Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Researching Religion (Dini) and Religionism (Udini)

As the debates on 'religionism' (udini) continue to rage on in Tanzania it is important to engage with diverse opinions and perceptions in an open manner. It is also important to openly consult research findings from researchers with different positions. Today we present Abdin Chande from Adelphi University. He conducted his PhD fieldwork primarily in Tanga. His dissertation is downloadable at http://scans.hebis.de/05/42/08/05420867_toc.pdf and http://digitool.library.mcgill.ca/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=39277&local_base=GEN01-MCG02

"Religious issues, especially involving Islam and Muslims, being considered too sensitive for public discussion in Nyerere’s Tanzania, the strategy devised by him to deal with concerns affecting the Muslim community was to let high ranking Muslim ministers in his government manage the problem. This essentially meant that their task was to coopt Muslims to the State’s political agendas. This was despite Nyerere’s continuous insistence that Tanzania’s politics knew no religion. Not surprisingly, therefore, during the period of Ali Hassan Mwinyi’s presidency (Nyerere’s successor), Muslim activism came out in full force. Factors that have contributed to Islamic activism in post-Nyerere Tanzania include: the collapse of the one-party system, which allowed Muslims to organize and to speak freely in the new multiparty environment of the 1990s (although no party based on ethnic or religious affiliation was to be allowed to function), the activities of external Islamic organizations, including Muslim embassies (in sympathy with Muslim aspirations), in financing new mosques, scholarships, dispensaries, and so on, and the importance of the Islamic revolution in Iran at the end of the 1970s56. Both external (global Muslim network) as well as internal factors explain why the 1980s and 1990s witnessed not only the intensification of organizational activities by groups that were critical of BAKWATA, such as Warsha, BALUCTA/the Council of Tanzanian Qur’an Reciters and others, but also public interfaith debates by Muslim missionaries (UWAMDI) who engaged Christians on Bible-based discussions" - Abdin Chande on MUSLIM-STATE RELATIONS IN EAST AFRICA UNDER
Find below references to some of his works from the Bibliography on Islam in contemporary Sub-Saharan Africa by Paul Schrijver.

Chande, Abdin Noor (1992). Islam, Islamic leadership and community development in Tanga, Tanzania, Ph.D. dissertation, McGill University, 370 p.

Chande, Abdin Noor (1993). “Muslims and modern education in Tanzania”, Journal of the Institute of
Muslim Minority Affairs 14:1/2, pp. 1-16.

Chande, Abdin Noor (1994). “Ulamaa and religious competition in a Mrima town”, Islam et sociétés au sud du
Sahara 8, pp. 43-51.

Chande, Abdin Noor (1998). Islam, ulamaa and community development in Tanzania: A case study of religious currents in East Africa, San Francisco,
Austin & Winfield, 285 p.

Chande, Abdin Noor (2000). “Radicalism and reform in East Africa”, Nehemia Levtzion and Randall L. Pouwels
(eds), The history of Islam in Africa,
Athens, Ohio University Press,
pp. 349-369.


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