“ Ma r g i n a l M u s l i M s ”
af r i c a
t o dA y 5 4 ( 3 )
unlawul displays o masculine power conficted with the political aspirations o moderate Muslim Hausa, and super-
seded personal and non-Muslim Hausa expressions o Islamic
authenticity, morality, and security.
In 1999 and 2000, twelve states in northern Nigeria declared Islamic law(Shari’ah) the state criminal law or all Muslims, redening the boundarieso identity, civility, and criminality.
In the city o Kano, the Independent
Shari’ah Implementation Committee, similar to Islamic state-orming coali-
tions in Algeria and in the Sudan, galvanized the political will to movebeyond the rhetoric o Shari’ah as a democratic alternative to, and strongcritique o, colonialism and the elitism and corruption o ederal and statepoliticians. The committee appealed to Muslims rom all sectors o soci-ety who desired concrete political, economic changes.
Urban ward gangmembers (
) agitated alongside other Muslim youths or the imple-mentation o Shari’ah criminal codes, yet with others deemed “marginalMuslims,” became the immediate objects o preaching and surveillance by
(Shari’ah law enorcers). Perceptual experiences in everyday lie—whether one wore the beard o Muslim orthodoxy, or the baggy jeans and
chains o Los Angeles rappers, or prayed at the tombs o Su saints—began to
redene and rame identity in terms o ethnic and regional orms o Islamic“authenticity,” morality, and neighborhood and state security.What was visible, in the orm o dress or comportment, was insepa-rable rom what was not seen, or the world o spirits, which, as Mbembe(2001) points out, strengthens the visual image and the power o the visible.
extracted scriptural verses rom the Qur’an to preach and projectvisual stereotypes o the “enemies o Islam” into popular consciousness.
who identied themselves as “Nigerian Orthodox Muslims,” anuneasy alliance o reormist Sunni and Shi’a Muslims, many o whom werereormist Su, vigilantly scrutinized Muslims living in ethnically pluralspaces, Muslim ethnic minorities, and people who, by virtue o their regiono origin, religion, or ethnicity, were deemed to be “marginal Muslims” or
polytheists, and thus, “out o place.”
nonreormist Sus (with pro-Shari’ah Sucritics o
), and non-Hausa Muslims, particularly Muslim Yoruba,to be political–spiritual saboteurs who disallowed the reenchantment oorthodoxy and its ability to unction as an Islamic collective memory, ahistory o perception that would uniy Nigeria’s Muslims, and draw themmore ully into world networks o politically active Muslims.
Prophet Mohammed’s prediction that the Islamic
split into seventy-three sects ater his death, only one o which would bringsalvation,
, “a struggle against a visible enemy, thedevil and against sel (
),” enemies o Islam, visible and unseen (Abdul1988:241).