PhD Public Defence of Mr. Joseph Kasule

Event Information
Event Date: 
Friday, 19 January 2018 - 3:00pm

The Director Makerere Institute of Social Research Prof. Mahmood Mamdani, cordially invites you to the PhD Public Defence of Mr. Joseph Kasule scheduled to take place on Friday 19th January, 2018 at 3:00p.m. at Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR) in Seminar Room 1.

Thesis title: Islam in the State: A Genealogy of the Muslim Minority Question in Uganda

Supervisor: Professor Mahmood Mamdani

Opponent / Discussant: Professor Abdelwahab El-Affendi (Doha Institute for Graduate Studies)



            My thesis engages narratives that seek to explain the systematic murder of Muslim clerics and important personalities since 2012 as an entry point to understanding the historical Muslim minority question in Uganda. Using a genealogical approach, I begin with the pre-colonial political community in Buganda to demonstrate the politicization of responses to Islamic expressions. Second, I discuss colonial governance of Muslims particularly how the colonial state defined the Muslim question as one of representation and laid the foundation for a politics of Muslim containment that undergirded future relationships between the state and Muslim groups possessing multiple socio-political-economic orientations. In effect the political status of Islam and Muslims in Uganda has historically been about two broad questions: who are the Muslim categories and how are they linked to dominant political power within the state? I discuss these questions in the context of two developments: the emergence of urban-based Muslim organizations juxtaposed to rural expressions of Islam, and the tension between representative claims of Muslim leaderships within the demand for Muslim autonomy. With the rise of new reform groups challenging the dominance of existing Muslim elites, Muslim leaderships became fragmented. As these splits turned violent ‘new’ Muslim ‘publics’ emerged around different centers that constituted a new form of Muslim power, which bred intra-Muslim violence that, in turn, invited state intervention. The study challenges academic scholarship that has homogenized Muslims’ political identity across multiple political authorities and demonstrates that Muslim responses to existing power have historically been varied and multiple depending on Muslim group’s conviction of the role of Islam under non-Muslim power. The consequence is that the Muslim minority question needs to be studied in relation to other emerging questions that influenced it, such as the nationality question. More especially how post-colonial governance of Islam and Muslims entwined with multiple and diverse framings of the nationality question.

Event Venue
MISR Seminar Room 1

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