STATE AND ISLAMISM IN THE MAGHREB
Volume 7, No. 1 – March 2003
State and Islamism in THE Maghreb
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Each of the three Maghreb states–Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco–dealt differently with internal Islamist movements. This study explains how these differences are derived from three factors: each state├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs distinctive political framework, historical context of formation, and development level of their own civil societies. In this context, each of these states has developed its own model for handling Islamism. Equally, each movement has expressed itself differently within these varied environments.
Historical context of the states├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż formations
For many centuries, others governed Algeria and after a long period of Ottoman rule France conquered it in 1830. Contrary to Morocco and Tunisia, where the colonial authorities did not make radical changes in the socio-cultural or political structures, the situation was different in Algeria, which was declared a full and integral part of France. Throughout the 125 years that followed, and intensified during the ferocious war fought between 1954 and 1962 that led to independence, France dismantled much of the original society. In contrast, in the other two countries, France left civil society in place, using a centralized administrative structure supported by traditionalist notables to control the country at low costs of money and direct involvement.
Given Algeria├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs fate and the loss of the elite├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs cultural identity and language, Islam became a refuge and source of cultural resistance to colonization. This was far less true in Tunisia and Morocco. In addition, while Algeria only won independence after a bloody conflict with hundreds of thousands of casualties, the other two countries did so by a negotiated agreement between France and the nationalist movements.
In this context, Algeria├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs situation and its collective political memory is marked by a rupture with the past and its leaders have tried to build a national consciousness based mainly on the brief history of the revolutionary period. Rather than build on the foundations of tradition and pre-colonial history, the state has depended on weaker structures and the use of authoritarian controls or violence to maintain its rule. Autonomous action by other forces within the society is often viewed by the ruling elite as a challenge that can be handled by repression. The army is the institution given supreme authority and–on the basis of the independence war–seen as the repository of sovereignty. It stands ready to eliminate any alternative candidates for power.
Among the old structures that were weakened and subsequently controlled were the religious institutions. The ulama, Islam├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs representatives, were turned into civil servants who contributed to strengthening the state and following its policies. The religious leadership had been somewhat discredited since it did not play a leading role in the independence movement. Algeria was dominated by the army under the cover of the National Front of Liberation (FLN), the sole political party until the end of the 1980s. During this period, three regimes followed one another: those of Ahmad Ben Bella, Houari Boumedienne, and Chadli Benjedid.
In Tunisia, by way of contrast, there has been much more continuity. The origins of that state go back as far as the Carthaginians of ancient times. While it is true that what is now Tunisia was then ruled by foreign conquerors, it has often enjoyed autonomy as well. In the seventeenth century, the Husseini dynasty originated there. After a period of Ottoman rule, it was also conquered by the French. But, unlike Algeria, French rule started only in the 1880s, and the colonial authorities preserved traditional structures. Thus, the country├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs independence was acquired under less traumatic conditions than in Algeria. While independent Tunisia was also ruled by a dictatorship, it was a milder regime and was far less dependent on the army than was Algeria.
Like in Algeria, though, the new regime was interested in smashing old structures and gaining a monopoly over society in terms of both power and ideology. Here as well, the ulama was judged insufficiently nationalist and were marginalized. Habib Bourguiba, the ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żsupreme fighter├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in the independence struggle and leader of the Neo-Destour party, established a republic in July 1957 and ended the Husseini dynasty├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs reign.
Compared to the other two states, Morocco has had the greatest continuity. It has a long tradition of centralized state control and was the only Maghreb state to escape Ottoman rule. In 1912, later than the other two states, it became a French-Spanish colony. The colonial authorities did not undertake radical changes of the socio-cultural and political structures. While the traditional structures have been preserved, a centralized administrative structure was established, supported by traditionalist notables.
The Alawite dynasty won back its legitimacy due to its alignment, along with the powerful nationalist Istiqlal Party (PI), with the independence movement. Once independence was gained in 1956, however, the monarchy defeated the PI to retain power. The king then established a system that interlocked the political and the religious spheres within the framework of a constitutional order but under the full control of the monarchy. The legislative, executive, and judiciary functions are in the monarchy├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs hands, and his legitimacy is derived from religious and historical origins.(1)
This arrangement did not prevent the emergence of a vital opposition, largely inherited from the period of the struggle for independence. Both left-wing and conservative forces arose and there are both legal and underground oppositions, including Islamist groups. While the political establishment is only open to those among the elite who are approved by the monarchy, the political scene is certainly more open than is the case in Algeria or Tunisia.
Religious Politics of the States
In Algeria, under Ahmad Ben Bella (1962-1965), the influence of Islam, officially seen as ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żthe religion of the people├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in the name of which the battle for independence was fought, was supposed to be limited to the private sphere. According to the constitution of 1963, Islam was formally defined as the state├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs religion (article 4). During this period, however, the main political theme was the society├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs secularization. This orientation would be accentuated by the endorsement of the Algiers Charter in 1964, considered by Bernard Cubertafond as a ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żclear disengagement of the Algerian State from Islam.├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż(2) But the restoration of teaching the Islamic religion in the schools did not provide the regime with the support of the conservative branch for its socialist orientation.
Under Houari Boumerdienne (1965-1978), the support of the conservative factions within the state and of the society for his coup did not result in the new government├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs meeting their socio-cultural demands. These sectors wanted to turn the revolution toward advocating their own conception of Islam and giving them control over the ideological sectors (culture and education). Seeking political support for its agrarian reform, the power drew briefly closer to the Marxist-oriented left in 1972.
But to weaken its adversaries, the government eventually used the right-wing conservative stream against the left. The presence of some of the foremost conservative personalities in the cabinet, such as Ahmed Taleb Ibrahim as National Education and later Culture and Information Minister and Mouloud Kassim at the Education and Religious Affairs Ministry, coincided with the increasing institutional presence of Islam on the state level. A symbol of this change was the education reform of 1977, which brought in an increased religious element, as demonstrated by the creation of the Education and Religious Affairs Ministry.
