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Being Young and MuslimNew Cultural Politics in the Global South and North$
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Asef Bayat and Linda Herrera

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369212

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369212.001.0001

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“Rasta” Sufis and Muslim Youth Culture in Mali

“Rasta” Sufis and Muslim Youth Culture in Mali

(p.241) 15 “Rasta” Sufis and Muslim Youth Culture in Mali
Being Young and Muslim

Benjamin F. Soares

Oxford University Press

This chapter is concerned with understanding changing modalities of religious expression and modes of belonging among the Muslim youth culture in contemporary Mali. Much recent scholarship about Muslim youth has privileged Islamism, trajectories of political radicalization, as well as ethical modes of self-fashioning associated with so-called piety movements in the Muslim world, particularly in the Arab Middle East and among Muslims living in Europe and North America. Although in many cases such approaches might be perfectly legitimate, the case of young self-styled Sufis—often dubbed Rasta Sufis—in urban Mali helps to illustrate other, rather unconventional ways certain youth have been refashioning how to be young and Muslim. By focusing on so-called Rasta Sufis and their activities in Mali, the cultural politics of youth who are often marginalized in relation to an older generation in the interconnected realms of politics, economics, and religion are explored.

Keywords:   Mali, Islamism, Sufism, youth culture, Rasta, urban culture, style, marginalization

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