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The Cape Muslims and the Indian Muslims of South Africa: A Comparative Analysis

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... In terms of geography, Indian Muslims mostly live in concentrated areas in the Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces, most Coloured Muslims live in the Western Cape, while African Muslims tend to live dispersed in townships across the country. Although the two largest groups of Muslims have in the past been viewed as distinctly different and intermarriage was rare and problematic [58] these differences are disappearing amongst younger generations [39] as illustrated by the mixed couples who participated in our study. Younger generations have been found to adopt a bicultural identity in which, for example, young Muslim women display a blend between Western culture and Islamic dress to varying degrees, and choose to interact with people from other South African groups [1]. ...
... We specifically elected to recruit couples with young children due to research suggesting that couples display more distinct gender roles after parenthood [23,58]. Thus, each couple had at least one child under the age of 5, (ranging from 3 months to 8 years). ...
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This study, situated within a social constructionist theoretical framework, explored how a group of South African, middle-class, Indian and Malay Muslim, married couples constructed gender in their relationships. Most of the studies that have been conducted on gender in Muslim marriages focus exclusively on women’s issues and included only female participants. Similarly, the few gender studies available on South African Muslims highlight the experiences or rights of women and relied on female participants. None of these studies incorporated dyadic, or couple data. We adopted a feminist social constructionist framework to explore how eight South African Muslim couples between the ages of 23 and 36 co-constructed and negotiated gender in the daily practices of their relationship. We conducted 12 (totalling nearly 24 h) joint interviews and used a thematic analysis method to analyse the data. We found that the couples constructed men and women as essentially different and complementary, and that they strongly proclaimed their relationships as equitable. Participants’ felt sense of equality seemed to be grounded in perceptions of their gendered roles as chosen, negotiable, and appreciated rather than enforced, compulsory and taken for granted. We conclude that participants’ gender ideas and practices enabled them to feel, claim and/or negotiate agentic positions in their relationships with their partners, but some of their ideas and practices may limit agency and scope of experiences.
... According to Moosa (1995), recent studies indicate that its arrival from the north may have occurred as early as the 15th or 16th century by which time Muslim Arab traders had reached Mozambique. The arrivals during the Dutch occupation in the 17th century comprised political prisoners, slaves, servants, refugees, non-political prisoners, voluntary migrants and political exiles [Mandivenga, (2000), p.347]. According to Davids (1980, p.32), 50% of the slaves were from India, 30% from Africa and Madagascar, 15% from Indonesia and the remainder hailed from countries like present-day Sri Lanka and Japan and regions like Southeast Asia. ...
... They mainly came from Gujarat, Maharashtra or Uttar Pradesh and settled in different parts of Natal, Transvaal and the Cape. Islam flourished among this group most; thus they formed the core of the nascent Muslim community [Mandivenga, (2000), p.349]. ...
... Black Africans and White racial groups make up a very tiny minority of Muslims [29]. The database of the target population was obtained from the Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa (MJC-SA). ...
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Background: In societies where the value of filial piety is observed, a preference for caregiving to take place at home exists. In fact, institutional and paid home care for people with dementia (PWD) are still taboo in some Muslim societies. However, economic development and globalisation have resulted in intergenerational separation, thus impacting the ability by young adults to provide care for the elderly at home. Objective: We establish the demographic characteristics most likely to be associated with the use of paid home care - age, gender, education level, marital status, family structure, experience with dementia care in the family, and number of dependents - for PWD among South African Muslims. Methods: A survey, administered in the form of an online questionnaire, of Muslim families across each of the 9 provinces of South Africa was conducted. Multiple logistic regression was used to test the effects of the demographic variables on the type of care choice arrangement (family as primary caregiver vs. paid home caregiving). Results: 422 responses were analysed, 28% of which indicated the respondents' desire to use paid home caregivers. The multiple logistic regression results indicate that South African Muslim families are more likely to use paid home care if they are older (that is, over 40 years; OR = 1.972, 95% CI: 1.445-2.695), are female (OR = 1.637, 95% CI: 1.089-2.457), and have high levels of education (OR = 1.828, 95% CI: 1.070-3.125). Conclusion: Home-based care is touted as the next dementia care model. Given that intergenerational mobility is likely to increase as future generations continue to participate more in the labour market, minority groups with a disposition to the same familial social values will require appropriate support in order to cope with the demands of caring for PWD. Suitable interventions for Muslim families who are not open to using external assistance, as well as those who are, need to be administered to enable the caregiver and care recipient to thrive at home.
... The largest group of practising Muslims in the country is made up of descendants of Malays (commonly referred to as Cape Malays or Coloureds), with Indians making up the second largest racial group. Black Africans and Whites make up a very tiny minority of Muslims [25]. The database of the target population was obtained from the Muslim Judicial Council of South Africa (MJC-SA). ...
