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From Islamic reform to Muslim activism : the evolution of an Islamist ideology in Kenya.

Chome, N. (2019) 'From Islamic reform to Muslim activism : the evolution of an Islamist ideology in Kenya.', African affairs., 118 (472). pp. 531-552.


This article traces the evolution of an Islamist ideology in Kenya’s public discourse, putting Islamist ideas within a longer history of Muslim politics than most other studies. Specifically, it examines internal debates amongst the minority Muslim population of Kenya, and debates between Muslims and the state and Muslims and the wider Christian public, regarding how to improve the Muslim condition in a Christian-dominated country. The immediate background for the emergence of Islamist ideas is then discussed through an examination of trends since the 1990s, including increased contestations of religious and political authority, and responses to Muslim activism by the state and the wider Christian public. The article concludes that Islamist politics in Kenya, and elsewhere, are more often than not a result of local histories as much as they are part of a global Muslim ‘victimization’ narrative.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in African Affairs following peer review. The version of record Chome, N (2019). From Islamic reform to Muslim activism: the evolution of an Islamist ideology in Kenya. African Affairs 118(472): 531-552 is available online at:
Date accepted:15 January 2019
Date deposited:26 October 2018
Date of first online publication:23 February 2019
Date first made open access:23 February 2021

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