Migration and Muslim identities: Malawians and Senegalese Muslims in Durban South Africa

Vawda, Shahid
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This paper is about foreign African Muslims, particularly Malawian and Senegalese Muslim migrants in Durban, South Africa. Modern 21st century migration processes are a global phenomenon deeply embedded in a complex interaction of social, economic and political patterns and processes, often leading to concentrations and enclaves people in large urban centers, such as Durban, along lines of religious, ethnic or national origins. Durban itself is also a major urban area in Southern Africa with a significant Muslim population and a centre of Islamic influence reaching out across the sub-continent, and may serve as a point of attraction for African Muslim migrants. Religious identity is an important factor that is imbricated in Malawian and Senegalese Muslims attempts to search for new solutions to their problems of adaptation, integration and assimilation into a new place. A key issue addressed in this paper is whether their identities, particularly religious, ethnic and national identities, rather than the normative values, provide a set of resources to accommodate themselves and pursue their aims of being gainfully employed as entrepreneurs and workers in a different country. De Certeau's conceptual distinction between strategy and tactics is used as a framework to evaluate the way in which Malawian and Senegalese migrants use religion and associated values towards making a life for themselves in Durban.
Muslims - South Africa, Immigrants - South Africa, Senagalese - South Africa - Social Conditions, Malawians - South Africa - Social Conditions, Xenophobia - South Africa, Group identity