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SPICE DIGESTS

The Spread of Islam in West Africa: Containment, Mixing, and Reform from the Eighth to the Twentieth Century

The history of Islam in West Africa can be explained in three stages, containment, mixing, and reform.  In the first stage, African kings contained Muslim influence by segregating Muslim communities, in the second stage African rulers blended Islam with local traditions as the population selectively appropriated Islamic practices, and finally in the third stage, African Muslims pressed for reforms in an effort to rid their societies of mixed practices and implement Shariah.

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