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Kevin Curran History of Africa Fall 2001 UC San Diego Islam and its Reach in Africa The history of Africa is a long and full one The mere size of the continent facilitates such a diverse and all encompassing history unique to the region Many historical events have helped to shape Africa the way we see it today The expansion of the Bantu speakers diversification of the agricultural aspects of the economy as well as the divergent religions and colonization have made Africa what it is today One of the most important events in African history relates to the ever-changing religious make up of the region The religion that has made an abundance of changes to Africa is Islam The spread of Islam has been one of the most dramatic and most important events in shaping the political economic and cultural aspects of Africa By looking at how and when Islam entered Africa its spread into the North East South and West of Africa as well as its influence on todays Africa can it be shown what an overwhelming influence Islam has been The initial entry of Islam into Africa made way for its dramatic influence and importance in Africa since the seventh century The initial spread of Islam can be found in the initial spread of empires into the region Because as John Ruedy says there is no real separation of church and state in Islamic regimes the expansion of Arab and Persian empires after the death of Mohammed brought his teachings with him The daily practice of Islam calls for certain actions which these Muslim empires enacted throughout their lands Their insistence that aspects of the Islamic faith be woven into the affairs of their governments and thusly the day to day lives of the inhabitants of their empires these regimes were able to ensure that most in their regime were adhering and converting
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