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Islam will play growing political role in West Africa

Thursday, September 9, 2021


However, although the relationship between Islam and politics in the Sahel is changing, its prospects reflect local and national environments. The growing and multidirectional pressures on clerics, imams and hereditary rulers are expressed in many ways depending on particular circumstances. In some cases, this leads Muslim leaders to engage in heated rhetoric which should not be confused for jihadist inclinations.


  • Elected politicians will increasingly rely on major religious figures or families for support.
  • Political parties with broadly secular orientations will continue to dominate electoral politics.
  • Muslim leaders who wade into electoral politics risk losing legitimacy as they become full-fledged politicians.
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