Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Colonial and Post-Colonial Governance of Islam

Colonial and Post-Colonial Governance of Islam: Continuities and Ruptures

Marcel Maussen
Veit Bader
Annelies Moors
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 260
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Colonial and Post-Colonial Governance of Islam
    Book Description:

    The contributors analyse the mutual impact of colonial and postcolonial governance on the development, organisation and mobilisation of Islam paying special attention to the ongoing battles over the codification of Islamic education, religious authority, law and practice while outlining the similarities and differences, the continuities and ruptures in British, French and Portuguese colonial rule in Islamic regions. Using a shared conceptual framework they examine the nature of regulation and its outcomes in different historical periods in selected African, Middle Eastern, Asian and European countries. This authoritative study opens up new vistas for research in Islamic studies. This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1494-6
    Subjects: Sociology, Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Preface
    (pp. 7-8)
    Marcel Maussen, Veit Bader and Annelies Moors
  4. Chapter 1 Introduction
    (pp. 9-26)
    Marcel Maussen and Veit Bader

    There is a renewed interest for the ways in which imperial encounters have shaped the development of Islam and for the various legacies of colonial rule. This volume explores configurations of opportunities and constraints for Muslim life in colonial societies and in post-colonial contexts in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Western European societies are post-colonial because they have accommodated large numbers of immigrants from countries they once colonised and because imperialism is a part of their cultural and political history.¹

    Over the past decades, a growing interest has developed for all kinds of aspects of regulation or governance...

  5. Part 1: Historical perspectives on colonial governance of Islam

    • Chapter 2 Governance of lslam in colonial Mozambique
      (pp. 29-48)
      Liazzat J. K. Bonate

      Adopting Bader’s (2007) approach, this paper analyses governance of Islam in colonial Mozambique from both external and internal perspectives. The external governance perspective focuses on the ideological underpinnings, administrative policies and legal regulations of the Portuguese colonial government that impacted the Islamic religion and the Muslim population, as well as the responses they generated. Three points should be addressed from the start with respect to the Portuguese colonial governance of Islam. First, despite the fact that Portugal’s presence in Africa lasted for almost 400 years, the paper concentrates on the period between c. 1900 and 1974. It was only in...

    • Chapter 3 Educating Sudanese ulama for colonial sharia
      (pp. 49-64)
      Shamil Jeppie

      By the early years of the twentieth century, there was nothing remarkable about Egyptians travelling south beyond their country’s borders to visit Khartoum. After all, much of the Sudan had once been considered part of Egypt, conquered by the ruling family and its military. In 1837, the elderly Mehmet Ali Pasha, the founding Ottoman-Egyptian Wali, had himself undertaken an arduous journey through his southerly possessions. In the nineteenth century, large numbers of Egyptians settled in the Sudan. During the reconquest of the Sudan in the late 1890s, thousands of Egyptian soldiers were part of the British-led campaigns to overthrow the...

    • Chapter 4 Ruptures? Governance in Husaynid-Colonial Tunisia, c. 1870-1914
      (pp. 65-88)
      Julia Clancy-Smith

      In a stunning development, the French state announced in 2007 that the Institut Catholique de Paris was organising instructional courses specifically tailored for the nation’s imams (Schmidt 2007).¹ The seminars would teach Muslim leaders in France’s numerous mosques how to inculcate secular, republican values and norms among their followers, the vast majority being from migrant communities and the largest by far from the Maghreb. This strange twist in the cultural politics of immigration and religion followed years of acrimonious debate over the veil in France (and Europe) that culminated in the 2004 ban on the wearing of conspicuous signs of...

    • Chapter 5 Governing Islam by tribes and constitutions: British mandate rule in Iraq
      (pp. 89-110)
      Michiel Leezenberg and Mariwan Kanie

      The study of the religious dimensions of Iraq’s modern history is not only of inherent historical, theoretical and comparative interest, but a matter of practical urgency. At present, however, these dimensions are only imperfectly understood; earlier studies from a modernisation-theoretical or a political-economy perspective tend to ignore or downplay religious factors; at best, they focus on specific religious groups, most prominently, the Shiites. Here, we will trace how religion in Iraq was shaped and reshaped between late Ottoman rule, the British mandate (1920-1932) and the early monarchy. Our cut-off point will be the 1929 British decision to end the mandate,...

