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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:An inquiry into the origins of the Algerian medjlis crisis of 1858
Author:Christelow, AlienISNI
Periodical:Revue d'histoire maghrébine
Geographic terms:Algeria
Islamic law
Abstract:On 1 October 1854 the French colonial adminstra-tion in Algeria promulgated a decree granting considerable power and autonomy to Muslim judges. The decree was implemented in June 1856. Within two years the sovereign medjlis-s were wracked by a series of alleged scandals. Members of four different medjlis-s, all in the Oranais, were dismissed from their posts. A new decree on Muslim justice was issued on 31 December 1859, which instituted a channel of appeal from the kadi directly to the French tribunaux. The 'received version' of the decree of 1854 and the ensuing events contends that corruption permeated the Muslim judicial system and that such corruption was congenital to the decaying civilisations of the East. The present author criticises this 'received version', addressing himself, amongst others, to the following question: What were the motives behind the establishment of the sovereign medjlis? Were the scandals in fact a 'frame-up' and why were they concentrated in the Oranais? Why were the anti-medjlis forces able to triumph so easily in 1859? How did the Algerian Muslims react to these events? Notes.