This article discusses the rise of Eritrean nationalism in the context of Muslim intellectual activism during the later period of the British Military Administration (BMA). It argues that many of the leading members of the pro-independence Muslim intelligentsia, defined in this article broadly as the fluid group of writers, Eritreans within the former Italian colonial civil service, and religious scholars serving within or associated with the Eritrean Muslim League, contributed to the nationalist movement by taking advantage of the extensive "Islamic social capital" across the region. Using Muslim League publications, personal testimonies, British archival sources, and secondary literature, this article will show that throughout the period in question, proactive members of the intelligentsia helped strengthen Muslim civil society while they engaged in broader struggles aimed at achieving social reform and establishing cooperative relationships within the broader nationalist constituency. Their efforts had a tremendous influence on the overall trajectory of nationalism among both League leaders and the organization's general membership.


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pp. 29-62
Launched on MUSE
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