« When religion opens doors to migration
The case of Islamic Universities Students in Khartoum »
Wednesday 4th of April
The migration of Muslim African elites in the Arab-Muslim world to get formation in Islamic sciences or on the way to the Hajj is an old tradition. The religious education has also been an instrument for the Da’wa (Islamic call). Young Muslims from African countries educated in the Arab world go back home as Cheikhs and Imams. Sudan is a key place in this migration process not only because of his geographical situation but also his double status as an Arab and African country.
In 1977 al-Merkaz al-Islami al-Ifriki (Islamic African center) was created in Khartoum. The Merkaz was a secondary school that offered only Islamic courses. In 1991 the Merkaz was upgraded as university and became the International University of Africa. This update was the first step in a new trend for the Islamic education in Khartoum. The term ‘islamic’ disappeared from the name and new faculties in modern sciences were created. Nowadays the university is still in expansion. This shows the will to build a Muslim youth able to be integrated in the modern society while keeping an Islamic morality. This also correspond to the will of an African Muslim youth to be graduated in modern and technical sciences to contribute to the developpement of their country. Through a network of Muslim schools and organizations, Khartoum proposes these opportunity around the continent.
Khadidja Medani is a Master 2 student in Geography at the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. HShe is affiliated to CEDEJ Khartoum and her research was conducted within the programm « Be Sudanese, muslim and Arab » financed by the Francophone University Agency (coord. by prof. Barbara Casciarri).