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Vol. 31 No. 6

SHAWWAAL 1438 l JUNE 2017

NO CONFLICT BETWEEN AFRICAN CULTURE AND ISLAM

Eid Nwabisa Sigaba’s Mubarak! journey to Islam UNIVERSITY of South Africa (Unisa) staff member, Nwabisa Sigaba, believes it is important for Muslims in Africa, and particularly South Africa, to start creating a discourse around the revival of critical Islamic theology, more especially in a world that is increasingly becoming Islamophobic. The postgraduate student assistant in the College of Human Sciences, shared this when she spoke to RIVONIA NAIDUHOFFMEESTER of her journey to embracing Islam.

Seven

scholars address

the topic of

Muslim

disunity

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ailing from the Eastern Cape but having spent most of her teenage years and adult life in Gauteng, Sigaba says Christianity was the only religion she was ever exposed to while growing up. She grew up in a predominantly Christian family and was a very active member of the Butterworth Christian Church. ‘I knew nothing else and also my primary school was predominantly black, with a few coloured people so I had very little contact with people of other races. Moving to Gauteng was a huge culture shock for me because it was my first experience of being in a multiracial school with predominantly white kids. ‘It was only in my late high school years, however, that I started to become conscious of the role of religion. ‘Today I can proudly say that I have been Muslim for ten years.’ The wife and mother of two,

Nwabisa Sigaba, a postgraduate student assistant in the College of Human Sciences, Unisa, shares with us the narrative of her journey to Islam, explaining the challenges she has had to face, and the importance of Muslims creating discourse in Africa on Islam. Photo GIVEN MALULEKA

who has her honours degree in international politics, says there needs to an epistemic shift in how Islam is being taught to people, and it needs to speak directly to the problems that humanity is facing. Currently, she adds, people still see Islam as an abstract religion that does not offer real solutions to the problems faced by humanity. ‘I also believe that black consciousness is not only an ideology

that is useful for black solidarity in South Africa but is a philosophy and ideology that has the potential to unite all the oppressed people of the world, and the Islamic world needs to undergo a paradigm shift, or more accurately put, a decolonial one, where Islam enters into conversations with other theologies of liberation in order to solve the problems of the African world and the entire global south is facing.’ See page 11 for the full Q&A.

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Muslim Views, June 2017  

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