RELIGION Religious Beliefs.

Religious freedom is a virtue that has contributed to Tanzania's long, relatively peaceful history since the nation's independence. All religious holidays receive equal public recognition. Many world religions played a part in the nation's history.

Islam began to be practiced as early as the twelfth century when Arab traders set up posts along the coast and on Zanzibar and Pemba Islands. The influence of Islam and Arab culture is strongly reflected in the Swahili language. Arab traders brought their religion to some interior settlements, but their proselytizing did not match the impact of the Christian missionaries during the German and British colonial periods in the first half of the twentieth century. Long before the influence of Islam or Christianity, indigenous belief systems shaped the cosmology of each ethnic group. The influence of these beliefs is still very strong; they are often practiced alone or alongside of the major religions.

Virtually 100 percent of the people in Zanzibar are Muslim; on the mainland, about 40 percent are Christian, 35 percent are Muslim, and 20 percent follow indigenous religions. Among Asian minorities, the Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist faiths are practiced. Christian sects include Catholics, Lutherans, Anglicans, Baptists, Presbyterians, and Orthodox. Both Christian and Islamic religions provide access to educational opportunities and often to some of the best medical care. Wealthy Muslims make their pilgrimage to Mecca, but this is a minority of the overall Muslim population.

Religious holidays include Christmas (25 December); and Good Friday, Easter Monday, Idd-ul-Fitr, Islamic New Year, and the Prophet's Birthday (all of which fall on different dates every year). Idd-ul-Fitr is a Muslim festival and public holiday that is celebrated on the sighting of the new moon at the end of the calendar year. The exact date varies according to the new moon's position.

The Tanzania Catholic Church

Introduction

The United Republic of Tanzania is a union of Tanganyika and the Islands of Zanzibar. Tanganyika and Zanzibar got their independence from the British in 1961 and 1963 respectively. They united in 1964 to form Tanzania. Tanzania with an area of 945,090 Sq. Km. has more than 130 tribes with different languages. There is a national language, Swahili, spoken by almost all the Tanzanians.

Till 1885, Tanzania mainland (Tanganyika) was ruled by the tribal chiefs. The Sultan of Zanzibar controlled all external trade and had representatives in all trade centers. Unfortunately, besides ivory, much of the trade was in slaves. It is this cruel trade exposed by explorers like David Livingstone and Henry Stanley, that accelerated the missionary endeavor. From 1885 till the First World War, Tanzania mainland was a German Colony. After the German failure in the war, Tanganyika came under the British as a United Nations trusteeship.

History of Evangelization:The first Catholic evangelisation was by the Portuguese Augustinian missionaries who arrived with Vasco Da Gama in 1499 at Zanzibar. They did not last long due to Arab Moslem opposition. Their mission ended in 1698 due to the Oman-Arab conquest.

The second and successful evangelisation in the 19th century pioneered by three religious congregations, the Holy Ghost Fathers, the White Fathers and the Benedictine Monks.

The Holy Ghost Fathers, under the leadership of Fr. Antoine Horner, were the first to arrive in Zanzibar in 1863 and crossed to Tanzania mainland, Bagamoyo in 1868 where they opened freed slaves' villages. In these villages they received and taught slaves freed by the British marines from the Arab slave traders. With the help of catechists trained in these villages, the missionaries evangelized northwards till the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. The ex-slaves were the first catechists.

The missionaries of Africa (White Fathers) led by, Fr. Livinhac, arrived in 1878 in two groups. One group started on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and the other on those of Lake Victoria. This mission to the great lakes evangelized all the West of Tanzania together with the neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and East Zaire.

The Benedictine missionary Monks of St. Ottilien landed in Dar es Salaam in 1887. From there they evangelized southward to Ruvuma River on the boarder with Mozambique. Their two monasteries of Ndanda and Peramiho became centers of development and modern civilization in the South of Tanzania.

(See a map of early evangelisation)

After the First World War more missionary congregations and Societies came in to help. The congregations that arrived at this time were: the Capuchins, Consolata, Passionists and the Pallotines. More missionaries came after the Second Word War namely: the Maryknolls, Rosminians and the Salvatorians. Propaganda Fide gave to each of these missionary groups a Diocese or two to evangelize.

Indigenisation: Catechists: The first indigenous evangelizers were the catechists. The catechists had the advantage of knowing the language and customs of the people. They also became examples to their compatriots. The Catechists took over responsibility when the missionaries were expelled during and after the First World War. Famous among them are Adrien Atman, an ideal catechist in Ufipa by Lake Tanganyika, Yohana Mahogora and Ibrahim Kazigu in Bukoba west of Lake Victoria. At present there are 11,221 Catechists in Tanzania. Unlike the early catechists the prestige of the catechists today has fallen partly due to poor education.

Clergy: To form a local clergy was a priority for the missionaries of Africa (White Fathers). They opened the first seminary in 1904 at Rubya - Bukoba. Their efforts were well rewarded. The first four Tanzanian African priests were ordained in 1917, in Bukoba and Mwanza in North-West of Tanzania. Bukoba got the first Tanzanian indigenous Bishop in 1952, Laurean Rugambwa, who in 1960 was elected by Pope John XIII as the first African Cardinal. The other followed. The last missionary Bishop in Tanzania, Arusha, resigned in 1989. In 1994 Tanzania has 29 Dioceses all of them led by African Bishops. The training of priests normally starts in one of the 23 minor seminaries. The four northern metropolitan provinces have a common board of directors that runs two philosophical seminaries at Kibosho and Ntungamo and two theological seminaries at Kipalapala and Segerea. In these seminaries the students from the different dioceses study together, thus building up a national spirit. The metropolitan province of Songea has one major seminary for both philosophy and theology. At present there are 1,264 Diocesan (African) Priests.

Religious Men: Before the Second Vatican Council, many dioceses had founded diocesan lay religious congregations for men. After the Second Vatican Council, these diocesan congregations were suppressed and the members had to join the international congregations. This was a pity as with that the local charisms were lost. At present all efforts to revive these congregations have failed. The missionary congregations are increasing. Most of them are successfully recruiting local vocations. There are now 34 religious congregations working in Tanzania. Of the 642 Religious, 108 are Indigenous.

Religious Women: The religious women are much more numerous. There are 18 recognized diocesan women religious congregations with a total membership of 6,533 religious. These diocesan congregations are growing very fast. At present they are trying hard to raise the low academic standards of their members. The International missionary congregations are successfully recruiting Tanzanians. At present of the 1577 Women Religious of International missionary congregations working in Tanzania, 905 are Tanzanians. A number of Tanzania women religious are working outside the country as missionaries. The diocesan congregations have houses in Kenya, Zambia and Burundi. Those in Missionary congregations have joined teams in Libya, Sudan and in Europe.

Pastoral Work: Tanzania has a population of about 30,360,000 inhabitants, among whom 8,500,800 or 28.% are Catholics. The Second Vatican Council brought a new life to the Tanzania Church. Liturgical books were translated into Swahili and Mass hymns in Swahili were composed. Drums and other traditional musical instruments were introduced in the liturgy. This increased the people's active participation in the liturgy. Lay people became more involved in the church activities. For effective pastoral work, the church introduced a system of Small Christian Communities. The Catholic families are divided into small Christian Communities of 12 to 20 families each. These communities become the basic churches with leaders, liturgical services and a shared social life. Where these have succeeded the church is healthy and alive with a strong lay participation in the church leadership. Nyerere's (the first president of Tanzania) political ideology of Ujamaa (African Socialism) which was organized on similar lines facilitated the introduction of these basic communities. Now though Ujamaa ideology is declining, the Small Christian Communities are still strong. In 1975 the then seven AMECEA countries (Ethiopia Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Sudan, Zambia and Tanzania) adopted the Small Christian Communities as their common pastoral strategy. The 1992 AMECEA Plenary Assembly reaffirmed that: "The Small Christian Communities are not optional in our churches; they are central to the life of faith and the ministry of evangelization."

From these Small Christian Communities, leaders are chosen to represent the faithful in the Sub-Parish, Parish, Diocesan and finally in the National Lay Council. These councils at sub-parish and parish level control most of the church activities. They have been instrumental in raising the self sufficiency of the local churches financially. Together with the clergy, they prepare the church programs and the budget, including the maintenance of the clergy and the catechists and engage themselves in raising the funds.

Coordinated by the Lay Council at all levels are the lay organizations and movements. There are many traditional pious organizations as the Legionaries of Mary, Tertiaries of different orders and prayer groups under the patronage of different saints. The major lay movements are the "Catholic Women Organization (WAWATA); the Christian Professionals of Tanzania (CPT); the Young Christian Workers of Tanzania (VIWAWA) and the Tanzania Young Catholic Students (TYCS). These four movements are well organized from the grassroots to the national level. WAWATA coordinates all the Catholic women in the country both spiritually and socially. They defend the rights of women at all fora and try to raise the dignity of women through education and development. CPT includes most of the Catholic elite in different professions.

