Publications

Journal Articles

2021. “‘Good Muslim, bad Muslim’ in Togo: religious minority identity construction amid a sociopolitical crisis (2017–2018).” The Journal of Modern African Studies 59 (2): 197–217. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022278X21000094.

In Togo, the opposition movement behind the anti-government protests that broke out in 2017–2018 appears to reflect a greater role for Islam in politics. Tikpi Atchadam, leader of the Parti National Panafricain, was the preeminent figure in the movement, having built a solid grassroots base among his fellow Muslims. This article examines the unique role that Muslim leaders played in these protests, as well as the Faure Gnassingbé regime’s strategic response. The ruling party made spurious claims against Muslim opponents, associating them with a dangerous wave of political Islam. I argue that by portraying Atchadam as the leader of a radical ethnic and religious movement with Islamist goals, Faure Gnassingbé and his supporters sought to weaken this emerging challenger and deter members of the public from backing calls for political change. The strategy also helped garner support from Western countries while simultaneously driving a wedge between Muslim community leaders.

Dr. Frédérick Madore

Open access version: https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:34837/

2021. “Révolution salafiste en Afrique de l’Ouest.” Politique africaine 161‑162: 403‑25. https://doi.org/10.3917/polaf.161.0403

Cette contribution traite de la révolution salafi en Afrique de l’Ouest. Inspirée par un mouvement qui a commencé il y a quelques décennies, elle est portée par des acteurs, des institutions et des pratiques dont l’objectif est de réformer l’islam. Attentif à l’importance du contexte, cet article attire l’attention sur la diversité des appropriations du salafisme et problématise les positions prises par ses promoteurs en relation avec l’État, et en particulier avec son système éducatif laïc. En mettant l’accent sur le rôle du prédicateur, il s’agit de montrer que le salafisme a eu un impact déterminant non seulement sur le champ religieux, mais aussi sur la sphère publique. De par sa critique sociale et politique, le salafisme s’est ainsi imposé comme un défi majeur pour les sociétés ouest-africaines dont il envisage de changer l’économie morale et politique, y compris à travers le djihadisme.

Dr. Abdoulaye Sounaye

2020. “Muslim Feminist, Media Sensation, and Religious Entrepreneur: Aminata Kane Koné as a Figure of Success in Côte d’Ivoire.” Africa Today 67 (2-3): 17–38. https://doi.org/10.2979/africatoday.67.2-3.02.

This article analyzes the career path of Aminata Kane Koné, a highly educated Ivorian Muslim woman, who has emerged as a female figure of success. A prominent activist of the Association des Élèves et Étudiants Musulmans de Côte d’Ivoire in the 2000s, she has become a self-made religious entrepreneur through media and social initiatives. She has overcome social constraints to establish herself as a highly mediatized Muslim public intellectual, influential not only in Islamic circles, but within the broader society. Her case illustrates ways in which relationships between gender and Islamic authority are changing in West Africa. She embodies a uniquely hybrid feminism, influenced by her secular education and her Muslim faith.

Dr. Frédérick Madore

Open access version: https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:34837/

2020. “Francophone Muslim intellectuals, Islamic associational life and religious authority in Burkina Faso.” Africa 90 (3): 625-46. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0001972020000108.

L’attention portée sur les menaces sécuritaires qui planent sur le Burkina Faso a éclipsé les transformations sous-jacentes qui sont en train de s’opérer dans le paysage associatif islamique du pays depuis le départ du président Blaise Compaoré en octobre 2014. Ce bouleversement politique a eu des conséquences significatives sur la participation des musulmans dans les débats sociopolitiques, les dynamiques intergénérationnelles et, plus largement, les bases sur lesquelles l’autorité religieuse est revendiquée. Cet article propose donc d’analyser la concurrence que se livrent les acteurs islamiques dans la sphère publique pour le leadership religieux en se focalisant principalement sur la perspective des « intellectuels musulmans » francophones. L’étude montre, d’une part, que le fossé croissant entre la gérontocratie aux commandes des grandes associations musulmanes et les jeunes, qui était jusque-là demeuré à l’état latent, s’est révélé avec force suivant l’insurrection populaire. D’autre part, profitant de l’espace laissé vacant par les porte-paroles traditionnels de la communauté durant le processus de transition, certains jeunes « intellectuels musulmans » francophones ont cherché activement à se présenter comme les véhicules d’un « islam civil » en promouvant de nouvelles formes d’engagement citoyen par le religieux afin de se positionner plus avantageusement dans le champ islamique.

