SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Islam, Youth and Modernity in Gambia

Marloes Janson, SOAS, University of London

Date: 19 February 2014Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 19 February 2014Time: 6:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: KLT

Type of Event: Book Launch

Islam, Youth, and Modernity in the Gambia deals with the sweeping emergence of the Tablighi Jama‘at – a transnational Islamic missionary movement that has its origins in the reformist tradition that emerged in India in the mid-nineteenth century – in the Gambia in the past decade. It explores how a movement that originated in South Asia could appeal to the local Muslim population – youth and women in particular – in a West African setting, to the extent that ‘converts’ are willing to abandon their youthful pursuits and transgress generational and gender boundaries for a life devoted to God. Tracing the biographical narratives of five Gambian Tablighis, the monograph provides an understanding of the ambiguities and contradictions young people are confronted with in their (re)negotiation of Muslim identity, and the strategies they deploy in manoeuvring between being young and being Muslim. Together these narratives form a picture of how Gambian youth go about their lives within the framework of neo-liberal reforms and renegotiated parameters informed by the Tablighi model of how to be a ‘true’ Muslim, interpreted as a believer who is able to reconcile his or her faith with a modern lifestyle

Organiser: Dr Marie Rodet

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