The Structures: The Tanzania Church with 8,500,800 is divided in 29 dioceses. The dioceses are grouped in four Metropolitan provinces, namely, Dar es Salaam, Tabora, Mwanza and Songea. The most Catholic dioceses are Mbinga 85%, Sumbawanga 70%, Bukoba 67%, Mahenge 61% and Moshi 57%. (see map of dioceses)

The Catholic Secretariat coordinates the pastoral and charitable activities of the different dioceses. Under the General Secretary, the Secretariat has nine Departments: the Pastoral, Catechetics, Lay Apostolate, Education, Medical, Caritas (for Emergency and Development), Liturgy, Social Communications and Finance. Each Department has counterpart offices in each Diocese. Once a year each department meets with its diocesan directors to make plans for the year. Implementation starts once the plans are accepted by the Plenary Assembly of Bishops.

(See the Catholic Secretariat)

Ecumenical Contacts: The early history of evangelization is dominated by denominational competition between the different Christian denominations. This competition was sometimes so strong that the colonial government had to divide exclusive areas for the different denominations to avoid possible violence. Positively competition brought challenge to the different denominations to increase their efforts including the building of schools and hospitals. After independence the traditional Christian denominations came closer together in common efforts particularly in development and social services. From 1975, the Tanzania Episcopal Conference established official contacts with the Christian council of Tanzania. Once a year or when necessary the leaders of the two assemblies (called: Baraza la Wazee, i.e. , the Council of Elders) meet to discuss issues of common interest. In the last two years this Council of Elders thrice met the President of Tanzania to press issues of common interest. The assemblies through the Tanzania United Bible Society have made common Bible translations into Swahili and other vernaculars like Kimaasai, Kihaya, Kichagga, Kisukuma and others. They prepare and conduct common prayers for the Unity Octave. A common secondary school religious syllabus is being prepared for the general-biblical instructions. Greater cooperation is in social services. (Cf. Social Services) This cooperation is both on national and diocesan level.

Islam: Tanzania is one of the few countries in Africa where there both Christians 44% and Moslems 34% are almost equally strong. The Arabs introduced Islam in East Africa in the 13th century. Islam established itself on the islands, on the coast and along the trade routes. The first encounter of Christianity with Islam, on the east African coast in the 15th century, was hostile. For the Portuguese it was a crusade and for the Moslem Arabs a Jihad. The second encounter in the 19th century was also hostile for a different reason. The missionaries had joined forces with the European powers to fight slave trade that was carried out by the Arabs. In the early colonial period, the Moslems being the only literate people in the country were used everywhere as sub-officers. This helped to spread Islam. Since the Christian missionaries insisted very much on education soon the Christians surpassed the Moslems in civil service.

In the fight for independence, the Moslems were more active than the Christians. For that reason their post independence representation in the government was greater than their academic capacity. The relationship between the Moslems and Christians remained good. Both Christians and Moslems were often found in the same family. Though Christian schools were open to Moslem pupils, to assure the Moslems all private schools were nationalized in 1970. The Moslems are organized under BAKWATA as a counterpart of TEC and CCT for the Christians. The government assisted in the formation of BAKWATA to ensure that the moslems have an organ to address to when dealing with Moslem issues. In the 1980s, Tanzania was invaded by Moslem fundamentalism. These was propagated by young people trained outside the country. They did not recognize BAKWATA. They preach publicly against the bible, Christian beliefs and call upon the Moslems to liberate themselves from the Christian domination. This reached its climax in 1991 when the situation became explosive. Even the Christians became restless. In early 1993, the Catholic bishops issued a public statement against these provocations: "Tamko Rasmi la Baraza la Maaskofu Katoliki Tanzania Mintarafu Kashfa za Kidini" (A statement of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference on religious blasphemies). In reaction to it the Moslem fundamentalists on good Friday 1993 destroyed the pork shops in the city. This gave the government an excuse to arrest a number of extremist elements. It cooled the situation but the situation is still precarious. The Christians are joining hands with the moderate Moslems in their common fight against the extremists on both sides.

Traditional Religions: In the early evangelization, the missionaries were fighting the traditional religion and all its symbols. They feared that the neophytes would fall back into superstitions. Except for a few tribes like the Maasai, Sukuma and Waha the traditional religions have weakened. All the same Syncretism is still strong among Christians. The Church has to study seriously how to incarnate the Christian faith in the traditional culture. The Church must preserve the traditional African cultural values

Social Services :The Catholic Church has contributed highly in the social service sector. From the start of evangelization the missionaries insisted on both education and health. In 1968 when the Church was celebrating the first centenary of evangelization, it was running 1378 primary schools, 44 secondary schools, 8 teacher training colleges, 15 trade schools and 48 homecraft centers. The Church had then 25 hospitals, 75 dispensaries, 74 maternity clinics and 11 medical training schools.

In 1970, all primary, secondary and Teacher Training schools were nationalized. When the situation allowed, the Church started again building schools. In 1991 the Church had 413 kindergartens, 82 secondary schools including 23 junior seminaries, 73 technical and vocational schools, 48 homecraft centers for girls, 2 Teacher Training Colleges and 6 schools for the handicapped.

In the medical sector the Church runs 36 hospitals including a 850-bed consultant hospital of Bugando Mwanza, and 223 heath centers and dispensaries.

The religious women, both missionaries and local, play a big rote in running these social service institutions. Partner Churches in Europe and America, particularly Germany, Holland and Italy have helped much in building and maintaining these institutions.

To strengthen their social services sector, the two Church bodies that is the Protestants under the Christian Council of Tanzania (CCT) and the Catholics under the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC), in 1992 assisted by the German partner Churches negotiated a "Memorandum of Understanding" with the Tanzania government. In this memorandum the government recognized the important role played by the Churches in the social services sector of the country, pledged to help the Churches by sharing with them grants from foreign government and promised never to nationalize the church institutions again. The "Memorandum of Understanding" authorized the forming of the "Christian Social Services Commission"(CSSC). TEC and CCT are each represented by the General Secretary and four bishops. The Commission has two executive organs, the Christian Medical Board of Tanzania (CMBT) and the Christian Education Board of Tanzania (CEBT) for health and education respectively. This commission formulates common policies for the Education and medical Services of the Churches and negotiates with the Tanzania government in the name of the churches. The two executive organs run common programs. The churches together run more than 50% of the Medical Services and secondary schools in the country.

Church and State: The Church in its early evangelization was supported by the anti-slave movements and governments in Europe. The first neophytes were liberated slaves handed over to the missionaries by the colonial government.

In the first years of the German colonial period (1885 - 1914), some German missionaries, the Benedictines in particular, were identified with the German Government by those fighting it. This cost some of these missionaries their lives during the uprising. Otherwise the Church developed an independent identity from the colonial government. The Catholic missionaries who were mostly French, German, Dutch and Irish were suspicious of the Anglican British colonial rulers. Close cooperation was exclusively in the social services sector: education and health.

During the period of struggle for independence though some individual missionaries and the local clergy participated, the official Church maintained its neutrality. To a large extent the Catholic elite followed the Church stand. Though the post independence government had many Moslems and some anti-missionary Marxist politicians, the fact that Julius Nyerere, a committed practicing Catholic headed the government assured the Church. Nyerere even managed to calm the fears of the Bishops concerning the ruling party's "Ujamaa" ideology (a blend of African Socialism). The Bishops suspected Ujamaa of Communist elements. The relations between the Church and government were strained after the Arusha declaration in 1967. In the implementation of the Declaration not only the big houses, factories and banks were nationalized but also in 1970 the Church owned schools. Then the Church had 1420 Primary Schools, 44 Secondary Schools and 8 Teacher Training Schools. The economic crisis of the late 1970s and 1980s weakened Ujamaa and the 1990s saw the introduction of multipartism and liberal economy.

Inspite of all the Church's mistrust of Ujamaa, they concurred on the social policy towards the poor. This included free education and health services given by the government. With the introduction of liberal economy everybody has to pay for the services that one gets. The rich become richer while the poor became poorer and desperate. The government employees are poorly paid and corruption has increased. Against this trend in 1993 the Church issued two strong pastoral letters: "Ukweli utawapeni uhuru" (Truth will make you free); and "Dhamira Safi - Dira ya Taifa Letu" (Good Conscience - Vision of our Nation). These two letters were well received by the people.

The future: The future of the Tanzania Church is promising though with problems. The Church is doing well in self sufficiency in personnel but not in finance. The number of Catholics is growing very fast. The church has adapted itself so as to assist in the transition period from a closed society with controlled economy, one political party and controlled press to an open society with many political parties, free press and liberal economy.




