By Christopher Harrison
This ebook is a massive contribution to the social, political and highbrow heritage of the biggest colonial kingdom in Africa, the French West African Federation. via targeting the categorical topic of the improvement of French coverage in the direction of Islam, it sheds mild on a variety of concerns, from the grand technique of French imperialism to the psychology of person directors in remoted outposts of the empire. Christopher Harrison argues that during order to make experience of colonial rule, it is extremely very important to appreciate the best way the colonial strength thought of the folk it ruled. He demonstrates how French knowing of Islam in West Africa advanced from the temporary, and sometimes contradictory, regulations linked to the interval of army enlargement, via a interval of excessive suspicion and worry of pan-Islamic events, to a widely-held consensus that Islam in Africa used to be fairly designated from the Islam of the Arab international.
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Additional resources for France and Islam in West Africa, 1860-1960 (African Studies)
We have found amongst them the same tribes, the same language, the same morals and the same religion, albeit with a 37 1898-1912: The fear of Islam more liberal element than amongst their brothers of North Africa. 38 This argument was further refined in his report of October 1901 to an Interministerial Commission which had been created (partly at Coppolani's suggestion)39 to investigate the problems of north-west Africa. In his report Coppolani argued that there was a sharp distinction between the societies on either side of the Senegal River - 'a demarcation line between Whites and Blacks that not even el-Hadj-Omar and his Toucouleur were able to cross'.
65 Arnaud also fancied himself as a poet, philosopher and man of letters. 66 His favourite subject matter - indeed, his only subject matter - was colonial life as he attempted to write a sort of comedie humaine depicting the lives and loves of French colonial society north and south of the Sahara. Both Coppolani and Eberhardt, called Antonetti and Sophie Peterhof respectively, appear frequently in highly glamorous roles, and Arnaud, himself, under the name of Cassard or Lemare appears in almost all of the novels.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF FRENCH SUSPICIONS Coppolani's death came at a time when the French were having a lot of other misgivings about the role of Islam in all aspects of colonial affairs. Coppolani's belief in the positive contribution of Islam to African civilisation was not shared by his colleagues on the other side of the River Senegal. 55 Early in 1905 Sheikh Saad Bu started to make arrangements for his annual tour to collect alms from disciplines on the left bank of the Senegal. Coppolani raised no objection to the tour but when news of the Sheikh's intentions reached the Lieutenant-Governor of Senegal, Camille Guy, objections were immediately voiced.