moorish society. 41 Furthermore, the ability of clerical leaders to prevail over warriors was by no means certain, and Coppolani's assertion that 'the action of the religious leaders was often preponderant over .

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