Fr. Method M. P. Kilaini (PhD)

 

The web site is kept by Fr. Method Kilaini Click his name to send him a message

Sponsored byRCNet

To Know the author

Last updated October 10, 1998

 

Return toTEC Home page


 

ISLAM AND POLITICS IN TANZANIA By BROTHER MOHAMMED SAEED
Muslim Writer’s Organization
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.   INTRODUCTION Islam has been in existence in East Africa since the eighth century. With Islam, emerged the lingua franca, Kiswahili, spoken throughout East and Central Africa and the Swahili culture which is mostly associated with Muslims. About two-thirds of East Africa’s Muslims reside in Tanzania which is the most populous of the East African countries i.e. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. According to the 1957 population census, Muslims outnumbered Christians at a ratio of three to two. This means Tanzania is a leading Muslim nation in the region. But the 1967 census the total figures for Tanzania Mainland are 32% Christian, 30% Muslim and 37% local belief. This shows Pagans as a leading majority. The 1967 census has not been able to show the reasons for the sudden decrease of Muslim population nor the growth of Paganism. This was the last population census showing religious distribution. It is widely believed that the figures for the 1967 census were doctored for political reasons to show Muslims were trailing behind Christians in numerical strength. This paper "lnsha Allah", will try to show the reasons behind such a move and many others. Christianity is a relatively new religion in Tanzania having introduced into the country during the 18th Century by professional missionaries. Christianity was resisted by Muslims right from the beginning. In any uprising against the colonial state Muslims took that opportunity to attack missionaries and Christian establishments.2 Muslims perceived both missionaries and the colonial state as fellow collaborators and therefore enemies to Islam. Islamic radicalism has therefore a long history in the struggle against colonial rule and Christianity. Christianity meanwhile became a reactionary force siding with the colonial state. In the Maji Maji War of 1905 some Christians fought alongside the German army against the people to safeguard Christianity.3 In this war some Muslims were hanged particularly for killing missionaries and for waging a war against German rule. The British took over Tanganyika (as Tanzania was then known) from the Germans after the First World War, by then the Germans had done more than their fair share in opening up Tanganyika for Christian influence through various Christian establishments. Tanganyika was divided among different Christian organizations originating from various European countries. The White Fathers were in Tabora, Karema, Kigoma, Mbeya, Mwanza and Bukoba; Holy Ghost Fathers - Morogoro and Kilimanjaro; Benedictine Fathers Peramiho and Ndanda; Capuchin Fathers - Dar es Salaam; Consolata Fathers - Iringa and Meru; Passionists Fathers - Dodoma; Pallotine Fathers - Mbulu; Maryknoll Fathers Musoma; and Rosmillian Fathers -lringa.4 When the People started to organize themselves in political entities during the British rule through various associations, Muslims in Dar es Salaam formed the African Association in 1929 and Jamiatul lslamiyya fi Tanganyika in 1933. Missionaries sensing these African organisations as organised African resistance against the colonial state warned Christians not to get themselves involved in any movements that were challenging the government.5 The church and state provided education to African Christians and denied it to majority Muslims. The two worked hand in hand to mould loyal subjects out of the educated Christians alienating them from the main stream of the struggle against British rule. Resistance against British colonialism was therefore left to Muslims and the struggle for independence and nationalist politics in Tan9anyika assumed strong Muslim characteristics.


MUSLIMS AND COLONIAL POLITICS: THE POLITICS OF CONFORMITY The church gradually managed to create a special relationship between the colonial state and the educated African Christians as beneficiaries of the colonial system. Muslim suffered as a people whose faith was antagonistic to the state religionthe Church of England. Muslims suffered also as a colonised subject singled out for discrimination by being denied education curtailing any chances for self-advancement. The survival of Muslims as a people and Islam as a religion therefore lay in the total overthrow of the colonial state. The first uprising against the British occurred in predominant Muslim areas of Tanga and Dar es Salaam in 1939. Strikes occurred in the ports of Tanga and Dar es Salaam followed by a violent general strike a few years later in Dar es Salaam port in 1947. Muslim predominance in port employment to a large extent helped to create the solidarity which ignited the working class movement responsible for the strikes. In the 1947 general strike Muslim symbols were used effectively showing for the first time the influence and extent of Islamic radicalism in resisting colonial oppression. The strike was very successful as it spread through Tanganyika lasting for almost a month and paralysing the colonial economic machinery.6 This strike created the necessary conditions to force the colonial state to pass appropriate legislation allowing the formation and eventual registration of the Dock Workers Union. It is interesting to note that the leader of this movement Abdulwahid Sykes was the first ever general secretary of a trade union in Tanganyika in 1948. Abdulwahid was later to be elected secretary of Jamiatul Islamiyya fi Tanganyika and went on to found the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) -the first open political party in colonial Tanganyika. The British, in their tactics of divide and rule, isolated Muslims for oppression and elevated Christians to a higher status by giving them educational opportunities. In this way religion was used as a colonial weapon to stratify the people, creating out of African Christian a special class of colonised subjects. The church meanwhile maintained the doctrine: "Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s." (Mathew xxii:21). Muslims, however, were able to distinguish between British Christian colonialism which was the immediate enemy and the African Christians an appendage of the colonial system. When TANU was formed out of the African Association in 1954 as a nationalist party to prepare the people of Tanganyika towards achieving independence, the strategy adopted for the struggle right from the start, was to form a united front of all Tanganyikans irrespective of religious identity or ethnic affiliations. Most scholars who have written on Tanzania’s political history have focused on Julius Nyerere as a founding leader of TANU. This is a fallacy yet to be rectified. This approach obscures a very important part of Islamic radicalism and Muslim personalities who had, before Nyerere, been working for the formation of the Party. Consequently a most important part of colonial history which laid the formation for resistance against colonial history which laid the formation for resistance against the British is eroded.7 It is beyond the scope of this paper to trace the origins of party system in Tanzania, but for the purpose of setting the record straight it should be noted that the desire to initiate a political movement can be traced from the African Association, but it was the Political Sub-Committee formed in 1905 within the Tanganyika African Association which actually formed TANU. Members of the TAA Political Sub-Committee were: Sheikh Hassan bin Amir, Abdulwahid Sykes, Hamza Kibwana Mwapachu, Said Chaurembo, Vedast Kyaruzi, John Rupia and Stephen Mhando. It is also interesting to note that a group of Muslim TAA members in Tabora had passed a resolution in 1953 to transform the association into an open political party. Suffice to state that two members of the Political Sub-Committee, Sheikh Hassan bin Amir and Abdulwahid Sykes were executive members of Da'wat AI-Islamia and Jamiatul lslamiyya respectively providing the link between the new party and Islam. Roman Catholic Julius Nyerere was elected TANU president. A faction within the Party against Christian leadership emerged. Because of their superior education the few Christians who dared to venture into TANU were immediately offered leadership positions8. The main reason advanced for this opposition was the history of the Church as a guardian of the African Christians. Some Muslims in the Party had no confidence in the mission-educated Christians. Christians were perceived as too close to the colonial state to take up a leading role in the struggle against the colonial state. This Islamic ideology did not get support of Muslims although Muslims enjoyed preponderance over Christians in the Party. Muslims wanted to build in TANU a party of national unity national aspirations overrode immediate Muslim interests. In 1955 TANU still in the formative stage called a meeting to clarify the status of Christianity in the Party and to establish a nationalist-secularist ideology as a way of preserving national unity.9 Where as the colonial state, had over the years of its rule used religion to stratify the people and create divisions among them, the Muslims leadership In TANU through the Elders Council suppressed the long standing Islamic radicalism to forge unity between the people. Christians however, for seasons already stated, did not play any significant role in the early years of TANU until 1958 when TANU contested its first election. This period is important in the political history of colonial Tanganyika because the outcome of TANU's decision to contest the election on those conditions came to adversely affect the future role of Islamic radicalism in the post independence politics. This was the first election in which TANU took part since its formation in 1954. The colonial government of Governor Edward Twining had put very discriminatory conditions to the African electorate which required each constituency to vote for a European, an Asian and an African. Other conditions of eligibility for voting required the prospective voter to have an annual income of £200, Standard XII education and be employed in a specific post. These were stiff conditions for TANU to accept. Muslims who were active in politics could notmeet those conditions and could not therefore vote nor could they stand as candidates. The British, in alliance with missionaries, had denied Muslims education - the very condition which it put to deny them participation in shaping the future of the country. TANU had, therefore, to look outside its own rank and file for qualified Christian candidates to contest the election. This was to be the beginning of a Christians hegemony over the Party leadership. Some Muslims within the Party rose to challenge this new development. Sheikh Suleiman Takadir, Chairman of TANU Elders Council, and all Muslim body wanted the Party to discuss this problem. There were fears that the emerging Christian leadership in TANU which would obviously go into the Legislative Council would also go on to form the first independence government. It was feared that these would use Church influence to suppress Islam as a political force. This conflict threatened to split the Party. 1958 was very crucial time for TANU. For over thirty years Africans had been working towards having democratic principles established in Tanganyika. TANU in 1958 was on the verge of knocking the doors of the Legislative Council but for the problem of Christianity which was again cropping up for the second time in the Party. The majority of Muslims in TANU did not see the African Christians as posing any threat to Islam in free Tanganyika. Many saw the Christian influx into the Party’s leadership positions as a catalyst for accelerating the thrust of the struggle - a consolidation of its own strength vis-a-vis the conspiracies of the colonial state. No one saw this rapid changing pattern of Party leadership as a neutralising agent against Muslim influence in TANU. The Takadir faction which was calling for equal representation between Muslims and Christians in the party leadership and in the independence government was seen as a divisive element. Sheikh Takadir was relieved of his post in TANU, suspended and later expelled from the Party for raising the sensitive issue, which it was feared, would divide the party along religious lines and consequently slow down the tempo of the struggle.10 TANU, therefore, selected the following to contest the 1958 election: Julius Nyerere, John Keto, Nesmo Eliufoo, John Mwakangale and Chief Abdallah Said Fundikira.11 Failing to pursue Islam as a mobilizational ideology in TAN U, a group of Muslims crossed over from the Party and formed the All Muslim National Union of Tanganyika (AMNUT). AMNUT could not also get support from the Muslim majority in Tanganyika. No political party had emerged in Tanganyika on the basis of religious or ethnic rivalry. Having dominated the political Muslims were already de-tribalised by Islam. This diminished the chances of ethnicity over~1ing religious identity while at the same time consolidating Islam as an ideology of resistance and a unifying force of all Tanganyikans. The TANU Elders Council initiated a campaign against AMNUT. 43 prominent Muslim scholars in Dar es Salaam together with 80 of their counterparts in Tanga signed a declaration opposing AMNUT and what it stood for and reaffirming their loyalty and support to TANU.12 Many believed AMNUT was a reactionary party which had to be fought and eliminated for the sake of national unity. It was believed that after independence there would be appropriate forums to discuss suchissues of national importance.

