Stellenbosch and the Muslim communities, 1896-1966

Fransch, Chet James Paul (2009-03)

Thesis (MA (History))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.


This study intends to investigate a facet of the race relations of the town of Stellenbosch within the context of state ideology and the reaction of the various local communities towards these policies. Against various internal and external forces, certain alliances were formed but these remained neither static nor constant. The external forces of particular concern within this study are the role of state legislation, Municipal regulations and political activism amongst the elite of the different racial groups. The manner in which the external forces both mould and are moulded by identity and the fluid nature of identifying with certain groups to achieve particular goals will also be investigated. This thesis uses the case study of the Muslim Communities of Stellenbosch to explain the practice of Islam in Stellenbosch, the way in which the religion co-existed within the structure of the town, how the religion influenced and was influenced by context and time and how the practitioners of this particular faith interacted not only amongst themselves but with other “citizens of Stellenbosch”. Fundamental to these trends is the concept of “belonging”. Group formation, affiliation, identity, shared heritage and history as well as racial classification – implemented and propagated by both political discourse and communal discourse - is located within the broader context of Cape history in order to discuss commonalities and contrasts that existed between Muslims at the Cape and those in Stellenbosch.

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