October 10th, 2016

Spliting up Africa and Modern Religions IN SPACE!

Setting: Fandom tangental, but the only relevant part is that it's just like our world until the late 1990's, where the whole world is united basically overnight into a largely peacful magical kingdom. From there I'm taking a sci-fi route and throwing people onto multiple generation/colony ships and sending them out into the universe, never to return.

So, I have two questions. I don't need exact answers for either (and I expect there aren't any) but I don't know enough to be comfortable making the judgement calls, and I can't find quite what I'm looking for on Google.

1) When spliting Sub-Saharan Africa into two broad groups, is it 'okay' to group the 'east' and 'south' parts as one, and the 'west' and 'central' parts as the other? I primarily want similar/related cultures grouped together as much as possible. Geography isn't necessarily a concern.

2) Are there any reasons any major modern religions can/can't continue to be practiced when humans leave earth permanently? Specifically, will/can Islam make the transition into space? I don't know much about Islam, but I know one of the requirements is a pilgrimage Mecca at least once. Can 'proper' Muslims leave the solar system permanently?

I've tried searches off and on for cultural and liguistic groups in africa, hoping to get a best fit, but the results I find are all too specific with dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct little groups all over and no way for me to tell which ones are most similar to each other without exhausive, and otherwise uneccesary, reasearch. I got the east/west/south/central divides from looking at political divisions of the African continent, and population density maps show a big blob in the west-central region and another along the south-east edge, so that seems reasonable but I have no idea if there's any larger cultural issues with that grouping.

I've also done various searches for permutations of islam/muslims in (outer) space, but all I can seem to find is the answer to how to do the daily prayers from the space station, and that Muslims are forbidden from applying to go to Mars, at least at this point and mostly because it's tantamount to suicide which is also forbidden. I've even added 'worldbuiliding' to the searches, but apparently no one else has considered writing about Muslims in space. I didn't even get any results talking about Dune!

All I need for these is a reasonably solid place to extrapolate from. Informed opinions are welcome, as are links to resources that might have more pertinent information. The story itself is 'sufficiently far in the future' that I have plenty on wiggle room, but Africa is large enough and diverse enough to warrant multiple colonies, and a colony full of Muslim Arabs will likely turn out quite a bit different than the same colony full of non-Muslim Arabs, and I don't want to write them in/out arbitrarily.

Thanks.