Article
Background: The feelings and beliefs of some social groups sharing the same values about formal care institutions impacts their likelihood of using such services. Socialisation theory posits that there should not be any difference in attitudes towards formal care in the Muslim community, as they are influenced by the principles of Confucianism. However, demographic, epistemological, and socio-economic trends, as well as globalisation, may be impacting the efficacy of caring for people with dementia (PWD) at home. Objective: This study examines the affective and cognitive attitudes of South African Muslims towards formal care, and whether they vary according to family structure and experience with informal dementia care. Methods: We conducted a survey, administered in the form of an online questionnaire, of Muslim families across each of the 9 provinces of South Africa. The topics addressed included the demographics of the respondents, whether they had experience with informal dementia care, the structure of their family, and affective and cognitive attitudinal variables. Results: 422 responses were analysed, with the results demonstrating negative attitudes across family structures and experience with informal dementia care. This indicates that the changes brought about by economic development and globalisation are not impacting the social influence of the Islam religion towards caregiving. Conclusion: With up to 90% of PWD moving into formal care before they die in some countries, governments and other service providers of formal care need to provide culturally congruent care. There is also a need to build relationships with minority social groups that are not cared for by geriatric service organisations (governmental and non-governmental) in order to break down the negative attitudes that families have about formal care, and provide the families caring for PWD at home with coping strategies and support programmes to enhance the caregiving experience.
... 16 In the Cape Colony, too, a reorientation on the Middle East took place, but it came at a later date, and was not directly connected with the reform movement described by Laffan (2008). Mandivenga (2000) situates the beginning of the Islamic revival at the Cape around 1850. He connects this with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which made it easier to perform the ḥajj (2000: 348). ...
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Through the second half of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century the Muslim community of Cape Town produced a large number of texts in various fields of Islamic learning, written in Afrikaans, a creolized variety of the language the Dutch traders had brought to South Africa. The Cape Muslim community had its origin in South Asia and Southeast Asia; most of its founding members had been transported by force by the Dutch colonial authorities. Malay was the language in which they had been educated, and for some time it remained in use as the written language. For oral instruction, the Cape Muslim community soon shifted to Afrikaans. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman scholar Abu Bakr Effendi introduced the use of Afrikaans in Arabic script, replacing Malay as written language. In this paper I deal with the shift from Malay to Afrikaans and the relationship between Malay heritage and Ottoman reform in the Cape community. © 2015
... 16 In the Cape Colony, too, a reorientation on the Middle East took place, but it came at a later date, and was not directly connected with the reform movement described by Laffan (2008). Mandivenga (2000) situates the beginning of the Islamic revival at the Cape around 1850. He connects this with the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which made it easier to perform the ḥajj (2000: 348). ...
Article
Full-text available
Through the second half of the nineteenth and the first half of the twentieth century the Muslim community of Cape Town produced a large number of texts in various fields of Islamic learning, written in Afrikaans, a creolized variety of the language the Dutch traders had brought to South Africa. The Cape Muslim community had its origin in South Asia and Southeast Asia; most of its founding members had been transported by force by the Dutch colonial authorities. Malay was the language in which they had been educated, and for some time it remained in use as the written language. For oral instruction, the Cape Muslim community soon shifted to Afrikaans. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman scholar Abu Bakr Effendi introduced the use of Afrikaans in Arabic script, replacing Malay as written language. In this paper I deal with the shift from Malay to Afrikaans and the relationship between Malay heritage and Ottoman reform in the Cape community.
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17. yüzyıldan itibaren Hollandalılar tarafından köleleştirilerek Güney Afrika’ya yerleştirilen Malaylar, Müslüman olmalarına rağmen dini kısıtlamalarından dolayı İslamiyet esaslarını tam olarak öğrenememiş; bununla birlikte bölgedeki din adamlarının yanlış dini ritüelleri sebebiyle bazı uygulama hataları yapılmıştır. Bölgeden hacca giden bazı kimselerin döndüklerinde bu hataları düzeltmek istemeleri ise birtakım tartışmalara sebep olmuştur. Bunun üzerine dönemin hilafet makamı olan Osmanlı Devleti’nden yardım istenmiştir. Osmanlı Devleti talebi kabul etmiş ve din alimi olan Ebu Bekir Efendi’yi bölgeye göndermiştir. Böylece ilk karşılıklı etkileşim ve iletişim başlamıştır. Ebu Bekir Efendi’nin burada bulunduğu sırada önceki yıllarda Port Elizabeth’de inşasına başlanan ancak bitirilemeyen cami, Sultan Abdülaziz Han Döneminde Osmanlı Devleti’ne başvurularak yardım talep edilmesi üzerine, bitirilmiş ve bu vesileyle Aziziye adını alan caminin gölgesinde uzun yıllar devam edecek bir dostluk ve kardeşlik bağı bina edilmiştir. 1900 yılında Aziziye Camisi’nin satılarak yıkılması gündeme gelince bölgede yaşayan Müslümanların yardım istedikleri makam yine Osmanlı Devleti olmuştur. Osmanlı Devleti bu satışı önleyememiş olsa da Güney Afrika Müslümanlarının devlete ve hilafet makamına olan gönül bağı devam etmiştir. Güney Afrika’daki Müslümanlar Osmanlı Devleti’nin kendilerini kucaklayıcı tavrını ve yardımlarını hiçbir zaman unutmamış, emperyalist devletlere karşı Trablusgarp Savaşı’ndan Millî Mücadele’nin kazanılmasına kadar devam eden mücadele yıllarında Türk milletinin yanında yer almışlardır. Bu çalışmada Güney Afrika’da özelinde bölge Müslümanları ile Osmanlı Devleti arasındaki ilişkiler incelenmiş ve Aziziye Camisi’nin bu ilişkinin inşa sürecindeki yeri konu edinilmiştir. Bu bağlamda caminin inşa süreci ve akıbetine değinilerek Aziziye Camisi’nin sanat tarihi disiplini açısından değerlendirilmesi amaçlanmıştır.
