03.12.2012 - UNESCO Office in Dakar

New study on the cultural values of Muslim brotherhoods in Senegal

Mural on a wall in Dakar, Senegal, showing leaders of the Mouride Brotherhood. © Erica Kowal

The study on "The cultural values of Muslim brotherhoods in Senegal", initiated by UNESCO, will be presented and discussed during a workshop on 4 December 2012 at UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar (BREDA).

Mamadou Mane, historian and former Secretary General of the Senegalese National Commission for UNESCO, conducted the study and the various Muslim brotherhoods were involved throughout its development.

In fact, Mr. Mane and Christian Ndombi, culture specialist at UNESCO Dakar, have repeatedly met with leaders of different brotherhoods on the ground to discuss with them.

The workshop will allow for more comments, which will subsequently be taken into account in the study.  It will then be widely disseminated.

Analysis of cultural and moral values

Participants in the workshop include the Minister of Culture, the Minister of Interior, administrative authorities and representatives of Senegal’s various Muslim brotherhoods (Mouride Tidjane and Layene) and the Abbé Jacques Seck who is well-known for his action in favor of interreligious dialogue in Senegal. Religious associations and researchers are also invited.

"This study is a follow-up to the sub-regional seminar on Interreligious dialogue and spiritual traditions in Africa organized by UNESCO in Dakar from 8 to 9 June 2009," says Christian Ndombi, Culture Specialist at UNESCO Dakar. "It's part of the promotion of interreligious dialogue," continues Ndombi.

The study consists of three chapters, a historical overview of Islam brotherhood in Senegal, a chapter devoted to issues and challenges and finally an analysis of cultural and moral values attached with the brotherhoods.

The study also includes a bibliography and a list of the religious leaders (Khalifes généraux) of the different brotherhoods.

"The study addresses the issue of brotherhoods in Senegal from another angle, that of cultural and moral values that they promote and which, combined with their political and economic facets are of interest to their followers and researchers, "says Ndombi.

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