Islam in Mauritania between political expansion and globalization: Elites, institutions, knowledge, and networks

Zekeria Ould Ahmed Salem*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

10 Scopus citations


When M. Ould Taya, the president of Mauritania, was deposed in a coup d’état on August 3, 2005, the Military Council for Justice and Democracy (Conseil militaire pour la justice et la démocratie) which acceded to power promised to reestablish a true democracy and to allow open participation in politics. The members of the Council and of the transitional government were even legally excluded (by decree) from competing in the election, planned to restart the democratic process after the resolutely authoritarian rule of the previous regime, which had been in power since 1984. Consultative meetings allowed the signing of a national pact that was warmly welcomed by nearly all Mauritanian political forces. The new authorities rapidly implemented the measures they had promised: institutional reforms, recognition of new political parties, liberation of political prisoners, a new electoral calendar, creation of an independent electoral commission, and so on. But unlike all other elements, the Islamist movement (by which I mean the totality of projects and dis-courses which propose the political reform of Muslim states or societies according to an explicitly Islamic ideology) has not benefited from the new political climate. On one hand, the new regime did not consider certain "Islamist" prisoners to have been jailed only for expressing their opinions; on the other hand, it immediately and categorically refused to recognize any party based on religion. It is true that the research for this chapter was conducted before this notable political change; but it is unlikely that the state will recognize the Islamist movement in the near future. Even so, Islamist leaders are favorably disposed to the new authorities and seem to have suspended their political activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIslam and Muslim Politics in Africa
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9780230607101
ISBN (Print)9781403979636
StatePublished - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


Dive into the research topics of 'Islam in Mauritania between political expansion and globalization: Elites, institutions, knowledge, and networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this