This chapter examines the relationship between Islam and caste in Senegal. It investigates how new meanings of caste identity hove been negotiated in view of differing conceptions of Islam that have taken hold within the country. Twentieth-century reformist movements have challenged the predominant role of Sufi brotherhoods, bringing about a reassessment of the relationship between caste and Islam. The Nyasiyya brotherhood provides the basis for a brief case study, which shows that the popularity of this Order abroad is not matched by its reception in Senegal. Some of the possible reasons are examined for this disjunction between the global connections the Order establishes and the local ruptures it engenders within the local Muslim community. The chapter traces the dynamics of Sufism and reformist Islam to reveal a double-edged thrust of global connections brought about through an internationalizing Islam, and of local ruptures mediated through caste identities.
|Published - 2004