The Quest for Survival, Cohesion and Voice for the Muslim Minority in Maniema, dr Congo

In: Islamic Africa
Ashley E. Leinweber Political Science, Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri, USA,

Search for other papers by Ashley E. Leinweber in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):



The history of the Congolese Muslim minority was one of marginalization. Islam arrived in the Maniema province of eastern Congo in the pre-colonial period with Swahili-Arab traders in search of ivory and slaves. Congolese Muslims experienced intense repression during Belgian colonial rule, resulting in detachment from politics and the state. In addition, deep internal divisions at local, provincial, and national levels riddled the community for decades. Surprisingly, in the post-war period the Muslim minority became increasingly active, as evidenced by a proliferation of Islamic associations. This article analyzes the Muslim minority in Maniema by focusing on their survival during historic marginalization from the state, their cohesion to overcome internal divisions, and their search for a voice to engage in social and political life. It argues that while the Congolese Muslim minority was successful at survival, the quest to form a cohesive community able to speak with one voice has remained mostly elusive.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 255 119 20
Full Text Views 8 5 1
PDF Views & Downloads 27 15 2