    • Chapter 6 The idea of a Muslim community: British lndia, 1857-1906
      (pp. 111-132)
      Faisal Devji

      The Muslim ‘community’ emerged in India during the nineteenth century as a direct consequence of colonial rule. With the destruction of royal and aristocratic forms of power in British territory, these indigenous sources of profane authority were displaced by religious ones, which for the first time stood free of the formers’ tutelage (Devji 2007a). In other words, it was the Muslim community’s separation from political authority that made it a religious entity in the modern sense. Yet by freeing Islam of such profane elements, the secular politics of colonialism freed it from all inherited forms of authority, making the Muslim...

  6. Part 2: Continuities and ruptures in the governance of Islam in post-colonial situations

    • Chapter 7 Colonial traces? Islamic dress, gender and the public presence of lslam
      (pp. 135-154)
      Annelies Moors

      Controversies about Islamic dress have become commonplace in Europe since the late 1980s, with state regulations targeting both the Islamic headscarf and, later, the face veil. Such present-day attempts to regulate Islamic head coverings resonate with how Muslim women’s dress has been the focus of state intervention in colonial times. In both cases, they are considered a sign, symbol or instrument of Muslim women’s gender oppression and are associated with undesirable forms of lslam.

      Above, I purposely employ the word ‘resonates’, an evocative rather than analytical term, because references to ‘the colonial’ are often made in this modality. In this...

    • Chapter 8 Seeing like an expert, failing like a state? Interpreting the fate of a satellite town in early post-colonial Pakistan
      (pp. 155-174)
      Markus Daechsel

      This chapter presents the story of Korangi, a late-1950s new town just outside Karachi, with the aim to better understand the relationship between the Pakistani state and its Muslim population. This story has never been told in any detail before, largely because substantial information has remained locked away in dysfunctional or inaccessible archives.² Nevertheless, and without giving too much away, the larger narrative can be condensed in a way that makes it immediately familiar to anybody interested in post-colonial development projects: an ambitious but highly insecure military regime decides to sort out the mess created by its civilian predecessors. With...

    • Chapter 9 Continuities and ruptures in the governance of Islam in Malaysia
      (pp. 175-198)
      Karen Meerschaut and Serge Gutwirth

      The application of Islamic family law by Islamic courts of law has always been viewed with great suspicion in Western Europe. In a number of countries, emotions already run high in public debates about the headscarf, so it is no wonder that the issue of the application of Islamic law by sharia courts is very controversial. Apart from lengthy discussion the British have been involved in since the 1990s concerning recognition of a separate system of Islamic family law that would apply to British Muslims (Poulter 1998: 195-236), there have recently also been discussions in Canada about the establishment of...

    • Chapter 10 Angare, the ‘burning embers’ of Muslim political resistance: Colonial and post-colonial regulation of Islam in Britain
      (pp. 199-210)
      Maleiha Malik

      Angare, the Urdu word for ‘burning embers’, was a collection of short stories published in 1932 in Lucknow, British India. Written in Urdu, that the publication used fiction, strong language and sexual imagery to criticise Islam’s prophets and sacred texts. In 1988, 56 years later, Rushdie’sThe Satanic Versestriggered controversy, violent protest and fatwas, and Muslims called for the banning of the book. The resulting book burning that took place in British towns set the stage for popular perceptions about Islam and Muslims, especially for liberal defenders of free speech. Angare also led to widespread popular protests by Muslims,...

    • Chapter 11 Portuguese colonialism and the Islamic community of Lisbon
      (pp. 211-232)
      Mário Artur Machaqueiro

      This chapter deals with a story of power relations between the Portuguese colonial government and the Muslim community that began to settle in Lisbon during the 1960s and attempted to assert itself, both in cultural and political terms. It documents the struggle for social visibility that is involved in the interaction between dominant and subaltern groups. But above all, it offers an example of the kind of governance the Portuguese authorities were forcing upon Muslim communities during colonial rule, more specifically during the ten years of war (1964-1974) that was waged against the nationalist movements in the colonies of Guinea-Bissau...

    • Chapter 12 Conclusion
      (pp. 233-248)
      Veit Bader and Marcel Maussen

      The governance perspective as set out in our introduction can help to complement and alter government approaches that focus too much on formal policies and regulations and look at conflicts and encounters primarily at the level of the state. In these concluding remarks, we elaborate on five analytically distinct but overlapping foci of the governance perspective on colonial and post-colonial regulation of Islam. We use elements from the various contributions in this volume to demonstrate how and why this pretheoretical framing helps to observe and analyse our empirical findings more adequately.

      In our analysis of the authoritative regulation of Islam...

  7. Contributors
    (pp. 249-250)
  8. Back Matter
    (pp. 251-257)