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This paper examines how visibility and legitimacy have been defined and achieved by Muslim women who have contributed to the development of Islam in Burkina Faso since the 1970s. We undertake a transversal study of the trajectories of women belonging to different cohorts of Arabic- and French-educated Muslims. In doing so, we highlight identity markers closely associated with key moments in their lives (activism through associations or personal initiatives, religious studies, the pilgrimage to Mecca, and media activities). Through the lens of performativity, we show how women have progressively gained visibility within the Muslim community. And although figures of religious authority remain uniformly male, women are increasingly able to claim legitimacy thanks to their flexible approach.

In: Islamic Africa

Abstract

Interest in the question of youth and Islam in West Africa stems from the overwhelming demographic weight of youth and their relatively recent incursion into the public domain, as well a wave of Islamic revivalism that has swept across Africa from the late 1970s on. In this paper, we propose to examine the sociopolitical role of young men in Islamic revivalist movements that occurred in urban centers in Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Senegal in the 1980-1990s. Such movements were particularly popular among secularly educated young men who attended French-speaking schools. While the role of young men in revivalist movements suggests new configurations of authority and charisma, their religious agency remains closely embedded within relationships that extend across generations. Here, we examine instances of conflicts between generations and pay attention to sites of negotiation, such as mosques and voluntary associations.

In: Journal of Religion in Africa