About the Think Tank for the Research of Islam and Muslims in Africa (RIMA)
To develop worldwide understanding of the African continent, its peoples, society, culture, economy, politics, environment, and more issues through the prism of Islam and Muslims in Africa and the Diaspora.
The mission of the Think Tank for the Research of Islam and Muslims in Africa (RIMA) is to promote research on Islam in Africa as well as on Muslim countries and communities in Africa and the Diaspora in the past and the present; to achieve a better understanding of current issues affecting Islam and Muslims in Africa; and to provide vital information and material on the culture, economy, social issues, politics, law, environment, etc. within African Muslim countries and communities.
RIMA also wishes to collaborate with other think tanks, institutes, and research centers dealing with Islam and Muslims in Africa in organizing conferences, seminars, and workshops and in conducting joint research projects. In addition, RIMA wishes to be a home and platform for scholars specializing in these topics to conduct research and/or publish their products.
Now, even more than before, radical Islam in Africa is on the rise. This fact is stressed not only by the recent developments in Algeria and Mali, but also by the ongoing activity of the Shabaab in Somalia, the Boko Haram in Nigeria, and Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb in northwest Africa and the Sahel, which all have a huge impact on the neighboring countries.
Alongside the rise of radical Islam, religious cleavages between Muslims and Christians as well as between radical Muslims and Sufis, or between African Islam and Arab Islam, have become a major issue in almost all African countries, including in Angola, Swaziland and Namibia, where Islam reached only recently, as well as in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and elsewhere.
RIMA is the only think tank of its kind which is solely dedicated to Islam and Muslim countries and communities in Africa and the Diaspora.
RIMA is divided into three departments: academic and field research; analysis of current events; and supplying decision makers, businessmen, companies, and whoever else dealing with Africa throughout the world with consultancy services.
RIMA deals with current issues, such as radical Islamic groups active in Africa; the Arab influence and the spread of radical Islam in Africa; the activity of Islamic and Arab da’wah and charitable organizations originating in the Arabian Peninsula, in North Africa and in Sudan; the clashes between radical Muslims and Sufis; the Sufis in Africa; the relationship between Islam and Muslims in Africa and Islam and Muslims in the African Diaspora; Islam and Christianity in Africa; Shi’ites in Africa; the spread of Islam to predominant African Christian countries, such as Angola, Namibia, and Swaziland; Muslim countries and communities in Africa; the Ahmadiyyah in Africa; the relations between Arab countries and Africa; the relations between Turkey and Africa; the relations between Iran and Africa; Islamic law and shari’ah law in Muslim countries, etc.
RIMA does not deal only with current issues but also with historical issues concerning Islam and Muslims in Africa, such as the spread of Islam in the continent; Sufi resistance movements against colonialism; the development of Sufi orders in Africa; Islam and slavery in Africa, etc.
RIMA also deals with issues of Islam and culture in Africa, such as Islam and sports in Africa; Islamic thought in Africa; women status and Islam; Islam and medicine in Africa; Islam and music, etc.
Moreover, RIMA is also engaged with issues affecting Africa in general and Muslim countries and communities in particular, such as climate change and conflict; environment and development; AIDS and health issues; youth; women status; human rights; refugees; etc.
The founder and director of the think tank is Dr Moshe Terdiman, who is an expert on Islam in Africa, has written a lot about this topic and was the director of the Islam in Africa Project within PRISM.