in the early nineteenth century, the political map of western africa was dramatically changed as a succession of wars swept the savannah lands of the region. the political leaders of these military uprisings justified their wars in the name of islam, claiming that they were waging jihad. this implied that they were waging war against ‘the unbeliever’, and yet, in many cases, these wars pitched muslim against muslim. in reality, these were wars over the political control of an existing state or the creation of a new state out of the remnants of several former states. the muslim leaders who formed the spearhead of this movement were drawn largely from people of fulbe origin.
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