The Virus and the Scriptures: Muslims and AIDS in Tanzania

The Virus and the Scriptures: Muslims and AIDS in Tanzania © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2007 DOI: 10.1163/157006607X166573 Journal of Religion in Afr ica 37 (2007) 16-40 www.brill.nl/jra The Virus and the Scriptures: Muslims and AIDS in Tanzania Felicitas Becker Department of History, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada fbecker@sfu.ca Abstract This paper examines Tanzanian Muslims’ practical and discursive stances on AIDS in relation to the context in which they are produced. The AIDS problematic is interacting with lively debates, as for the last two decades Muslim reformists have been demanding revisions to ritual practice and a more restrictive application of Muslim social norms. The state-sponsored central organisation for Tanzanian Muslims is viewed with distrust not only by reformist, but also many ‘mainstream’ Mus- lims, and there is no organisation to provide an inclusive forum for debate. Official AIDS education programmes reached provincial Muslims before the epidemic had become acute, and were initially greeted with the same formulaic, passive acceptance as many other state initiatives. Since AIDS deaths have become more frequent, recommendations for prevention have become the subject of intense debate. Understanding of the epidemic draws on local religious notions as well as Muslim teachings, and invariably focuses on ways of http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Religion in Africa Brill

The Virus and the Scriptures: Muslims and AIDS in Tanzania

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Publisher
BRILL
Copyright
© 2007 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0022-4200
eISSN
1570-0666
D.O.I.
10.1163/157006607X166573
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2007 DOI: 10.1163/157006607X166573 Journal of Religion in Afr ica 37 (2007) 16-40 www.brill.nl/jra The Virus and the Scriptures: Muslims and AIDS in Tanzania Felicitas Becker Department of History, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, British Columbia, V5A 1S6, Canada fbecker@sfu.ca Abstract This paper examines Tanzanian Muslims’ practical and discursive stances on AIDS in relation to the context in which they are produced. The AIDS problematic is interacting with lively debates, as for the last two decades Muslim reformists have been demanding revisions to ritual practice and a more restrictive application of Muslim social norms. The state-sponsored central organisation for Tanzanian Muslims is viewed with distrust not only by reformist, but also many ‘mainstream’ Mus- lims, and there is no organisation to provide an inclusive forum for debate. Official AIDS education programmes reached provincial Muslims before the epidemic had become acute, and were initially greeted with the same formulaic, passive acceptance as many other state initiatives. Since AIDS deaths have become more frequent, recommendations for prevention have become the subject of intense debate. Understanding of the epidemic draws on local religious notions as well as Muslim teachings, and invariably focuses on ways of

Journal

Journal of Religion in AfricaBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2007

Keywords: RELIGION AND POLITICS; AIDS EDUCATION; TANZANIA; HEALING; MUSLIM REFORM

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