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Making MoroccoColonial Intervention and the Politics of Identity$
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Jonathan Wyrtzen

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700231

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700231.001.0001

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Creating an Anti-colonial Political Field in the Rif Mountains

Creating an Anti-colonial Political Field in the Rif Mountains

(p.116) Chapter 4 Creating an Anti-colonial Political Field in the Rif Mountains
Making Morocco

Jonathan Wyrtzen

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the creation of an autonomous anti-colonial political field in the Rif Mountains to block Spain's pacification campaign in the early 1920s. It focuses on Mohamed bin 'Abd al-Krim al-Khattabi (Abd el-Krim), a charismatic leader of the Ait Waryaghar tribe, who defeated the Spanish at Anwal (Anoual) in 1921 and constituted an anti-colonial political field, the Republic of the Rif. This chapter begins by charting the relationship between state and nonstate space in the Rif before colonization and the impact of Spanish colonial intervention on this area in the early 1900s. It then considers the jihad and its transformation from an anti-state mode of resistance into an anti-state-building project under Abd el-Krim's leadership. It also explores the processes through which Abd el-Krim constructed a nascent anti-colonial political field having its own symbolic and organizational logics in response to accelerated Spanish pacification operations. The chapter concludes by explaining why the Republic of the Rif eventually fell to a joint Franco-Spanish offensive, eliminating Abd el-Krim's anti-colonial political field.

Keywords:   anti-colonial political field, Rif Mountains, pacification, Mohamed bin 'Abd al-Krim al-Khattabi, Ait Waryaghar tribe, Republic of the Rif, nonstate space, colonial intervention, jihad, Spain

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