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Islamic networks beyond colonial borders in North East Africa Mobile researcher: Silvia Bruzzi, Italy

Tildelt: kr 0,16 mill.




2012 - 2013



Sufi brotherhoods (in Arabic tariqa, the mystical way), as mystical and intellectual current within the Islamic tradition, are strongly characterized for being trans-regional entities marked by a relevant local dimension. All along their historical devel opment, Sufi brotherhoods had spread from Asia to Africa through various channels and routes creating several trans-regional networks. At the same time, they integrated local practices and beliefs showing an impressive intellectual vitality. In XIX centur y, on the wave of a global Islamic revival, new Sufi brotherhoods were established in Africa. They ended up by spreading to several regions of the African continent and beyond. Several scholarships have been pursued at the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic studies (SMI) at Bergen University on Khatmiyya and Sanusiyya Islamic brotherhoods as is testified, for example, by the works of R.S. O'Fahey and Knut S. Vikør. As these studies pointed out, the specificity of these new Sufi brotherhoods was mos tly linked to the shift from local to network organizations and links. Moreover, the creation of these trans-regional connections is not at all a new phenomenon but it has presented new features thanks to the introduction of modern technology. This proj ect is the natural follow up of Dr. Bruzzi's PhD research. It aims at developing some topics related mostly to the social and political role assumed by Khatmiyya trans-national networks within Italian colonial occupation in North East Africa. Special atte ntion will be paid to the role Muslim women representatives played during the occupation.