Panel III


1:30 – 2:45pm

Held in the Kellogg Center Auditorium

Chair: John Hanson

Andrew Clark, University of North Carolina Wilmington, “Resistance, Islam and the State in the Revolt of Mamadu Lamine Drame in the 1880s’”

The important Isalmic reform movement of al-Hajj Mamadu lamine Drame, a Soninke marabout, was largely confined to the upper Senegal and upper Gambia River regions of eastern Senegambia, and lasted from mid-1885 until his death in late 1887. While short-lived and geographically restricted, the multi-faceted and broadly based revolt exertede considerable influence on the region. The revolt also raises important issues regarding Islam, ethnicity, resistance to the colonial state, and colonial policy and attitudes toward Muslim reformers who emerged in the Senegambian region in the early colonial period. Historians have recently re-evaluated many of these reform movementsand Mamadu Lamine Drame certainly deserves new interpretation in light of recent scholarship in other parts of West Africa.

Cheikh Babou, University of Pennsylvania, “The Senegalese Social Contract and its Legacy: the Muridiyya and State Politics in Senegal.”

The so called Senegalese “Social Contract” has been the object of much scholarly interest. It is argued that through this arrangement Muslim clerics provided the colonial and post-colonial state of Senegal with the legitimacy to ensure the loyalty of the citizens and in return received recognition and material support from the state. This system, it is argued, is rooted in the Muslim policy of the French colonial administration crafted by the famous Bureau of Muslim Affairs founded by Governor Roume in the first decade of the 20th century. This policy, it is believed, recognized Sufi Muslim clerics as junior partners in the administration of the colony, especially regarding issues related to the rural population that formed the majority of their disciples. In this paper, I present a more contrasted picture of the relationships between disciples and shaikhs in the Muridiyya and its impact on the order’s relations with the state. I share scholars view that the Muridiyya is one of the most powerful political players in Senegal and that it has historically played a major role in helping foster consent for government policies. However, I contend that the relationships between the Muridiyyya and the Senegalese state are less stable and more complex than the social contract theory would let to believe. Drawing from David’s Robinson’s concept of accommodation, I further argue that what scholars describe as a social contract is rather a sort of modus vivendi that gradually emerged as the culmination of a long process of mutual adjustment.


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