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Muslims in Greater Cape Town: A Problem of Identity

Yusuf da Costa
The British Journal of Sociology
Vol. 45, No. 2 (Jun., 1994), pp. 235-246
DOI: 10.2307/591494
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/591494
Page Count: 12
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Muslims in Greater Cape Town: A Problem of Identity
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Abstract

The Muslims in Greater Cape Town are mainly the descendants of two waves of migration to the southern part of South Africa; one wave came as part of the British and Dutch colonial slave trade between 1652 and 1807, and the other as voluntary immigration mainly from India at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. This paper considers the problem of identity amongst these Muslims in the light of the very peculiar socio-political circumstances prevalent in the country. The study suggests that although the religious identity of these Muslims appears to be the most overriding form of identity, this does not necessarily exclude other forms of group or national-origin identity, and that the lack of any significant expression of national identity within the group could be partly attributed to the socio-political conditions in the country.

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