Edge Of Islam

On the beautiful island of Lamu on the eastern coast of Kenya, three young footballers have just graduated from school summa cum laude, but cannot get hold of the school certificates they need for university or to find jobs until they pay their hefty school fees arrears. Until then, the certificates remain locked in a rusting filing cabinet in the headmaster's office.
They could get work in Lamu's booming tourist industry, which has brought an influx of pop stars, models and glitterati - and much needed income - to the island over the past 15 years. But tourism has also introduced alcoholism, drugs and soaring house prices that are threatening the local Islamic culture and way of life.
One of our young protagonists, Arafat, isn't worried. His faith is strong enough, he claims, to withstand the lure of the West, and he's happy to earn money providing boat services for tourists on the dhows that ply their trade along Lamu's coast. But his schoolmates, and fellow footballers, Adbulkarim and Abubakar, are reluctant to get involved with the tourists whose dress and habits they regard as corrupting and opposed to Islam.
But how else will they earn enough to secure their precious certificates - and their future? And can the West really offer a model of globalization that will win over Lamu's young men? What future will our three young protagonists choose?

'The Edge of Islam DVD is a wonderful example of the kind of demonstrative tools available to undergraduate instructors of sociology, as well as for instructors in other social science disciplines (e.g., political science, anthropology, geography, economics, religious studies, or global studies)...Provides an empirical anchor for discussing Emile Durkheim's theorization on religion and ritual, Samuel Huntington's clash of civilizations thesis, George Ritzer's conception of McDonaldization, and Immanuel Wallerstein's world systems theory, among other topics frequently covered...In my judgment, the Edge of Islam should be used in a range of different social science courses in years to come.' Nels Paulson, University of Wisconsin-Stoudt, Teaching Sociology

'What is the 'right' way to live in the modern world? Education is essential to access the myriad opportunities in the global village, however, this documentary illustrates that for the youth of Lamu, Kenya, success often requires that they must balance their westernized aspirations and their religious principles on a veritable razor's edge.' Dr. Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, Colorado State University, Pueblo

'Life 6 is a wonderfully educational series that presents the viewers with the dilemmas faced by specific individuals in the socio-historical and economic context of their communities in the midst of an increasingly globalized world. The tremendous value of this series is that, in the brief thirty minutes that each episode lasts, it captures the complexities of the lives of those in it as they face Western influence that force them to reassert, defend, or challenge their local and/or individual identities, cultures, governance, wealth distribution, and practices of achieving justice and reconciliation--to name a few...Life 6 represents these issues in an objective and analytical way that will--without question--lead into a discussion and debate about them by academics and lay audiences alike.' Aniuska Luna, African Peace and Conflict Network


Main credits

Denselow, Robin (film producer)
Gabbay, Alex (film director)
Gabbay, Alex (director of photography)
Gabbay, Alex (editor of moving image work)
Bradshaw, Steve (editor of moving image work)
Bradshaw, Steve (narrator)

Other credits

Music, Taraab Music, Al Noor Sunny, 8 Party Band; cinematography and editing, Alex Gabbay; series editor, Steve Bradshaw.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

African Studies
Developing World
Islamic Studies
Millennium Development Goals
United Nations


Muslims, students, faith, Lamu, tourist industry, tourism, pop stars, alcoholism, drugs, house prices, Islam, Islamic culture, the West, globalization; "Edge Of Islam"; Bullfrog Films