America's "war on terrorism" has thrown political Islam in Africa into the international spotlight. This book examines the social and political manifestations of Islamism in North-East Africa, including the Nile Valley and the Horn. Militant Islamists were a powerful force in the region in the 1990's, seizing state power in Sudan - where they pursued far-reaching programmes for comprehensive social transformation - and threaten all other governments. They suceeded in moving the socio-political consensus onto Islamist terrain, but their more ambitious aims were unattainable. By 2000, jihad-ist Islamism was in retreat, brought down both by its own political and ideological limitations and by the wars waged by its adversaries. In the meantime, however, the regional enemies of the Islamic state themselves faced exhaustion. Since 2001, a new set of dynamics is beginning to unfold in the region, reflecting American global domination and how the US agenda is refracted through local political struggles.
Alex de Waal was born in the UK and educated at Oxford, where he obtained a DPhil in social anthropology. He is author of eight books and numerous articles, including: Famine that Kills: Darfur, Sudan, 1984-1985 (Clarendon Press, 1989), and Famine Crimes: Politics and the Disaster Relief Industry in Africa . Alex is a director of Justice Africa, a London-based organisation that supports human rights, peace and democracy in Africa. He serves as advisor to the UN Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa on issues of HIV/AIDS and governance. 1. Introduction (Alex de Waal)
1. Introduction (Alex de Waal) 2. On the failure and persistence of Jihad (A. H. Abdel Salam and Alex de Waal) 3. Islamism, jihad and state power in Sudan (Alex de Waal and A.H. Abdel Salam) 4. Islamic dynamics in the Somali civil war (Roland Marchal) 5. The promise and peril of Islamic voluntarism (M.A. Mohamed Salih) 6. The politics of destabilisation in the Horn 1989-2001 (Alex de Waal) 7. Africa, Islamism and America's 'War on Terror' after September 11