by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, ISLAMiCOMMENTARY and TIRN with MBAYE LO on MAY 10, 2016:

Duke University Asian & Middle Eastern studies professor Mbayo Lo and University of Botswana theologian Muhammed Haron (a South African native) are the editors of a new book “Muslim Institutions of Higher Education in Postcolonial Africa” — published by Palgrave, Fall 2015.

The book’s authors include: Adnan A. Adikata (Islamic University in Uganda, Kampala, Uganda); Abdulmageed Ahmed (International University of Africa, Sudan); Chanfi Ahmed (Zentrum Moderner Orient, Germany); Ismail S. Gyagenda (Mercer University, Georgia); Moshood Mahmood Jimba (Kwara State University, Nigeria); Mamadou-Youry Sall  (Université Gaston Berger, Senegal); Hamza Mustafa Njozi, (Muslim University of Morogoro, Tanzania); Wardah M. Rajab-Gyagenda (Islamic University in Uganda); Ahmad K. Sengendo (Islamic University in Uganda); Adam Adebayo (Kogi State University, Nigeria); Alexander Thurston (Georgetown University); Adam Yousef Mousa (Republic of Chad); Roman Loimeier (University of Göttingen, Germany); Ousman Kobo (The Ohio State University).

The anthology, which grew out of *a workshop hosted by the Duke Islamic Studies Center in Fall 2013 on “Islamic Institutions of Higher Learning in Africa: Their History, Mission and Role in Regional Development,” examines, through case studies, the colonial discriminatory practices against Muslim education, and discusses the Islamic reform movement of the post-colonial experience.  (In the case of this book, Muslim institutions of higher learning refers to Islamic education at the university level.)

Haron wrote, in an essay published about the Duke workshop that brought together scholars and administrators: “Many Muslim institutions of higher learning have emerged on the African continent over the past few decades. These institutions have in one way or another made their contributions towards the societies and environments where they are situated. Despite the noble objectives of some that were set up, the objectives often have been unrealized as a result of a lack of financial and other resources. There have, however, been other institutions that have flourished and made invaluable inputs to their respective communities.”

In this written Q & A with ISLAMiCommentary, Professor Lo talks about the findings and conclusions of their book. Continue reading

Academic publication introduces readers to the history of Islam in Nigeria, and tackles the Boko Haram insurgency; internal splits of the Salafi movement in Nigeria; dynamics generated by the mobilization for ‘political Sharia’ in the years 2000s; contemporary and varied Islamic movements and trends (Tijaniyya, Salafism, Shiism) that are the protagonists of a constant (and usually non-violent) competition for religious space; the dynamics of the ‘sacred space’ of the mosque; overviews of Islamic writings and of contemporary pop-culture, and more. 

 

compiled by JULIE POUCHER HARBIN, EDITOR, TIRN, with CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ISLAM (UNIVERSITY OF CAPE TOWN) and MUHAMMED HARON, NOVEMBER 2014: 

arton410The twelfth issue of ARIA - Annual Review of Islam in Africa (formerly ARISA – Annual Review of Islam in South Africa) is published as a special issue on “Islam in Nigeria.” (ANNUAL REVIEW OF ISLAM IN SOUTH AFRICA • ISSUE NO. 12/1 • 2013-2014)

The full “Islam in Nigeria” issue (hard copy), can be ordered by contacting Cathlene Dollar (DLLCAT001@myuct.ac.za). To access and download past articles in the Review see HERE or here:  https://www.cci.uct.ac.za/cci/publications/aria. Below is an editorial summary of the issue and list of contributors. 

EDITORIAL SUMMARY 

Its publication was about to be announced at the beginning of 2014, when the sudden increase in the intensity and brutality of the ‘Boko Haram’ crisis prompted us to postpone its release in order to host more contributions on the topic. Having sacrificed punctuality for scientific comprehensiveness, we hope we are now able to offer our readers a mix of articles that capture at least some of the complexity of the drama that is unfolding in front of our eyes, and for too many Nigerians, inside their very lives.

Even though this particular issue is the fruit of the collaboration of one of the editors with a number of Nigerian colleagues, this is also the occasion to announce the constitution of a new editorial board, composed of Andrea Brigaglia (University of Cape Town), Muhammed Haron (University of Botswana) and Mauro Nobili (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). This editorial board will be responsible for a second, forthcoming issue (12/2, 2013-2014), as well as — we hope—of a number of future ones. With the constitution of this new board, we believe that the transition from the South African focus of the first series of the Review, to a broader, continental one, started with the 2008-2009 volume, can now be considered as definitively accomplished. Continue reading

by MUHAMMED HARON (UNIVERSITY OF BOTSWANA) for TIRN on FEBRUARY 11, 2014:

Muhammed Haron (left) and Gil Merkx
Muhammed Haron (left) and Gil Merkx

Many Muslim institutions of higher learning have emerged on the African continent over the past few decades. These institutions have in one way or another made their contributions towards the societies and environments where they are situated. Despite the noble objectives of some that were set up, the objectives often have been unrealized as a result of a lack of financial and other resources. There have, however, been other institutions that have flourished and made invaluable inputs to their respective communities.

It is hard to find a text that adequately covers these institutions, even in places where one might expect it, including in Paul Scrijver’s authoritative Bibliography of Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa (Leiden: E.J. Brill 2009),

So when Duke University’s Duke Islamic Studies Center (DISC) announced a workshop to discuss and engage scholars on “Islamic Institutions of Higher Learning in Africa: Their History, Mission and Role in Regional Development,” there were eager responses to participate in what may be regarded as an oft-neglected area of Islamic studies research. The Duke Islamic Studies Center and its Carnegie Corporation of New York-supported Transcultural Islam Project (to be explained in-depth later in this paper) offered an interesting platform for this exploratory workshop.

AfricaIslamGraphicThe workshop organizers, under the co-directorship of Duke professors Mbaye Lo and Bruce Hall, hosted a group of scholars who came from different parts of the continent (and elsewhere from the US and Europe) — scholars who have been evaluating these types of institutions’ status in the transnational Muslim arena.

The organizers were interested to know, inter alia, to what extent these institutions were involved in pursuing research, perpetuating traditional Muslim scholarship, and creatively contributing towards the society’s economic development.

With these noble aims and objectives in mind, let us offer an overview in this report of our two-day workshop at Duke University. (Other sponsors included the International Institute of Islamic Thought  (headquartered in Virginia); The Africa Initiative (Duke); Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Duke); African & Afro-American Studies (Duke); Duke History Department; Duke Religion Department; Center for Muslim Life (Duke); Franklin Humanities Institute (Duke), Duke Center for International Development; The Kenan Institute for Ethics; Duke Divinity School; and Duke University Center for International Studies.)

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