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Religion and Politics in KenyaCompromised Critics: Religion in Kenya’s Politics

Religion and Politics in Kenya: Compromised Critics: Religion in Kenya’s Politics [Early in 2008 up to half a million Kenyans fled their homes in fear for their lives. Their country seemed about to rupture into communal violence after a disputed election or, in some areas, in anticipation of it. Hundreds were killed before they could flee. Some had their homes or businesses or, in one especially horrific incident, their church, torched and burned over their heads (Cheeseman & Branch 2008). Many wondered if “Kenyans” could still exist after such a horrendous breach of trust between neighbors. Had they become, irrevocably, tribesmen and women, mutually hostile, no longer fellow citizens? The poor, especially, had known political violence for more than a decade, suffering at the hands of thugs acting on behalf of political elites. Other gangs outdistanced their patrons’ ability to control them. The state had lost its monopoly on the use of force (Mueller 2008). Memories were revived of the partisan violence of Mau Mau—the insurgency that had propelled, hindered, and then divided the politics of freedom half a century earlier. The colonial state, barely more than half a century before that, had itself been founded on violence, small in scale, localized and spasmodic, but destructive all the same. The burning of huts and standing crops and the confiscation of livestock had, in British eyes, “punished” native obduracy. As if that history were not intimidating enough, soon after the colony’s birth, in the First World War, the British had had to defend it against its German neighbor, now Tanzania.] http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png

Religion and Politics in KenyaCompromised Critics: Religion in Kenya’s Politics

Editors: Knighton, Ben

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Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright
© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc. 2009
ISBN
978-1-349-37861-6
Pages
57 –94
DOI
10.1057/9780230100510_2
Publisher site
See Chapter on Publisher Site

Abstract

[Early in 2008 up to half a million Kenyans fled their homes in fear for their lives. Their country seemed about to rupture into communal violence after a disputed election or, in some areas, in anticipation of it. Hundreds were killed before they could flee. Some had their homes or businesses or, in one especially horrific incident, their church, torched and burned over their heads (Cheeseman & Branch 2008). Many wondered if “Kenyans” could still exist after such a horrendous breach of trust between neighbors. Had they become, irrevocably, tribesmen and women, mutually hostile, no longer fellow citizens? The poor, especially, had known political violence for more than a decade, suffering at the hands of thugs acting on behalf of political elites. Other gangs outdistanced their patrons’ ability to control them. The state had lost its monopoly on the use of force (Mueller 2008). Memories were revived of the partisan violence of Mau Mau—the insurgency that had propelled, hindered, and then divided the politics of freedom half a century earlier. The colonial state, barely more than half a century before that, had itself been founded on violence, small in scale, localized and spasmodic, but destructive all the same. The burning of huts and standing crops and the confiscation of livestock had, in British eyes, “punished” native obduracy. As if that history were not intimidating enough, soon after the colony’s birth, in the First World War, the British had had to defend it against its German neighbor, now Tanzania.]

Published: Oct 10, 2015

Keywords: Female Genital Mutilation; Church Leader; Moral Economy; World Religion; Constitutional Reform

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