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This study examined kinship care arrangements of older persons in a South African Muslim community. The aim was to understand kinship care in this community in the context of culturally sensitive welfare services delivery. Using a Grounded Theory approach, older persons and their caregivers living in intergenerational households were interviewed about their living and care arrangements. A societal context of family life in circumstances of a socio-historical legacy of colonialism and apartheid formed the backdrop of the research. Religion and the country’s poor socio-economic conditions emerged as important drivers of kinship care. Family preservation and survival, constructed through maintaining intergenerational living, reciprocity and mutual support, and the authoritative status of the older persons in the home, characterised this environment. Kinship care was a means of fulfilling a religious duty and living in accordance with an Islamic life. However, these arrangements occurred both in support and at the expense of the older persons. Kinship care arrangements are replicated globally in both Muslim majority countries and where Muslims live as minorities in secular societies; they are not static and are influenced by societal conditions that can impact on the lives of older persons. These findings thus have relevance for Muslim communities generally.
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In Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, and Indonesia, being Malay usually means being a practitioner of Islam and a speaker of standard Bahasa. However, such understandings no longer comprehend other members of the so-called brown-skinned race who were once united with the Malay aggrupation: numerous Filipinos (and East Timorese), who inhabit the same broad geopolitical region. Challenging the recent narrowly defined conceptions of who is, or was Malay, this study recalls an inclusive borderless understanding acquired in antiquity by the Filipino nation, whose peoples were considered by Spanish and American colonisers and educated by their government to consider themselves as part of a pre-modern “Malay” world. Geohistorical evidence shows how such auto-consciousness evolved and preceded the entry of the term into the nearby British colonisers’ lexicon, before its social-reconstruction for the perpetuation of post-colonial polities as well. The author interweaves his textual survey with the problematisation of the location of ethnicity, and points out the seemingly neglected corpus of Iberian works that demonstrate how the knowledge of Malayness could only have been approached by Europeans from a geographic periphery, of which the Philippine archipelago was very much a part, especially the Mindanao area. The author builds on and constructively critiques work by one scholar who had initiated the claims of the Filipino to Malayness. It is shown how sociocultural and geopolitical priorities can help or hinder the relaxation of definitions of who is Malay and where Malays are properly situated, if only because these counter perceptual rigidities, and allow the creation of hybrid third spaces that admit new possibilities of coexistence.
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The Muslim community in South Africa is heterogeneous in nature with diverse historical backgrounds and social composition although they subscribe to a common article of faith. Since their entry into the country, first as slaves and followed by indenture, they have experienced similar socio-political discrimination and exploitation no different to the majority of the indigenous population in the country. Given the heterogeneous composition of Muslims in the country, their response to the political atrocities perpetrated both by colonialism and apartheid took different forms in order to sustain its religious hegemony for more than three and a half centuries. This paper examines the response of the Muslim clergy within a community characterized by a set of complex socio-historical factors that has shaped its present day status within a liberated South Africa. The paper provides insight into how the diversity within the Muslim clergy impacted on a fragmented community response to both colonialism and apartheid. The Muslim clergy in South Africa and elsewhere in the world is known to exercise enormous hegemony amongst its followers although priesthood within the teaching and practice of Islam is not a norm. Nonetheless, the paper illustrates some of the social, religious and political dynamics within the Muslim cleric that resulted in a fragmented and diverse response to the colonial and apartheid regimes in order to win favor for its self-preservation as a religious grouping. A more progressive effort however becomes apparent in the latter days of apartheid through the formation of secular forms of social organizations within the community that identified with local and mass based struggle characterized by a diverse set of political actors in a quest for freedom. The Muslim community can claim to have nurtured distinguished political champions throughout its history. So did collaborationist political actors emerge within the community attracted by self-interest and narrow group motives. This tapestry of political responses may be attributed to the diverse sociological composition and history of the community resulting in low levels of social cohesion and polarization that is carried over into the post-apartheid era. Central to this has been the role of the diverse clergy which shaped and styled the communities political landscape that benefitted some and excluded others over centuries of political challenges and compromises.
