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'To Never Shed Blood': Yacouba Sylla, Félix Houphouët-Boigny and Islamic Modernization in Côte D'Ivoire

Sean Hanretta
The Journal of African History
Vol. 49, No. 2 (2008), pp. 281-304
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40206643
Page Count: 24
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
'To Never Shed Blood': Yacouba Sylla, Félix Houphouët-Boigny and Islamic Modernization in Côte D'Ivoire
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Abstract

After an ill-fated religious revival, the Sufi teacher Yacouba Sylla and his followers became wealthy and politically influential in post-Second World War Côte d'lvoire. They argued for an understanding of democratization and development that defined both ideas in terms of their community's own mystical experiences and world-historical significance, rather than in terms of modernity. As a way of making sense of their own past and defending their place in an increasingly tense political environment, these efforts achieved their most explicit articulation in a powerful story about Yacouba Sylla's refusal of a gift from Ivoirian President Félix Houphouët-Boigny.

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