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Islam, Youth Religiosities and Sermon Practices in Niamey, Niger  

Abdoulaye Sounaye

This project examines how young Muslims (Sunnance) appropriate the Islamic sermon in Niamey, Niger, while they seek to popularize the tradition of the prophet Muhammad (Sunna). Claiming to serve Islam (adina goyo), they have created social spaces and communal practices that are gradually redefining Muslim subjectivities and socibilities in urban context. The project will highlight how the Islamic sermon (wazu) and the Sunna are understood and gets into the lives of young Sunnance. As it seeks to understand how young Muslims translate and live the experience of putting Islam to work, this project will contribute to the social theory of Islamic reform discourses and practices, particularly how their popularization affects their overall agenda. It will also help us grasp some of the processes through which youth have become socioreligious shifters while authorizing themselves to speak for Islam. It will achieve this goal by focusing on the trajectories of individual preachers, their mediation cultures (CD/DVD sermons, Islamic discotheque and Islamic studio), and the ritualization of the act of going to wazu.