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Journal for Islamic Studies

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Contemporary ‘Non-culamāɔ’ Hausa women and Islamic discourses on television screens

Musa Ibrahim

Abstract


Hausa1 women have been either a major subject of discussion or at the receiving end of religious activities in the northern Nigerian Islamic sphere,2 which has been dominated by men. However, media as both carriers and influencers of cultural production are changing the dynamics by redefining the role of women in Islamic discourses. This paper explores the theory of Islam as discursive tradition3 to analyse how the northern Nigerian filmmaking industry (Kannywood) has offered a platform on which contemporary Hausa women (outside culamāɔ4 class) have become more active in Islamic discourses in the region. The TV screens not only allow them to express alternative religious viewpoints that seek to redefine their religious life but also engage with specialist culamāɔ on some practices established through male-dominated discourses about Islam and everyday life. The Muslim women in the film industry seek to reconstruct meanings around some interpretations of religious texts that disadvantage them, especially on family issues in which women are at the centre. The data used is based on a three-year ethnography by the author in northern Nigeria, which was part of his doctoral project.5



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