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ʿUlamaʾ, tribalism and the national struggle in Morocco, 1944-1956

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Chapter Summary

Morocco's nationalist movement was a relative newcomer to the Moroccan realm of ideas. This chapter explores the relations between Moroccan nationalists, ʿulamaʾ and tribal leaders as they developed throughout the struggle for independence. It highlights the crystallization of the nationalists' ties with the monarchy and the religious establishment, and traces the nationalists' relations with the rural and tribal sector. By providing a detailed account of these relations, the chapter hopes to offer a better understanding of the complex nature of Morocco's nationalist movement. The chapter also carries broader ramifications for understanding other Middle Eastern settings, by exploring an example of a nationalist struggle carried out in a conservative, tribal environment, with the participation of religious leaders. The Istiqlal's establishment in early 1944 reflected an ideological shift within the nationalist movement and an effort to expand the scope of nationalist politics.

Keywords: Istiqlal party; Morocco's nationalist movement; tribalism



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