Dec 11th, 2012 by sfs
In spite of constituting only 1.46% of the population, Muslim political views are diverse and reflect the diversity of trends in South Africa. On the one hand, ardent democrats support the Constitution without question; on the other hand, certain individuals and groups regard the Constitution as a rival authority to Islamic Law. Michel Foucault’s concepts of utopia and heterotopia are helpful in revealing this complex relationship between South Africa’s constitution and public expressions of Islam. They capture the complexity of Muslim experiences – sometimes reflecting the goals of the constitution (utopia) but also inverting, subverting and often going beyond them (heterotopia). The presentation closely examined some examples to illustrate the diversity and fragility of South Africa’s democracy.