MUSLIMS AND POST-COLONIAL POLITICS: THE POLITICS OF ANTAGONISM After independence had been achieved in 1961 Muslims looked forward to the future with confidence. In 1962 a pan-territorial congress of all Muslim organisations was called in Dar es Salaam to discuss the future role of Islam in then free Tanganyika. The following organizations attended the East African Muslims Welfare Society, Da' wat Al Islamia Jamiatul lslamiyya fi Tanganyika, Jamiatil lslamiyya fi Tanganyika "A" and the Muslim Education Union. The congress agreed among other things of importance to establish a department of education under the auspices of the EAMWS. Muslims did not wait for the independence government to start fulfilling its pre-independence promise of redressing educational disparity between them and Christians. Muslims initiated their own plans to compliment government efforts. Plans were put on drawing board to build schools throughout Tanganyika and eventually build the first Islamic University in East Africa. The congress elected Tewa Said Tewa a Cabinet Minister, a veteran politician of the TAA and TANU founder member as Chairman of Territorial Council of the EAMWS. This was to be the beginning of antagonism between Muslims and the Christian dominated central government. Politics of conformity practiced during the struggle for independence now started to give way to politics of antagonism as Muslims started to initiate plans to change the colonial status quo. The predominantly Christian government and the Christian establishment felt threatened by these nation wide Muslim mobilisation efforts for development. The EAMWS leadership and its executive committee was now in the hands of Muslim party bureaucrats. The government saw this mobilization as Muslims bracing up for a second struggle to take over the country from Christian leadership. Without warning the state found itself in direct confrontation with a strong Muslim organisation in which every Muslim of Tanganyika was virtually a member and within its ranks were opponents of TANU as well as committed party members. At the same time the all-Muslim TANU Elders Council in its advisory role to the Party started to exert pressure to the government which the government perceived as smacking of Islamism. The Elders Council had overtime transformed itself from a vanguard committee to a Muslims pressure group within the Party. Events started to move in rapid succession. In January 1963 some trade unionists were detained along with prominent Muslim Sheikhs. Rumours making the rounds in Dar es Salaam was that the Sheikhs were planning a coup against the government. Soon after, a prominent Muslim scholar Sherif Hussein Badawiy and his young brother Mwinyibaba who had established in Dar es Salaam a well patronised madras were declared prohibited immigrants and had to leave the country. In March, the TANU National Executive voted to dissolve the eleven-men working committee of Dar es Salaam Elders Council now under the Chairmanship of Mzee Iddi Tulio. The reason given by the Party for this action was that the Elders Council was mixing politics with religion13. This was to be the beginning of a campaign of de-Islamisation of TANU and its history and the end of Muslim predominance in the post colonial party politics. Since achieving independence the Muslim card which was played against the British was seen by the government in power as a card which had outlived its usefulness. The dissolution of the Elders Council was the last hold of Muslim influence in the Party. The Church which had kept its distance during the struggle now surfaced to challenge Muslims leadership in TANU. In an unprecedented move by the Church, the Roman Catholic Church in Bukoba supported its own Christian candidates against Muslim candidates put forward by TANU in the local government elections. The church argued that it preferred its own candidates to TANU’s because the Party’s candidates were of very limited educational background.14 A similar campaign by the Church against Muslim candidates was also effected in Kigoma.15 There are no records existing which show that the government or the Party took any action against the Church for mixing religion with politics. When the Second Muslim Congress was convened in Dar es Salaam later that year these serious issues were put forward for discussion. The Congress established beyond any reasonable doubt that there was a silent purge going on in the Party against Muslims and that there was nationwide anti Muslims campaign against leaders of the EAMWS. President Nyerere was invited to the closing ceremony and the congress registered its regrets to him. Nyerere talked at length on the problem and somehow managed to cool the situation. But there was no doubt in the minds of the EAMWS leadership that there was organised Church resistance against Islam and Muslims using the Christian leadership in the Party and government to effect its influence and decisions. The Christian leadership in state institutions was now using state power against Islam to have the Church control the government in independent Tanganyika. In January1964 an army mutiny occurred in the Tanganyika Rifles. The government took this opportunity to detain trade unionists and some Muslims who were prominent in the post independence Muslims politics agitating against the government. When the case went on trial at the High Court there was no evidence tendered which showed that the mutiny was Muslims inspired or had any connection whatsoever with any Muslim organisation. In April a strong delegation of the EAMWS comprising of Sheikh Hassan bin Amir, Sheikh Said Omar Abdallah, Tewa Said Tewa, EAMWS Secretary Aziz Khaki and a TANU elder Sheikh Mwinjuma Mwinyikambi, left for a tour of Islamic countries to solicit financial support for the proposed Islamic University and to establish relations with the Muslim world. The government of the United Arab Republic of Egypt responded positively to the proposed Islamic University. An agreement was signed in Cairo between Tewa Said on behalf of the EAMWS and Vice President Sharbasy on behalf of the Egyptian government. The government of Egypt promised to build and Islamic University for the Muslims of Tanganyika to be owned and managed by the EAMWS. Capital expenditure of the project was estimated at 55 million sterling pounds to be contributed by the United Arab Republic of Egypt. From Egypt the delegation visited Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq and Lebanon. This was a significant step in the history of Islam in Tanganyika. Tanganyika has been open only to European countries and their various missionary organisations. For the first time in 1964 the country was being opened up for contact with other Islamic countries. Soon after the delegation had returned from the Islamic countries, President Nyerere made a cabinet reshuffle. Tewa Said Tewa, Chairman of Territorial Council of the EAMWS was dropped from the government and appointed ambassador to the People’s Republic of China. This it was believed was not unconnected with Tewa’s efforts of mobilising Muslims and his efforts to unite them under one organization. Bibi Titi Mohammed was elected Vice President to run the Organisation in the absence of the President Mr. Tewa Said Tewa. This was in January, 1965. It is from this point that we can now start tracing and analysing how the government finally moved to subvert Muslim unity through a campaign of intrigue, sabortage, bribery and misinformation against the EAMWS leadership which it perceived as a threat to its own political domination over Muslim majority. The government was now literally in Christian hands. Apart from Zanzibaris in the union government: A.M. Maalim Minister of Commerce and Industry, Aboud Jumbe Minister of State, A.M. Babu Minister of Lands, Settlement and Water development and Hasnu Makame Minister of Information and Tourism, the only Muslim minister from the Mainland in the 15 men cabinet was Said Ali Maswanya, Minister of Home Affairs. The main objective of the EAMWS was according to its1957 constitution was "to propagate Islam in East Africa".16 The society was multi-racial in membership and leadership composition. During its 21 years of existence it abstained from partisan politics. The society strictly confined itself to protecting and promoting Islam in East Africa. Since the mass detention of Muslims in 1964 after the army mutiny the EAMWS seemed to have lost its zeal and purpose. Some of its offices in the regions were closed out of fear of silent government hostility and for lack of strong leadership. Many Muslims hesitated to man those offices as they were of the opinion that such offices would be taken as centres of Muslim opposition against the government. For more than three years since the congress of 1963, the EAMWS did not meet. When at last it held its annual conference at Arusha in 1966 a separatist group emerged from Tanzania calling for the split of the society into three different autonomous entities. The separatist element from Tanzania also called for the "indigenization" of the constitution of the EAMWS.17 This meant constitutional changes had to be effected by the leadership to enable Tanzania become an independent body within the EAMWS. Independent minded delegates from Tanzania and the entire conference delegation from Kenya and Uganda were against such changes arguing that, such a move would isolate Tanzanian Muslims from the rest of the East African "umma". This, it was observed, would weaken not only Tanzania Muslims, but the Muslim community in East Africa. Kenya and Uganda delegates were aware of the fact that there was pressure from the Tanzanian government to split the society, and that the Tanzania delegation was working under heavy political pressure. It was an open secret that some Muslim leadership of EAMWS in Tanzania was facing silent intimidation from the government. But the conference did not address itself to these issues because such issues were taken as internal matter of the country concerned. However in the spirit of Islam delegates showed their sympathy privately to the situation which Tanzanian Muslims were facing. As delegates left for their respective countries it was clear enough that the state was encroaching into the affairs of the EAMWS making it extremely difficult to organise Muslims and to pass important decisions. To make matters worse and to drive the point home, Tanzanian State intelligence officers were very much in evidence during the whole period of the conference in Arusha. It soon became clear that the government was working towards disbanding the EAMWS using few hand picked Muslims, the end result which was to form a new body which the state could have some control over its activities. This was to be done in order to contain Muslims as a political force. It is now from this point that we can start analysing the so-called ‘crisis’ of the EAMWS which characterised the last three months of 1968. In order to understand the whole episode it is important to trace out the nature of the ‘crisis’ and the integrity of the characters who played major roles in that ‘crisis’. Lastly, it is important to analyse the role of the government, the party and state institutions in the ‘crisis’ in order to see if it is true that there was an actual ‘crisis’ in the EAMWS, or if the ‘crisis’ was fomented by some Interested parties within the party and government and within the very Muslim fabric in order to weaken Muslims as a potential political force. In 1967 Mwalimu Julius Nyerere announced the Arusha Declaration embarking Tanzania on a socialist path. The new economic policy was met with mass enthusiasm. An unknown Muslim school teacher by the name of Adam Nasibu who was the EAMWS Regional Secretary inBukoba seized the occasion and participated in a mass demonstration to TANU Regional