in: ZMO Working Papers, Volume 19
This paper discusses the ways in which a revolution inspired by Islam emerged in the few decades in West Africa, mainly through the intervention of Salafi actors, institutions, and reform practices. Salafism as an Islamic discourse became popular in the region at the end of the 20th century as Islam acquired a renewed interest and became a potent discourse, restructuring from within, formulating new political agendas and mobilising for social change and radical reconfigurations of social order. The paper calls for attention to context, noting the varieties of Salafism, while problematising the views promoters of this Islamic trend have expressed in relation to state institutions, in particular the secular school system. Emphasising the role of the Salafi preacher, the paper argues that Salafism has had a crucial impact not only on the religious, but also on the public spheres. A social and political critique, Salafism proves a major challenge while it promotes alternative moral and political orders including a Jihadi regime.