Instant Info Riches
Publisher: Kassel University Press | ISBN-10: 3899584066 | edition 2008 | PDF | 323 pages | 2.03 mb
The general problem addressed by the case study will be the political dynamics of a Muslim minority in a new and secular democracy. The study will analyse socio-political dynamics, discourses and strategies among Muslims in the greater Cape Town area of South Africa during the period 1994-2000.
Although contested and at least partially constructed, religious understandings and identities can become part of strong affective ties. People’s perception of who they are may influence their loyalties, their choice of allies and opponents, and their perception of what their needs are and of what their actions should be. Thus, identities can become politically potent in diverse ways, and political contests can affect the construction of group identities and strategies. New democracies and democratisation may influence such dynamics.
The processes alluded to above have also occurred among Muslims in South Africa, who form less than 2% of the South African population. Since 1994, Muslims have found their way as a numerical minority into a new secular constitutional order that focuses on human rights. The end of South Africa’s relative isolation in 1994 has also exposed Muslims to the challenges of globalisation. Muslim identities and understandings of Islam, perceptions of other groups and worldviews, and group interests and strategies have been contested and constructed in this particular context.
The study will focus on the oldest and biggest concentration of Muslims in South Africa, namely Muslims in the greater Cape Town area of the Western Cape province. This area is of interest for several reasons. It is the site where South African Muslims have resided since at least the 17th century, whereas the concentrations of Muslims elsewhere in the country only date from the 19th century. By 2000, more than 225 000 Muslims, almost 50% of all Muslims in South Africa, resided in this area.