headquarters in support of Mwalimu Nyerere’s new economic policy. Adam Nasibu was also quoted to have said that socialism was compatible tothe teachings of the Holy Quran. Adam Nasibu went further and issued "guidelines to all Islamic religious leaders in Bukoba providing for a basic explanation on theArusha Decleration".18 Non-Muslims saw Adam Nasibu as very progressive Muslim, and he being an executive of the EAMWS his support tothe new political development was perceived as an official recognition by the society to the Arusha Declaration. But before this incident, no one knew the schoolteacher as a politician, let alone being anintellectual. Under normal political climates, the EAMWS leadership at the headquarters in Dar es Salaam would have frown at such an open demonstration of partisanship. But there are no records which show that the EAMWS leadership at the headquarters did warn its Bukoba Secretary of such seemingly unbecoming behaviour. Probably the headquarters thought to do that would have been unpatriotic taking into consideration the enthusiasm shown by the people in the Arusha Declaration. After all Muslims have always provided the lead in the politics of the country. The headquarters of the EAMWS thought better of it and let the incident pass. Adam Nasibu received some publicity in the news media because of that behaviour, particularly on his statement that socialism was compatible to the teachings of the Holy Quran. Some Muslims by observing the contemporary political climate as it affected Muslims which was at that moment not conducive to any Islamic influence to the politics for the country, saw in Adam Nasibu a person seeking cheap publicity by courting the government. All this notwithstanding the action by the Bukoba Secretary had very adverse effect on the entire society and its leadership. Adam Nasibu was seen as the champion of the people and a progressive Muslim leader who the government could depend upon. The leadership at the headquarters was seen as probably standing aloof, not being in touch with sufferings of the people and out of touch with the government policy. But still EAMWS as a religious organisation could not have come forward and support the Arusha Declaration because to do so would have been incompatible with the government policy. But still EAMWS as a religious organisation could not have come forward and support the Arusha Declaration because to do so would have been incompatible with the government hitherto unwritten law of not mixing religion and politics. Remaining uncommitted to the Arusha Declaration also was perceived as unpatriotic giving an indication that the society was unconcerned with the welfare and development of the people of Tanzania. To complicate the issue further the president of EAMWS, Tewa Saidi and his vice-president Bibi Titi Mohamed were former cabinet ministers who had lost power in previous general elections. It was therefore perceived by the government and party that being at the top hierarchy of the EAMWS the two were trying to build a new political base out of Muslims. Adam Nasibu had managed a coup against the president of the EAMWS, he had by his open overzealous patriotism proved to the government that he could be a better servant to the state than the seemingly decadent leadership at the Dare Salaam headquarters. On 17th October 1968 Adam Nasibu was again on the limelight but this time he was no longer a stranger to the people. People now knew him as the partisan Bukoba EAMWS Secretary who had supported the Arusha Declaration and issued directives to other Muslim leaders explaining the salient features of the document. Adam Nasibu made an announcement through the state radio and the party press that his region was splitting from the EAMWS.19 Overnight Adam Nasibu became a household name as the mass-media of the party and government started to build up his image and publicized what came to be known as the Muslim’ crisis’. The Party dailies had a field day: "The state radio and the Party press gave very wide publicity to the defection. News headlines and front page photographs depicting Mr. Nasibu busy with Pressmen donned the Party dailies". 20 It was after this announcement and the publicity by the mass-media that Muslims in Tanzania came to realise for the first time that they had a Muslim national "crisis" in their hands. Five days later on 22nd October, Sheikh Juma Jambia member of the Central Committee of the EAMWS Tanga Region made a similar announcement of withdrawing from the society.21 Soon after, Iringa also announced its withdrawal from the EAMWS leadership at the headquarters in Dar es Salaam. The leadership of the EAMWS at the headquarters reacted immediately to these withdrawals by calling a meeting of the executive to discuss the new development in the society. The mass-media facilities which were at the disposal of the separatist group i.e., the Party newspapers and the state-controlled radio were denied to the EAMWS leadership. It was therefore clear from outset that the government was taking sides on the "crisis" and the state radio and Party newspapers were being used by the government to subvert Muslims and the EAMWS. Having known what opposition was against them the EAMWS leadership at the headquarters became engulfed with the atmosphere of insecurity and uncertainty, the EAMWS executive turned to Muslims for support. The dissident group gave many reasons necessitating the split from the EAMWS but the main ones were as follows: (i) The constitution of the society snot fit compared with the country’s leadership
(ii) The constitution should be Tanzanian
(iii) The Aga Khan should not be a patron
(iv) The Secretary General of the society should be an African Muslim
(v) No one knows the money given as aid from outside countries for the advancement of Muslims, not even the sources.22 Islam has own basic principles and laws which guides Muslims in their every day life. The grievances given by the dissident group could never constitute a crisis of that magnitude, because some of those grievances could be solved through sheer common sense and goodwill. Others were undebatable because the basic teachings of Islam had provided guidelines. The issue of the constitution and aid were issues which could be discussed and resolved in the appropriate meetings. But questioning the multi-racial composition of Muslim organisation was to deny the universal message of Islam which cut across nationalities. This is against the teachings of the Holy Quran. It was clear that the splinter group being learned Muslims were all aware of these teachings, and since they were persisting on splitting from the society it was obvious the over-zealous patriotism had a special mission with the backing of the government to fragment the unity of Muslims and hence weaken them politically. However on 14th November 1968 the Tanzania Council of the EAMWS called a conference in Dar es Salaam to discuss the "crisis". The conference formed a seven-men commission of inquiry to probe into the "crisis" and come out with a report. Mussa Kwikima, a lawyer by profession, was elected secretary to the commission. By then nine regions had withdrawn from the EAMWS and the Party dailies had elevated the "crisis" into a nation-wide public debate. The Party dailies were diverging and publishing information of the society with impunity inflaming an already volatile situation. In order for the commission to work without prejudice it was necessary to ask the government to stop immediately the state controlled radio and the Party dailies from being used by the dissident group as its propaganda forum. The commission met the Minister of Information and Broadcasting to discuss the issue in his office on 20th November, 1968.23 This did not help matters. The propaganda machinery against the EAMWS leadership 6everabated. The dissident group with Adam Nasibu as the main spokesman continued on ironically, transcending the political ideals, of the the government and the party by exerting political demands at times banking on racism insisting on breaking the EAMWS. Adam Nasibu was quoted by the Party daily "The Nationalist" to have said that: "Muslims must know why the East African Muslims Welfare Society should have a constitution which was in line with the country’s policy. We do not know the role of the Aga Khan in our society and that is why we reject him."24 But most suprising was the government unprecedented silence on statements by the splinter group that it wanted Muslims to align themselves with politics of the country since it was clear and open to every Tanzanian that politics should be divorced from religion. All this notwithstanding what was unique and unprecedented was the introduction of racism into Tanzanian’s polity. It was strange that the Party dailies were quoting and giving publicity to a group of Muslim dissidents blaming Ismailis for not being Africans. A decade ago the people of Tanganyika, the very Muslims who formed the core of TANU had fought tooth and nail against racist policies of African National Congress of Zuberi Mtemvu. Mtemvu was defeated and the end result was that the independence government of Tanganyika was a multi-racial government governing over a multi-racial society free from any racial tension. These new developments were not consistent with the government policy. At this juncture the President of the EAMWS Tewa Saidi Tewa and his Vice President Titi Mohamed decided to put the problem before Mwalimu Julius Nyerere the President of Tanzania and the Chairman of the ruling party. Kiwanuka has described this meeting very well: "…the two Islamic leaders told Mwalimu how unhappy they were about the manner in which the state radio and the Party Press had publicised the Islamic crisis. They argued that TANU was mixing politics with religion. Alerting him to this so-called press were no people other than Mr. Tewa and Bibi Titi, old and reliable comrades. Reliable in the sense that were it not Bibi Titi, and who stood for Mwalimu during the early TANU days, when Suleiman Takadir - one of the first TANU days, elders insinuated that TANU was Christians as Mwalimu and Rupia, President and Vice-President respectively then were Christians. Herself, a devout Muslim, successfully won the day by proving that Tanzania, or Tanganyika as it then was, came first and Islam later. And now, there she was - talking about the fuss she had ably thwarted in the 195s." The reply the two got from Mwalimu was thrilling. My informant told me that it was straightforward. "You decided to wage a war against me, so be prepared". 