Dr. Frédérick Madore

Open access version:  https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:33009/

2016. “The New Vitality of Salafism in Côte d’Ivoire: Toward a Radicalization of Ivoirian Islam?” Journal of Religion in Africa 46 (4): 417–52. https://doi.org/10.1163/15700666-12340090.

This article examines recent developments of Salafism in Côte d’Ivoire by exploring how the movement has evolved over the last 25 years through its main national associations and leaders. Although the situation with regard to terrorism has changed in this country since the attack in Grand-Bassam on 13 March 2016, the intent of this article is to move beyond a reductive focus on security and counterterrorism by painting a more-nuanced portrait of one local manifestation of a global movement often reduced to violence and conflict. Far from becoming radicalized and despite increasing levels of activism, the country’s Salafi elites and main national associations have demonstrated civic engagement and opposition to terrorism. They also increased their participation in the socioeconomic arena as well as their willingness to act as a key intermediary between the Muslim community and the country’s political leadership.

Dr. Frédérick Madore

Open access version: https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:33013/

Book Chapters

2021. “My Religiosity is Not in My Hijab”: Ethics and Aesthetics among Salafis in Niger. In Loimeier, Roman (eds.), Negotiating the Religious in Contemporary Everyday Life in the “Islamic World,” Göttingen University Press, p. 129-145.

Building on my fieldwork among the Izala and the Sunnance in Niger, mainly in Niamey, I offer in this contribution to examine the connection between ethics and aesthetics, focusing on how Muslims navigate the structures of morality and aesthetics that their groups, communities associations etc. have set up.

Dr. Abdoulaye Sounaye

To read the chapter, click here.

2021. “Malama Ta Ce! Women Preachers, Audiovisual Media and the Construction of Religious Authority in Niamey, Niger.” The Routledge Handbook of Islam and Gender, p. 222-237.

This chapter explores the emergence of female preachers in contemporary Niger, who have amassed a large media presence in both TV and radio. Challenging conventional arrangements within media and Islamic practices, women preachers have taken the role of speaking for Islam and for themselves, using spaces they have conquered and secured on TV and radio stations in part due to a committed audience and the techno-infrastructural development that reshaped the media landscape. Women preachers have now consolidated their presence in the public arena and in the process have prompted new debates and reshaped the contours of Muslim gender politics.

Dr. Abdoulaye Sounaye

To read the chapter, click here.

2021. “Ritual Space and Religion: Young West African Muslims in Berlin, Germany.” Refugees and Religion.  London: Bloomsbury Academic, Bloomsbury Collections, p. 160–176.

This chapter focuses on young Muslims from West Africa who found themselves in Berlin after the collapse of the Libyan state in 2011. Having arrived as migrant workers before the country’s civil war, many of these young people were trapped and forced to cross the Mediterranean Sea to seek refuge in Europe. 161Once in their new environment, what spaces were available to them for religious practice? How did they use those spaces? What strategies of appropriation did they use to make a space of their own in a city known for its secularism, leftism, and humanitarianism, but yet to experience such a “flow” of migrants from West Africa?

Dr. Abdoulaye Sounaye

To read the chapter, click here.

Magazine Article

Mit dem Koran statt dem „Kapital“

Gebildete Eliten in Nigeria und im Niger, unter denen früher der Marxismus beliebt war, machen heute strenge Auslegungen des Islams zum Leitbild. Damit verändert sich dort nicht nur die Politik, sondern auch die Religion.

Dr. Abdoulaye Sounaye

To read the article, click here.