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Pride, Faith and FearIslam in Sub-Saharan Africa$
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Charlotte A. Quinn and Frederick Quinn

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780195063868

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0195063864.001.0001

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Different Currents

Different Currents

South Africa's Islamic Minority

Chapter:
(p.126) 5 Different Currents
Source:
Pride, Faith and Fear
Author(s):

Charlotte A. Quinn

Frederick Quinn

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195063864.003.0006

South Africa's unique location helped shape the distinct character of Islam there, principally through contact with Asia, Egypt, Iran, and the Arabian Peninsula, allowing beleaguered South African Muslims to look beyond their borders for support. As early as 1626, Shaykh Yusuf, a Sufi saint brought from Indonesia by the Dutch East Indian Company, founded an active Muslim community. Later, Muslims from India came to Natal and the Transvaal, and differences between the communities remained pronounced over such issues as political activism, the place of women, and the use of Arabic. In recent times, Imam Abdullah Haron emerged as a martyr following his death at the hands of police in 1969. Extremist groups like Achmat Cassien's Qiblah and People Against Gangsters and Drugs (PAGAD) resorted to terrorism under the guise of Islam. Muslim numbers remain among the lowest in any country in Africa, and the historic split between ancients and moderns, conservatives and progressives, remains undiminished.

Keywords:   Achmat Cassien, Apartheid, Imam Abdullah Haron, Indian, Iran, Islamists, People Against Gangsters and Drugs (PAGAD), Qiblah, women, Shaykh Yusuf

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