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Tolerance, Democracy, and Sufis in Senegal$
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Mamadou Diouf

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231162630

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231162630.001.0001

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Islam, the “Originaires,” and the Making of Public Space in a Colonial City

Islam, the “Originaires,” and the Making of Public Space in a Colonial City

Saint-Louis of Senegal1

(p.180) 8 Islam, the “Originaires,” and the Making of Public Space in a Colonial City
Tolerance, Democracy, and Sufis in Senegal

Mamadou Diouf

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines the formation of a social group of Muslim traders called the doomu ndaar that lived in Saint-Louis during nineteenth and twentieth centuries when the city was still under French control. It specifically highlights the life of Hamet Gora Diop, one of the group's prominent members. The group was a moral community with a civic culture that drew not only on Islamic religious resources but also on the political, economic, and social rights conferred on them by their citizen status as originaires, Senegalese born into the colony but who retained recourse to African and/or Islamic law. They were also granted the privilege to pursue higher education. The inhabitants of Saint-Louis shaped for themselves a collective representation in sharp distinction to that presented by the colonial authorities. The chapter argues that in challenging French authoritarianism, the doomu ndaar subverted colonial formulas that sought to foster cultural assimilation by institutionalizing mission civilisatrice, or the civilization mission of France.

Keywords:   social group, Muslim traders, doomu ndaar, Hamet Gora Diop, civic culture, originaires, Saint-Louis, collective representation, French authoritarianism, mission civilisatrice

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