Senegal: Model for Interfaith Peace
Why is Senegal so successful in avoiding the religious tensions that plague other countries? A UW-Madison group traveled to Senegal in 2009 to look for answers. Professor Larry Nesper gives an overview.
Senegal: An Imam in Saint Louis
The UW-Madison group interviewed a prominent Imam in Saint Louis, Senegal. The 83-year-old Imam discussed his experience running a school and building a religious tolerant community.
Senegal: Conversation in a University
What is Teranga? Why is it critical to the interfaith peace in Senegal? Can it resist the spread of fundamentalism? The UW-Madison group talks to three Senegalese professors.
Senegal: Study Abroad in Saint Louis
Study abroad makes you learn not only a new culture but also your own culture. What does "eat your money" mean in Wolof? A UW-Madison student reflects on her experience studying abroad in Senegal.
Islam and Women in Niger
What role does Islam play in the politics of women’s rights laws in Niger? Alice Kang, a PhD candidate in political science at UW-Madison with focus on African Studies, spent a year in Niger to look for answers.
Islam and Politics in Nigeria
Brandon Kendhammer, a PhD candidate in political science at UW-Madison with focus on African Studies, went to Northern Nigeria to study the implementation of Sharia law in the region since the country’s democratic transition in 1999.
• Four of the top 10 countries with the largest number of Muslims are in Africa.
Egypt (#5): 78,513,000 Muslims
Nigeria (#6): 78,056,000
Algeria (#9): 34,199,000
Morocco (#10): 31,993,000
• 28% of the world's Muslim population lives in Africa.
• According to Arab oral tradition, Islam first came to Africa with Muslim refugees fleeing persecution in the Arab peninsula. This was followed by a military invasion, some seven years after the death of the prophet Mohammed in 639.
• In Africa, most states limit the use of Sharia law to "personal-status law" for issues such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and child custody. With the exceptions of Nigeria and Somalia, secularism does not seem to face any serious threat in Africa.
• Ancient manuscripts from Timbuktu, Mali are indicative of the high level of civilization attained by West Africans during the Middle Ages. Situated on the edge of the Sahara Desert, Timbuktu was famous as a market for obtaining the goods and products of Africa. However, Timbuktu's most famous and long-lasting contribution to Islamic and world civilization is the scholarship practiced there.
• The Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali is the largest mud brick building in the world. It was inscribed on the UN's World Heritage List in 1988.
1. "Mapping the Global Muslim Population" - Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
2. "The Story of Africa: Islam (BBC)
3. "Islam in Africa (Wikipedia)
4. "Ancient Manuscripts from the Desert Libraries of Timbuktu (The Library of Congress)
5. "World Heritage List
6. "The Great Mosque, Djenné