by Alex Thurston A recent story from Nigeria, one that touches on both marriage and shari’a, offers the possibility of a more sophisticated analysis of marriage in Africa as well as shari'a law.
by Alex Thurston Protests against the Innocence of Muslims film have taken on a global scope...in sub-Saharan Africa, responses have ranged from violent protests to calls for peace.
By Alex Thurston During the week of September 24, Saudi Arabian authorities detained and subsequently deported over 1,000 Nigerian female pilgrims who were on the hajj to Mecca. The incident caused considerable tension between the two countries.
by Alex Thurston The media’s use of the term “ultraconservative” is also connected with some Salafis’ support for implementing Islamic law in modern states. But Salafis are not the only ones to favor shari’a, nor are they always its most enthusiastic backers.
by Alex Thurston AMOK turns the logic of the law’s critics around: the bill will not target Muslims but protect them, and represents not outsiders’ agendas but a response to local problems.
by Alex Thurston Should Sudan’s protesters topple President Omar al Bashir, I believe the media would get excited, but until they do, the Sudanese will remain, for the media, “marginal Arabs” or, as el Dahshan argues, Arab “villains.”
by Alex Thurston The MNLA and Ansar al Din have dominated the headlines about Mali this spring and summer. But how have other Malian Muslims reacted to the crisis in the north, and to the partial “Islamization” of the conflict by Ansar al Din?
Who's the Enemy? The Catholic Church. Chicago Cardinal Francis George is unhappy that the gay pride parade will pass a local parish on the final Sunday in June--and that the Catholic leadership was not consulted about the new parade route. Today on Fox Chicago News the Cardinal compared gay "rhetoric" to that of the...
By Alex Thurston This is the fourth post in a series on Islamic education in Northern Nigeria. The first post gave an overview of the series, the second discussed Qur’anic schools, and the third talked about “traditional” advanced Islamic education, noting that traditions change over time. This post examines “Islamiyya” schools,...
by Alex Thurston Government-run Islamic schools, then, are to be a source of “counter-radicalization” as well as a means of moving almajirai into more “productive” schools. But the policy is unlikely to succeed.
In the first of two posts on the deterioration of religious freedom for Ethiopia's Muslims, Alex Thurston looks at Ethiopia's relationship with the U.S. and the "Global War on Terror"
By Alex Thurston South Sudan, though less than six months old as an independent nation, already faces challenges to its political and cultural unity: rebels abound, opposition groups denounce the ruling party, and ethnic tensions simmer. Christianity has provided a powerful platform for political mobilization in the region’s past, and churches continue to represent the strongest...