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In a rapidly transforming world, cultural assimilation and the hybridity of clients and therapists are increasingly acknowledged. Juxtaposed against universalist and relativist discourses in Cultural Psychiatry, the elucidation of perceived “difference” from cultural norms, constructed as being observed in the lives of either the client, or therapist, or both, requires critical reflection on how such norms are derived and by whom. This cultural case study describes a clinical encounter between a Muslim South African woman, and a South African man of Afrikaner descent. A shared experience of marginalization led to surprising similarities and common ground against obvious cultural differences, which have contributed to the strengthening of the therapeutic relationship and consolidation of trust. Beside the more parsimonious focus on “shared marginalization” as a potential bridge to move towards transcending overt cultural differences, the case study’s emphasis on a shared humanity within the interwoven texture of perceived difference go beyond dichotomous discourses that sharply dissect “sameness” from “otherness”. This may well have relevance to any clinical encounter in which identity is dynamically presented and re-presented in complex ways.
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This article focuses on South African playwright Nadia Davids' play At Her Feet ( 2002). It examines issues of the self-positioning of Muslim women within contexts of faith, feminisms, multiple marginalities, and global politics. The context of the original production is crucial, insofar as both time and place are at once liberatory and conscriptive for a South African 'coloured' Muslim woman. The play is set in Cape Town during the second 'post-apartheid' decade, where South Africans continue to work through the still-determinative effects of legalized racism and economic, cultural and social inequities; while at the same time exploring the potential for increased economic opportunity and greater self-determination, even for those who are part of more traditionally closed societies. Ironically, at the same time that this local sense of possibility is taking hold, the global political crisis of terrorism, expressed in the most Manichean terms of civilizations in clash, installs a different discourse of unbreachable difference. Thus, shortly after South Africa has completed the first stage of a national conversation about forgiveness, equity, unity and ubuntu, global events intercede to reassert the existence of profound, seemingly irreparable disjuncture, particularly with President George Bush's challenge that 'you are either with us or against us'. The article looks at how Davids explores issues that may seem particular to South African Muslim women in a wider, more global context. She signals this by opening the play with an honour killing that takes place in Jordan, and thus points to her examination of the competing conceptions of Muslim women's identity marked both by patriarchal religious fundamentalism and by western anti-Islamicism. However, throughout there is a specific engagement with what constitutes a South African woman's identity, re-configuring itself within a changed national conversation about race, gender and religion.
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The famous Afrikaans poet C. Louis Leipoldt (1880-1947) has long been misread as a nationalist writer. During the first half of the 20th century Leipoldt's poetry seemed to be in sympathy with Afrikaner nationalism, and since his death he has mostly been remembered for this element of his work. Recent scholarship reveals a different Leipoldt, one fiercely anti-nationalist in his unpublished English fiction and more openly aggressive in his non-fiction prose. Leipoldt regularly wrote about food and culinary traditions in South Africa and used his knowledge of local cuisine to argue against notions of “authentic Afrikaner dishes”, instead insisting that the earliest authorities behind original South African dishes camefrom the “Cape Malay” population of theWestern Cape. This article aims to explore Leipoldt's cosmopolitan argument against political, sectional possessiveness in the cultural development of South Africa between the mid-19th and early-20th centuries, with a sustained focus on the importance of food as a cultural marker.
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HIV/AIDS is not merely a disease, but an illness that is shaped by social, cultural, economic, and political circumstances. A variety of approaches to prevention and treatment have been implemented throughout the world, but in many cases have failed to stop the spread of the epidemic. In Africa, religious organizations play a significant role in providing health care infrastructure as well as material and human resources. Positive Muslims is an example of a religious organization that is grounded in a clear theological framework. In contrast to Muslim responses to HIV/AIDS in South Africa and other parts of the Muslim world, Positive Muslims emphasizes compassion and non-judgment in both discourse and practice. This theology of compassion has been strongly influenced by liberation theology developed during the anti-apartheid movement. Although aspects of religion are highly variable, and may also contribute to stigmatization of those living with HIV/AIDS, religious organizations may be ideally situated to intervene against stigma. A framework that deals with these theological challenges is therefore essential to effective compassionate religious responses. This thesis is an investigation of one particular organization, Positive Muslims, as an example of such a response.
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