Diourbel is a historically and religiously significant site close to the holy city of Touba in Senegal. During World War I, Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba Mbacké, the founder of the Mouride order of Sufi Islam in Senegal, was placed under house arrest in Diourbel by French colonial authorities. It was here that Ahmadou Bamba undertook an ambitious mosque-building program using modern construction methods, such as steel and reinforced concrete. The first of two monumental mosques built in the Diourbel region was built according to the Ottoman plan and completed in two years, just as the French were at war with the Ottoman Empire. Because of its distinctive religious architecture, Diourbel demonstrated the power of the Mouride order, the strength of anti-colonial resistance, and the influence of Ahmadou Bamba on Senegalese politics and culture.
Eric S. Ross, Culture and Customs of Senegal, [London: Greenwood Press], 66.