25 Here was Mwalimu Nyerere himself telling Tewa Saidi and Bibi Titi straight on their face to be prepared for what was obvious, a crusade against Muslim unity. Sheikh Suleiman Takadir had contemplated such a situation and had proposed to TANU way back in 1958 to have assurance that the Christian leadership that was being brought into power at the expense of Muslims would not act as a deterrent force against Muslims in their efforts to share power with Christians in post-independence Tanganyika. Tewa Saidi, a former executive member of TANU, a founding member of TANU, a minister in the first independence cabinet, a former member of parliament, a former ambassador to the People’s Republic of China and the President of the Muslim Council of Tanzania EAMWS, together with Bibi Titi Mohammed, the woman who mobilized all women of Tanganyika behind Mwalimu Nyerere and TANU, were being scolded by him like naughty school children simply because they had come to ask the President of a serious breach of principle which required his urgent attention and immediate decision. In October, the crisis took a dramatic turn when the Vice-President of Tanzania Abeid Amani Karume attacked the EAMWS as an organisation of exploitation.26 From here Karume made a series of attacks and allegations on the society, at time attempting to analyse the relationship between the EAMWS and Muslim community from a Marxian philosophy arguing that the society "was an instrument of the big bourgeoisie which was being controlled by the capitalists who are exploiting he common people.27 As the "crisis" escalated the attacks shifted from the EAMWS to the basic teachings of the Holy Quran. In a public rally in Zanzibar Karume challenged any Muslim to come out openly and fearlessly to oppose his two statements that: "There is no difference between Islam and Christianity", and "Fasting in Islam is not obligatory."28 1968 was a very trying period for Muslims. By the first week of December with 9 out of 17 regions out of the EAMWS, the splinter group formed a committee and in collaboration with the Maulid Committee of Dar es Salaam which was under the chairmanship of Sheikh Abdallah Chaurembo, convened a meeting of all Muslims at the Arnautoglo Hall on 3rd December 1968. Sheikh Abdallah Chaurembo was once a student of Sheikh Hassan bin Amir and was under his tutorial until 1961 when there arose a conflict between the Sheikh and Sheikh Chaurembo on issues of politics of Tanganyika. Because of that conflict Sheikh Abdallah Chaurembo cut short his studies under Sheikh Hassan bin Amir and became very much involved in TANU politics to the extent that he was consequently elected to the TANU National Executive Committee. As long as Sheikh Hassan bin Amir was in Dar es Salaam it was not possible for anyone to assume national Muslim leadership in Tanzania less so Sheikh Chaurembo. Sheikh Hassan bin Amir was therefore arrested and deported to Zanzibar to pave way for pro-government Muslim leadership. The splinter group committee was a fusion of the government backed Adam Nasibu (who was the secretary of the committee) and party bureaucrats like Sheikh Abdallah Chaurembo and Juma Suedi from Bukoba TANU Branch and others who although not in the committee were highly influenced by the anti Muslim politics of the state. This committee announced a conference which was to be known as Islamic National Conference. The conference was o be held in Iringa from l2th-lSth December 1968. The main agenda of the conference was to discuss a constitution for a new Muslim organisation. Meanwhile Muslim bureaucrats in the government completely refused to assist the Kwikima Commission in any way arguing that to do so was mixing religion and politics. The splinter group also refused to meet with Commission. Muslim scholars who could have intervened in the crisis could not do so because most of them were convinced that the splinter group had a backing of the government and were under instructions to wreck the EAMWS. The splinter group, it turned out, was not interested in any compromise short of forming another pro-government organisation.29 More over there were rumours also that "anyone who would take part in the activities of society would be detained".30 Members of the Commission and other Muslims could not easily ignore such threats. The Commission of Inquiry knew that the dissident group on its own did not have the power nor the mandate to break the EAMWS. Following the announcement by the splinter committee of the Iringa conference, the Commission made public its report on 11th December - a day before the Iringa Conference was scheduled to begin. The report addressed to all Muslims of Tanzania called for a general conference of the EAMWS in February the following year to discuss and make a final ruling on the "crisis".31. The meeting was later re-scheduled for January due to the urgency of the "crisis" at hand. The Party English daily "The Nationalist" after studying the report of the commission decided to pick on the financial report of the EAMWS and label it as "incorrect".32 This was a calculated move meant to portray the Muslim leadership of the society as dishonesty. That very same week the Aga Kahn who had been a point of attack by the splinter group resigned his post in Paris as patron of the society.33 While the Commission was waiting for the response of its report from the Muslim community the dissident group now with open backing of the government and party assembled in Iringa for the Islamic National Conference on 13th December, 1968. The government working behind the scene went out of its way to make the conference a success. It financed the conference, gave it publicity and provided security for the delegates. The conference was attended by Muslim Party and government bureaucrats, Muslim Area and Regional Commissioners and Muslim Areas and Party Chairmen. All Muslim notables were invited including Party Chairmen. All Muslim notables were invited including Party National Executive Committee members and some delegates from Zanzibar. It was literally a conference of Muslim politicians. The most significant thing about the conference was that first it was dominated by very controversial Muslim personalities. Under normal circumstances such an important congregation of Muslims from Zanzibar and Mainland would have seen in its midst renowned Muslims scholars who have a history of commitment, sincerity and devotion to Islam. None of these personalities was there with the exception of Sheikh Mohamed Ramiya of Bagamoyo. The conference was opened and closed by the First Vice-President Karume and Second Vice President Kawawa respectively. The conference passed a new constitution which was a replica of the constitution of the ruling party TANU, and a new Muslim organisation - the National Muslim Council of Tanzania (BAKWATA) was formed. The new Muslim organisation elected Salehe Masasi as the National Chairman, Sheikh Abdallah Chaurembo - Deputy National Chairman and Adam Nasibu - Secretary General. All the top executive of the National Muslim Council expected came from the dissident group. This leadership asked the government, TANU and Afro Shiraz Party "to keep a keen eye and make serious investigation on all territorial leaders of EAMWS especially the President, his Vice President, their Secretary and some Regional and District leaders who bore ill will to the new body".34 The leadership of the new Muslims organisation at their hour of triumph did not extend a hand of conciliation to fellow Muslims in the EAMWS according to Islamic spirit, instead it asked the Party and the government to persecute them, particularly the top leadership. After the formation of the National Muslim Council, in order to clear the air and instill confidence to the Muslim community the secretary of the commission Mussa Kwikima issued a statement saying: "no one could threaten the existence of the EAMWS except its members, the law and the government, but not individuals even if all 17 regions would not automatically mean that the society was legally dead since its existence was not determined by the number of regions affiliated to it but by the number of its members, the Muslims."35 At this point the new organisation was not yet registered by the Registrar of Societies, and on a legal point there was no way that the dissident group could form a new organization when it had objectives similar to those of another society in existence. For about three days the two Muslim organisations existed together side by side. For a time it seemed as if the EAMWS was going to wither the storm. Then on 19th December, 1968 the government as if jolted by Kwikima’s statement issued a Certificafe of Exemption to the new organisation and banned the EAMWS.36 The government issued a short statement: "The Minister for Home Affairs has by command of the President declared the Tanzania Branch of the East African Muslim Welfare Society and Tanzania Council of the East African Muslim Welfare Society to be unlawful societies under the provisions of section 6(1) of the Societies Ordinance ".37 Muslims were by that declaration of the President of Tanzania denied the chance to discuss and make a final ruling on the crisis which so to speak was a conflict among Muslims. To ensure that Muslims complied with the ban order the government put armed policemen outside the offices of the society. It was in that manner that the curtain of the EAMWS saga was lowered. A saga which began with a simple school teacher marching in a mass demonstration in the streets of Bukoba in support of Mwalimu Julius Nyerere's Arusha Declaration and ended with him holding a responsible post in a weak and controversial Muslim organisation. The school teacher now General Secretary of the newly formed National Council of Tanzania started his new job in style. In a statement he made to the press on 19th December, 1968 he said his organisation was similar to the Christian Council of Tanzania.38 Since Muslims did not hold their meeting to deliberate on the "crisis" we can only speculate the outcome of that meeting had it been allowed to convene. The Muslims of Bukoba who were reported to have demonstrated behind the school teacher in support of Arusha Declaration did not voice support nor did they organise a mass demonstration in support of the new organization. In Dar es Salaam and in many places in Tanzania, the National Muslim Council widely know by its Swahili acronym Bakwata (Baraza Kuu Ia Waislamu Tanzania) is a word of insult. To refer to a Muslim as a Bakwata member is like calling a Christian - a disciple of Judas Iscariot who sold Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. Of the Commission of Inquiry one member of that Commission deserve special mention - Mussa Kwikima. Mussa was a young judge appointed by the President. He was to very large extent because of his expertise the force behind the commission. When he offered his services to the EAMWS he was warned of the risk exposing to himself and his career. Mussa Kwikima replied that the threat facing Muslim unity was above his personal interest. After the formation of Bakwata and hence the end of the "crisis" Kwikima was transferred from Dar es Salaam to Mwanza as a Senior Resident Magistrate and his name was dropped from the list of Judges appointed by the President.39 What remained after the demise of the EAMWS was to try to establish Bakwata in the regions as an organisation representative of all Muslims of Tanzania Mainland. The most part of 1969 Adam Nasibu and his four-men committee toured the regions campaigning for Bakwata’s acceptance by Muslims. The committee offered personal financial assistance to any Regional Secretary of the now defunct EAMWS who would cooperate with the Bakwata headquarters in establishing the new organisation in his region. Muslim did not show any enthusiasm towards Bakwata. In Tabora a region which did not withdraw from the EAMWS, the committee was permitted by the government to hold a public meeting. But before Adam Nasibu could speak Maulidi Kivuruga - a veteran of the African Association, a founder member of TANU in Tabora and now a respectable elder politician took the floor and on behalf of the Muslims of Tabora put up a condition that Muslims were not ready to listen to the dissident group unless Waikela, one of the members of the Commission of Inquiry from Tabora was also allowed to address the meeting. This was unacceptable condition to the committee. Few days later Waikela was summoned by the Director of Criminal Investigation for interrogation about his political activities and about his opposition to Bakwata. In a room at Tabora Hotel, Sawaya, the Director of C.I.D. interrogated Waikela as to why he was not ready to cooperate with the government in establishing Bakwata in Tabora, at times threatening him. Waikela was drilled for four hours and asked to sign some papers which he did. Waikela was never to hear from the government again. Despite the silent resistance Bakwata has been established in Tabora and in all regions of Tanzania. Kiwanuka’s thesis since published in 1987 has stood as a conclusive authority