Senegal: Touba Grande Mosque
Senegal is 95% Muslim but about half of that are followers of Mouridism, of which Touba is the heart and capital. Mouridism is a sect within Islam that was founded by Sheikh Amadou Bamba in 1883. For Mourids, Touba and its Grande Mosque are more sacred and holy then Mecca. Everything in Touba is about Bamba – every sign, every car sticker, every wall graffiti. Mouridism requires hard work, no revolts, praying, and following Bamba’s teachings in everything (I may be oversimplifying). Bamba’s writings are read in the mosque rather then Koran. The Grande Mosque is humongous with seven minarets (there are only three like that in the world), and it’s constantly under construction as every new Bamba descendant wants to leave an imprint.