Islam in and out: Cosmopolitan patriotism and xenophobia among Muslims in Côte d'Ivoire

Abstract : The nativist ideology of ivoirité of the 1990s generated brutal discriminatory policies against those labelled as ‘strangers’, especially Muslims. Reversing the perspective, the article focuses on the interface between religion and national identity in twentieth century Côte d’Ivoire from within Muslim society. The argument is divided into two parts. The first puts forward the counter-hegemonic, patriotic-cum-cosmopolitan narratives that a new Muslim leadership formulated to write Islam into national history. The second focuses on grassroots, demotic, day-to-day realities. It explores Muslim takes on belonging and alienating in practice, with careful attention to the community’s internal diversity. It shows how Ivoirian Muslims showcased over time varying degrees of cosmopolitan patriotism but also of their own, local xenophobia. The concluding section comes back to the new Muslim leadership and their multifaceted endeavours to bring Muslim lived experiences to terms with their cosmopolitan patriotic aspirations. The article ends with a short epilogue surveying the violent armed conflicts from 2002 to 2011 and how Muslims were a part thereof.
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Marie Miran-Guyon. Islam in and out: Cosmopolitan patriotism and xenophobia among Muslims in Côte d'Ivoire. Africa, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2016, 86 (3), pp.447-471. ⟨10.1017/S0001972016000334⟩. ⟨halshs-01406083v2⟩

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