to the Muslim "crisis". Kiwanuka is of the opinion that the government was right to do what it did to protect national unity. Kiwanuka supports the government stand that religion and politics should not be mixed. The two should be separated. Like many works on political history of Tanganyika the thesis fails to link the role of Muslims in forging national unity in the struggle for independence and hence fail to show the pre-independence aspirations of Muslims of Tanganyika. The work does not analyse how the present Christian leadership rose to power and from what background did it build its political base. Kiwanuka simply introduces Muslims in confrontation with the government and does not clearly show the role of the state on the whole confrontation. If he had researched on the political history of Tanganyika he would have found the reasons for the confrontation between Muslims and the Christian dominated government of independent Tanganyika. Further still he would have known the reasons why the government wanted in earnest to have a Muslim organisation which it could control just as it was controlling other mass organisations like the trade unions. If Muslims did not desire the unity of the country they would have supported Sheikh Takadir in 1958 and AMNUT in 1959. What Muslims had asked after independence was equal representation in government coupled with equal educational opportunities, this is not mixing religion and politics. Christian teachers supported by the Roman Catholic Church challenged TANU Muslim candidates in local government election in Bukoba in 1963 and the Muslim candidates were defeated. No records exist which show that the government took any action against the Church as an institution or against individual Christian candidates. But Muslims were detained obviously for resisting Christian hegemony over the Party. The Party National Executive Committee purged the Muslim dominated Dar es Salaam Elders Council from TANU for mixing religion with politics. The Roman Catholic Church in Bukoba lacked tactics and exposed itself. The new forces against Islam used subtle means and were able to subvert the EAMWS and imposed its own organisation on Muslims. How can one explain the fact that a government which had always been against racial discrimination and worked for national unity allow a group of not more than five people to use the state mass media to propagate disunity and racism. How can one explain the fact that such an important body like the National Muslims Council could be formed by and its top leadership be in the hands of people considered controversial in the Muslim Community. How possible can Muslims initiate a body to propagate Islam without having the support of Muslims themselves or without having a single respectable Muslim scholar on its entire leadership. Bakwata was not formed with the interest of Muslims in mind. Bakwata was imposed upon Muslims to subdue them as a political force. The new leadership in the party and government feared to face the future with Muslims organising themselves independent of the central authority. As the independence government showed no intention of giving equal opportunity to Muslims on education persisting to maintain the colonial status quo, it was obvious that a second struggle would be launched against the Christian dominated government as Muslims did against the British Christian administration. And there were indications that Muslims were bracing themselves for the second struggle and that struggle was not through TANU because already a purge against them was underway. The second struggle was to be through the unity of all Muslims. This created a state of fear and the government kept itself on perpetual guard against such eventuality. Out of fear the government pounced on any Muslim which it felt was a threat to its authority. It is out of fear that even the history of the country Is being erased. This is one of the ways the government thinks it could stop evoking past Muslim sentiments. At the time when the splinter group with state backing was rejecting the Aga Khan from the EAMWS for being an Ismaili Muslim no one pointed a finger to the Christian establishments and administration in Tanzania which are dominated and financed by different foreign powers. No one pointed an accusing finger to the Roman Catholic Church which has diplomatic accreditation of the Pope in the country. If the Aga Khan was a threat to the security of the state then there was no serious threat than the threat posed by all the Christian establishments in the country. The Catholic Church demands total allegiance from all its adherents, the Church moving its members in important positions in the Cabinet, the Party and in the Civil Service, could have posed and caused government instability. By weakening Muslims through the divide and rule tactics Christians were being made stronger. By 1970 the furore of the Muslim "crisis" had died down. In that year Mwalimu Nyerere attended a seminar for religions and organised political leaders in Tabora conveniently organised by the Tanzania Episcopal Conference. In that seminar for the first time Mwalimu publicly addressed himself to the issue of TAN U’s religious identity. Mwalimu said: "Our Party, the TANU, has no religion. It is just a political party and there are no arrangements or agreements with a particular religion".40 This statement can only mean one thing that is, TANU had over the years lost its Muslim identity; because TANU since 1954 had an identity and the political history of the Party testifies to this. If in 1970 the party had lost its Muslim identity it means that the Muslim influence and identity has been successfully wiped out. This fact is confirmed by Mwalimu’s own statement when he said: "I have established in TANU a department of political education and I have put a Lutheran Minister in charge. He was not a great politician, but I selected him because of his balance, his gentleness and his strong solid faith..."41 Mwalimu has proved that it is one’s faith which determines politics in Tanzania and TANU could not be a party with no religion. Religious sentiments and convictions are important since they determine thoughts and actions which go a long way in the administration of a country. Muslims have to wake up to these realities and recapture their lost political power.
THE AFTERMATH The Party is weak, it no longer commands respect, dignity and enthusiasm it did in the days of yore. The Party has alienated itself from its founders. The de-Islamisation of the Party has gone full circle and its Muslim history has been erased. Bakwata has sided with the government thus failing to uphold Muslim values and principles. As a reaction to this Muslims have started to organise themselves independent of the central authority. Tanzania Mainland has more than 100 Muslim youth organisations scattered throughout the country. Few of these are registered with the Registrar of Societies as required by law, a majority operate without registration. Few of them operate underground for effectiveness. The government is reluctant to register Muslims organisations because to do so is to erode the power of Bakwata. We cannot talk of any Muslim development because the colonial status quo still persists. The ratio of Muslim joining higher institutions of learning trails behind Christians 1:10. In desperation Muslims have opened up their own schools but all of them are poorly organised and equipped. The state look at these school as centres of Muslim militancy and agitation against the established system and are therefore frustrated in many ways to discourage their opening. Muslim organisations from outside the country who want to help Muslims in Tanzania are met with all kinds of hostility from other state institutions to drive home to them that their presence in the country is undesirable. These anti Muslim campaigns have of late become so pronounced to the extent that even the most liberal among Muslims have become radicalised, so to speak and are joining the movements. Muslim issues which few years were unheard are now being discussed in camera in the Party and state institutions. These are fruits of underground movements which have conscientised the few Muslims in positions of power and authority. National salvation lies in justice to be done to all. What has happened in other countries can easily happen in Tanzania. There is still time to avoid such a situation. All is well that ends well.   REFERENCE 1. August H Nimtz Jr Islam and Politics in East Africa, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1980, p. 11 . Also see Jan Pvan Bergen, Development and Religion in Tanzania, Madras, 1981 p.23. 2. See P. Gerold Rupper, OSB, Pugu Hadi Peramiho: Miaka 100 Ya Wamisionari Wabenediktini Katika Tanzania, Benedictine Publications, Ndanda - Peramiho, 1980, pp. 31-42. 3. See Yusuf Halimoja, Historia ya Masasi, East African Literature Bureau, Nairobi, 1977, pp. 163-175. For the linkage between Islam and Mali Maji War see Nimtz op. cit., pp. 12-13. 4. See "Kiongozi’ No. 6, June 1950. For more information on missionary penetration in East Africa see M. Langley & T. Kiggins: A Serving People, Oxford University Press, Nairobi, 1974, p. 19. 5. See Daisy Sykes Buruku "The Townsman: Kleist Sykes’ in Iliffe (ed.). Modern Tanzanians, East African Publishing House 1973, p. 1.06. 6. For a detailed account of the strike see John Iliffe, "History of Dockworkers of Dar es Salaam" in Tanzania Notes and Records (Dar es Salaam) 71: (1970). 7. The author has published two articles on the subject See "Africa Events’ (London) March/April, 1988 and September 1988. 8. Tanganyika, "Membership of Political Associations. Tanganyika Government Circular No. 5 (1 August 1953) Dar es Salaam, 1953. The Circular barred African civil servants from politics. Christians being the most, educated were employed in the civil service. This prevented them from active politics. 9. See "UHURU" 3rd July, 1974 article by Rajab Diwani member of TANU National Executive ommittee: "TANU Ilipambana na Misukusuko Mingi’. 10. "Mwafrika’ 11th October, 1958. 11. See Historia ya Chama cha TANU, kivukoni Ideological College, 1981, p. 56. 12. "Mwafrika" 3rd October, 195g. 13. "Tanganyika Standard’ 12th March, 1963. 14. See K. Mayanja Kiwanuka, "The Politics of Islam in Bukoba District" B.A. Thesis, University of Dar es Salaam, pp. 57-58. 15. See H. Mapunda, Historia ya Mapambano ya Mtanzania. Tanzania Publishing House, Dar es Salaam, 1979, p. 172. 16. Constitution, Rules and Regulation of the EAMWS/ Sheria za EAMWS (Chama cha Kustawisha Uislam Katika Afrika ya Mashariki). Dar es Salaam Printers Ltd., Reprint 1960. 17. See Kiwanuka op. cit., p. 75. 18. Ibid. 19. "Taarifa ya Kamati ya Utendaji EAMWS Mkoa wa Tanga" 23rd October, 1968 Ripoti ya Sheikh A.J. Jambia. 20. Kiwanuka, op. cit., p. 2. 21. See Kwikima Report in "The Standard’ 12th December, 1968. Also "The Nationalist’ 24th October, 1968. 22. See Kwikima Report. 23. Barua ya Mwenyekiti Halmashauri ya Uchunguzi Migogoro ya Waislamu kwa Waziri wa Habari na Utangazaji 21st November, 1968. 24. "The Nationalist’ quoted in Kiwanuka p.81. 25. Kiwanuka, pp. 2-3. 26. lbid., p.81. 27. "The Standard’ 9th November,1968 quoted in Kiwanuka p. 81. Also see "The Standard’ 20th November, 1968. 28. "The Standard’ 31st December, 1968. 29. See Kwikima Report. 30. Ibid. 31. Ibid. 32. "The Nationalist" 15th December, 1968. 33. "Baraza’ (Nairobi) 12th December, 1968. 34. See Kiwanuka p. 85. Also Proceedings of the Iringa Conference 12th -15th December, 1968 in Bakwata File Maktaba ya Chama Cha Mapinduzi Dodoma. Also "The Standard" 17th December, 1968. 35. "The Standard’ 18th December, 1968. 36. "The Standard" 20th December, 1968. 37. Ibid. 38. Ibid. 39. Kiwanuka p. 86. Other information from Bilali Rehani Waikela 40. See Bergen, p. 238. 41. lbid., p.335.


