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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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Classification Struggles and Arabo-Islamic National Identity

Classification Struggles and Arabo-Islamic National Identity

(p.136) Chapter 5 Classification Struggles and Arabo-Islamic National Identity
Making Morocco

Jonathan Wyrtzen

Cornell University Press

This chapter focuses on the emergence of a city-based anti-colonial nationalist movement in the wake of the 1930 “Berber Crisis.” It considers how the Berber Crisis shaped the ideological and symbolic parameters of the urban Arabic-speaking nationalists' classification struggles in the colonial political field. It examines how nationalists used the three dimensions of Moroccan identity—Islam, Arabic, and the monarchy—to mobilize popular protest and define an Arabo-Islamic national identity. In particular, it discusses the identification processes that were catalyzed as anti-colonialists defined a new category of Moroccan political identity, wataniya, or nationalism, which mediated between local levels of identification (tribe, village, city, region) and the translocal umma, or global Muslim community. It also looks at the nationalists' use of the Treaty of Fes to subvert the formal symbolic rules of colonial strategic action by pressuring France to honor the sultan's sovereignty rights. The chapter concludes by assessing the nationalists' shift toward the goal of independence after World War II.

Keywords:   nationalism, Berber Crisis, colonial political field, Moroccan identity, Arabo-Islamic national identity, wataniya, umma, Treaty of Fes, France, classification struggles

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