Islam in Africa

15 05 2008

URL: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/row/RS22873.pdf. Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists). The attacks on U.S. soil on September 11, 2001, coupled with the rise of militant transnational Islamism, have prompted both the Bush Administration and the U.S. Congress to reassess foreign policy in Africa and to begin to give considerable attention to Africa’s Muslim populations and its failed and failing states. Some experts have noted that Africa’s failing and failed states may serve as a breeding ground for terrorists. In response to terrorist threats, the United States, in partnership with countries across Africa, has developed a range of strategies to help regional governments face the challenge of terror. Since September 11, 2001, the size of U.S. diplomatic missions in sub-Saharan African countries with large Muslim populations has increased. Presently, there are 45 active embassies in sub-Saharan Africa, including 16 new compounds built since 2001. Most recently, President Bush returned from a five-country visit to Africa, his second trip to the continent. Some observers view these trips as reflective of the Administration’s focus, which has seen increasing American engagement with the continent in recent years. For further information on U.S. policy in Africa, see CRS Report RL34003, Africa Command: U.S. Strategic Interests and the Role of the U.S. Military in Africa, by Lauren Ploch; and CRS Report RL31772 U.S. Trade and Investment Relationship with Sub-Saharan Africa: The African Growth and Opportunity Act and Beyond, by Danielle Langton.

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