Serign Salieu Mbakeh, son of Serigne Touba
, and the caliph of Mouridism
in Senegal died this week. Mouridism is one of the biggest Islamic sects in Senegal, with adherents all over the world, from the Gambia to the US, and the event got much media coverage. Senegal's current President is a Mouride, and he was one of the first people to go to Touba to pay his respects to the new caliph.
I have long been fascinated by the Muslim brotherhoods of Senegal
. Nothing on the same scale exists in The Gambia - in Senegal everyone is a member of one of the brotherhoods, and swears allegiance to one of the Serigne. Every year the brotherhoods hold large Gamos, huge gatherings where all members convene and Allah is praised, and speeches/lectures are given by the Serignes.