In January 2009, several UW-Madison professors visited Senegal, where a Muslim majority and a Christian minority peacefully coexist. You can watch an overview of this trip in part one of this series, and the professors’ conversation with a prominent Imam in part two. The group also stopped at Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis where they talked to Senegalese friends about the country’s religious tolerance.
A former French colony in western Africa, Senegal is a country where a Muslim majority and a Christian minority live peacefully together and pride themselves on interfaith harmony. Several UW-Madison faculty and staff members visited Senegal in January, 2009, to find out what makes Senegal a model for interfaith peace. You can read an overview of the trip and its results here.
The UW-Madison group interviewed a prominent Imam in Saint Louis. Following his father’s footstep, the 83-year-old Imam became a scholar and teacher at age 16. He started running a school well before Senegal became independent. Because his school was not involved in political activities, just in Qur’anic teaching, the colonial power left it alone. Continue reading
A former French colony in western Africa, Senegal is a Muslim-dominated country where a Christian minority is well respected and has lived peacefully with the Muslim majority for ages. What has made Senegal so successful in maintaining interfaith peace and avoiding the religious tensions that plague other countries? A group of professors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison traveled to Senegal last year to look for answers. In the next several weeks, you will read a series of their interviews from the trip. As an introductory overview, anthropology professor Larry Nesper, talked with me recently. You can watch our full conversation by clicking on the video below. Continue reading
Most people think that Islam was spread by the sword, but as it turns out there were much more practical considerations such as freedom from taxation and better business opportunities that actually persuaded many non-Muslims living under Muslim rule to convert.