State, Religion and Muridism in Senegal
The Role of Islam and Islamic Movements in Africa since 1883
Keywords:state, religion, Muridism, Senegal, Islam, Africa
Africa’s social and political movements are very diverse especially because of the nature of their emergence in different parts of the continent and the peculiarities of the conditions that informed their emergence which also differs. Even though they all emerged in opposition to colonial rule and domination, often these movements provide links for exploring the nature of the relationship between local and national movements that culminates into the independence of African states. This is a study on the role of Islam and Islamic movements in Africa, it explores the dynamics of religion and its impact in state affairs. The paper examines the role of religion in organizing people for liberation struggles and the development of states in Africa and Senegal in particular. It maintains that religion was a fundamental tool in the development of social and political movement in Senegal. The paper uses Muridism as one of the most influential religious groups in Senegal to demonstrate the strength of religious institution in mobilizing people against colonial state. Murid’s philosophy of work, worship and service inspired the zeal to human, social and political development. These religious principles provided an alternative system of social, political economic and spiritual control to colonial rule whose imperialistic drive was to dominate and suppress the people. Thus, at independence, the philosophy of Murids found expression among the people and contributed to the formation of nationalist ideology and state-politics in colonial and post-colonial Senegal.