A History of the Church in Africa


A History of the Church in Africa. By Bengt Sundkler and Christopher Steed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000. xix + 1,232 pp. $ 140.00 (cloth).

The late Bishop Bengt Sundkler (1909-1995) chalked up a number of firsts in his long career as a missionary and field researcher and scholar of African religion. He was the first Lutheran bishop of Bukoba in Tanzania, the first scholar to take seriously the phenomenon of the independent or African-- initiated churches in Southern Africa (primarily South Africa), and the first, with his 1948 Bantu Prophets in South Africa (Cape Town: Oxford University Press), to publish a scholarly work on the subject. 


Even after death he has managed another first. This work, A History of the Church in Africa, ably completed by his research assistant, later coauthor, David Steed, presents the first comprehensive (almost encyclopedic one might add) overview of African church history, from its inception to the present, from North to South, from East to West. Orthodox, Ethiopian, Coptic, Independent, missionary societies, including Roman Catholic Portuguese missions of the fifteenth century to the nineteenth-century Protestant missionary movement-are all here. Many are unaware of the rapid growth of the church in Africa this past century. Today, of a total population of 770 million, about half are Christian (and about half that number are Roman Catholic). Even more remarkable is the speed with which this number has been achieved. In 1900 the total number of Christians in Africa was but 4 million (half of which were Egyptian Copt or Ethiopian Orthodox), increasing to 75 million by 1965, and doubling by 1980 and again by the end of the second millennium. This increase has occurred despite what many assumed were the debilitating effects of European colonialism on mission efforts. The reason for such growth was, of course, the assumption of responsibility for church and mission bv Africans themselves.

This work, thirty years in the making, and a fitting tribute to Sundler, divides its material into five main sections: "The First 1,400 Years," The Middie Ages, 1415-1787," "The Long Nineteenth Century, 1787-1919," "The Colonial Experience, 1920-1959," and "Independent Africa, 1959-1992." Each section surveys the church across Africa, and draws together prodigious amounts of information. The Episcopal Church and its missions in West, East, and Southern Africa (which now have more members than the U.S. church) are largely dealt with in the fourth section. Interestingly, it was not the direct mission efforts of Europeans, but their efforts at literacy, that fostered rapid Christian growth, a thesis provocatively developed elsewhere by the Yale historian Lamin Sanneh. The book concludes by addressing challenges specific to Roman Catholics, Protestants, the independent churches, and the issues surrounding resurgent Islam. While a tad expensive for individual budgets, this work is essential for any church, seminary, or scholarly library concerned about, and interested in, the church in Africa.

IAIN S. MACLEAN

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Copyright Anglican Theological Review, Inc. Summer 2002
Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved












 



Bukoba,Kagera-Tanzania