Islam and Africa Izzud-din Amar Musa
A number of difficulties may face students of Islam and Africa. Some are related to planning and overlapping of topics, others to terminology. For instance, some of the most frequently used terms are governed by the concepts, preconceptions, methodologies and norms of the researcher who looks only for the data and facts which serve his goals, while omitting others. Hence the possibility of using the same term in two or more contradictory ways expressing two or more contradictory concepts. Terms such as 'Arabs', 'Africans' and 'Islam' are examples of this which are frequently used in studying Afro-Arab relations. If we do not clarify the general historical line of the development of Afro-Arab relations (by exploring the socio-economic variables which endowed those terms with meaning pertaining to a certain environment and its historical circumstances) the use of such terms becomes misleading and obscures the realities of those relations, in both their positive and negative aspects.