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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Monarchy, the Islamist Movement and Religious Discourse in Morocco
Author:Benomar, Jamal
Periodical:Third World Quarterly
Geographic term:Morocco
Church and State
political conflicts
Religion and Witchcraft
Politics and Government
History and Exploration
Abstract:In Morocco, Islam as the preserve of the monarch, has been used actively by the State, both to immobilize the opposition and as a means of consolidating its control. The development of an Islamic militant opposition is a relatively late phenomenon. This essay sets out to explain why the establishment in Morocco has so successfully held its ground against both secular and religious opponents by examining the nature of the religious field which structures discourse and ideology in Morocco and the relationship of the monarch to the field as one of its principal actors. Three institutions together constituted the basis for religious organization in Morocco: the monarch, the urban-based ulema (clerical leadership), and the zaouaya, the rural-based religious institution. The balance of power between them changed following colonial penetration by the Spanish and French, and again with independence. By 1963, King Hassan II had established the monarch's supreme dominance in religious discourse and political hegemony. Only now is the monarchy's hegemonic position being contested, by a new, radical Islamist movement with no attachment to any traditional religious institution. Ref.