NCSR 2008 - Urban Diversity and Religious Traditions
13-15 August 2008, Åbo Akademi University

Religious change from adolescence to emerging adulthood – Does confirmation training really matter?

Papa Mao Fall Ndiaye, Université Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis

This article is a questioning about the Daaras in Senegal which are comparable to the Madrassas in Pakistan. The main characteristics of the Daaras are the unification of mentalities, behaviours and norms. It can be said that there is a quasi-limited space for thought in the Daaras. Despite the Islamic values and ideals that tend to restrict the freedom of speech in the Daaras, people trust such schools which they consider as holy schools. This said, however, the Daaras face short-term critics which somewhat tarnish their image, as in the case of the begging of the pupils commonly known as Talibes to finance the educational system that trains them. Opting for a sociological approach, this paper, while admitting the partial or total terror that exists under some circumstances in the Daaras, seeks to demonstrate how these schools are going to be, later on, places for Jihad because of both the violence existing inside and the insecurity created by the Talibes in society. From there, a couple of questions need to be asked: 1. Why do secular countries such as Senegal keep tolerating the Daaras? 2. Can the Daaras set up an ideology that may threaten the law and order?