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 Islam in Niger

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kosovohp



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Join date : 2010-10-01

PostSubject: Islam in Niger   Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:47 pm

Approximately 95% of Muslims in Niger are Sunni and Sufi;[29] 5% are Shi'a.[30] Islam was spread into what is now Niger beginning in the 15th century, by both the expansion of the Songhai Empire in the west, and the influence of the Trans-Saharan trade traveling from the Maghreb and Egypt. Tuareg expansion from the north, culminating in their seizure of the far eastern oases from the Kanem-Bornu Empire in the 17th centuries, spread distinctively Berber practices.

Both Zarma and Hausa areas were greatly influenced by the 18th and 19th century Fula led Sufi brotherhoods, most notably the Sokoto Caliphate (in today's Nigeria). Modern Muslim practice in Niger is often tied to the Tijaniya Sufi brotherhoods, although there are small minority groups tied to Hammallism and Nyassist Sufi orders in the west, and the Sanusiya in the far northeast[29]

A small center Wahhabite followers have appeared in the last thirty years in the capital and in Maradi.[31] These small groups, linked to similar groups in Jos, Nigeria, came to public prominence in the 1990s during a series of religious riots[32][33][34]

Despite this, Niger maintains a tradition as a secular state, protected by law.[35] Interfaith relations are deemed very good, and the forms of Islam traditionally practiced in most of the country is marked by tolerance of other faiths and lack of restrictions on personal freedom.[36] Divorce and Polygyny are unremarkable, women are not secluded, and headcoverings are not mandatory—they are often a rarity in urban areas.[37] Alcohol, such as the locally produced Bière Niger, is sold openly in most of the country.

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