How is it that these “radical Islamists” are able to displace the Sufis? Could it be by appealing to the Qur’an and Sunnah? If so, what are the implications for the continuing ability of those Sufis to resist this radicalization? “Radical Islam in Sub-Saharan Africa,” from VOANews, with thanks to Uajeg:
Traditionally home to the moderate and more tolerant Islamic Sufi sect, Sub-Saharan Africa is now grappling with pockets of radical Islamists seeking to establish strict Islamic law among some of the region’s more disenfranchised communities. Kenyan Ali Mazrui [maz-ROO-wi] of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at New York State University at Binghamton says radical Islam is spreading in two major forms. He adds, “There’s the revivalist trend, which is not necessarily politically explosive, and there’s the radicalizing trend, which can be politically explosive. The revivalists can be quite conservative and politically accommodating. You”ll find aspects of that in some African countries, including on the eastern seaboard. But the radicalizing tendency which is more recent is definitely politically ominous in some respects, although the causes of it have to be sought beyond the borders of the African continent.”
Somalia, Eritrea and Kenya are among the Sub-Saharan countries where people are increasingly leaning toward radicalism. Nigeria, home to some 60-million Muslims, has already seen Islamic law adopted across its northern states, often contributing to religious tensions and violence. But many analysts note that it will be very difficult for more radical elements to convert traditionally moderate Sub-Saharan societies on a large scale.
Moreover, Ricardo Rene Laremont of New York State University at Binghamton points out that radical Islamic elements have not had an opportunity to rule in many Sub-Saharan countries. He goes on to say, “They are there operating in the most marginalized elements of society, saying that they are providing an alternative to states and countries that don’t work. And because they”re providing alternatives and because their constituency are those people 15-25 [years old] who are marginalized, they then have a political constituency that they can mobilize.”
The article goes on to suggest that it’s all the fault of colonialism. I wonder how they would explain pre-colonial jihads.