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By G. Martin

Focusing on person political thinkers and starting with indigenous African political notion, the publication successively examines African nationalism, African socialism, populism and Marxism, Africanism and pan-Africanism, concluding with modern views on democracy, improvement and the African state.

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This leads Dramani-Issifou to the (somewhat exaggerated and possibly flawed) conclusion that “at all these levels underlying their respective and hardly compatible forms of organization, the differences between Arab-Muslim societies and African societies, whether they were Muslim or otherwise, remained un-reconciled between the twelfth and the seventeenth centuries. 29 In the Western Sudan (as in Takrur and Mali from the tenth century), Dar al-Islam coexisted with Dar al-Kafr (the land of the nonbelievers, or infidels).

6 Islam proclaims the equality of men and women. ” In law, Muslim women have enjoyed a legal status far superior to that enjoyed by women in other religious systems but equal to that enjoyed by women in indigenous African societies (such as Ancient Egypt and Kush). As was the rule in those societies, Muslim women have always had the right to initiate legal proceedings without referring to their husbands and administer their property independently of them. 8 24 African Political Thought By 715, the Arab state (the Caliphate) comprised a vast territory that became the core of the Islamic world.

Both believe in the existence of an “invisible world”—peopled by various types of genies—which duplicates the real world. This dual conception of the world is common to both religions. 27 Th e I n f lu e n c e o f I s l a m i c Va lu e s a n d I d e a s 31 The Arab Muslim conception of nuclear family and urban wealth conflicted with the indigenous African conception of community of land, work, and harvests, however. While among the Arab people, Islamic law was based on the patrilineal family, indigenous African societies were essential matrilineal: descent was traced through the female ancestors, and the mother/ woman played an essential role in the transmission of property.

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