Similarly, a higher Islamic Council was created by the decree of February 13, 1966. In September 1973, a statute linked to the civil code reintroduced the use of the Muslim legal system, which would be progressively recognized as a source of subsidiary law that the magistrates could apply. The parliament supported very conservative laws in the family code as well.(3)
In the same vein, article 195 of the 1976 constitution stipulated that no constitutional revision could interfere with the principle that Islam is the state├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs religion. Article 120 orders that the head of state must extol Islam in his oath of office. The National Charter of 1976 records that Algerians are part of the Muslim people (umma). Between 1981 and 1986, a policy promoting religious schooling was implemented.(4) This educational system, parallel to the general one, provided an arena for debate between supporters of an authorized conservative Islam and those backing a more ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żfundamentalist├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż line. During the 1980-1986 period, the Ministry of Religious Affairs engaged in an Islamization campaign. This close cooperation continued until 1986, when the regime discontinued its support due to its rising perception that Islamization was becoming a threat to its power.(5)
Contrasting with the support for an official Islam in Algeria, Tunisia continued to follow a more secularist line. Although in its 1965 constitution Tunisia privileged Islam as the ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żreligion of the country,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż this was basically a statement of fact which did not conflict with the modernization and secularization efforts induced by Habib Bourguiba (1962-1987) in a reform process initiated from above by the authoritarian ruler. The head of state took steps to undercut Islam that the former colonial power would never have dared to undertake.(6) Along these lines he adopted a modern legal system including a personal status law,(7) incorporated into the public education system the prestigious university of al-Zaytouna (heart of the Tunisian cultural universe for 12 centuries),(8) suspended the religious courts, and ended the obligation to fulfill religious duties. These decisions contravened the cultural codes of the majority of the population. Consequently, various conservative groups have considered them as an act of aggression against Arab culture and the Islamic religion.
For the regime, it was easy to undertake such actions since it faced no serious challenge to its president, as lifetime leader, and its status as ruling party, the lone political formation permitted. Habib Bourguiba instituted a paternalist system with the monopoly over the use of force in the hands of his supporters. The government filled every social space that could acquire autonomy. Political parties were banned and the parliament was controlled until 1981.
Beginning in 1977, however, the regime reduced its virulent attack against the symbols of religious life. Thus, Tunisians were once more encouraged to fulfill their religious obligations through the provision of necessary facilities and convenient schedules alongside the revitalization of religious teaching and Arab-Muslim culture. In this context, religious associations were created (9) and the family legal code amended. These modifications, which worried the secular community, can be explained, among other things, by the changes among the ruling elite. Failing to gain the support of a Marxist-oriented left that was increasingly implanted in the academic sectors, the regime turned to the conservative camp to secure the required support for its economic policy of liberalization.
In Morocco, the government sought to subordinate the religious institutions to its power, albeit in a different manner. There, the integration of the ulama was easier since they shared the same ideological culture as the regime. After confining it to strictly cultural and religious affairs–its usual function for decades–the monarchy allowed the ulama to be organized hierarchically to facilitate a more effective response to counter the arguments of radical Islamist intellectuals.
The monarchy reinforced and recreated the Muslim associative network while different forms of popular and syncretic Islam were encouraged and controlled to fight against Islamism. There was far less of an attempt than in Tunisia and Algeria to erase the religious factor from the political arena. In addition, the regime based its appeal on popular culture and traditional society, especially its religious values, rather than embarking on a comprehensive modernization program. From 1984 on, the government reorganized the religious sector, while strengthening it at the same time, through such means as control of mosque construction, standardization of Friday sermons to exclude radical Islamist imams, and the closing of mosques outside of the hours of prayer.
States and Islamists
In Algeria, the various methods the regime used to appeal to the conservative sectors did not persuade all of them to endorse its socialist orientation. These oppositional forces were not ready to politically challenge the regime, but they did use the mosque network and al-Qiyam al-Islamiyya (Islamic Values) Association as a platform to promulgate their ideology.(11)
Because of the regime├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs single-party system and tight control over mass organizations, the mosque was the only officially accepted social space that enjoyed some autonomy. Except for some underground parties, every other institution was affiliated with and supervised by the FLN and the state. Such a structural situation facilitated the formation of protest within the mosques, which evolved from a loosely structured protest led by isolated and zealous preachers into a more structured form.(12) This Islamization process had a tremendous effect on parts of the Algerian intelligentsia.
As the mosques increased their independent development, the old official preachers paid by the state were discredited. The younger, alternative preachers did not hesitate to criticize the regime in their Friday sermons. Their zeal made them more popular.
The Iranian revolution also influenced the Islamist political landscape. From 1982 on, an armed movement was created by the preacher Mustafa Bouyali and engaged in urban terrorism. The university riots of November 1982 between Arab nationalists and leftists provided the Islamists with a chance to enlarge their base, absorbing the Arabic speakers├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż demands for more professional parity with the French-speakers.
In a political context marked by the unprecedented rise of the Islamist stream, the third president, Colonel Chadli Benjedid (1978-1991), exploited some of the Islamist themes. The government expanded religious teaching to every level of education, created an Islamic section in high schools that would allow the pupils to enter the higher Institute of Social and Islamic sciences in Constantine, established a construction plan (1980-1984) for 160 mosques and Quranic schools, created 5000 posts for Quran teachers and 26 new Islamic centers, and intensified the religious aspects of media programs. It also promoted religious forms of mobilization (brotherhood and maraboutic) that were not regarded as disloyal. The task of the ulama councils that were created was to provide religious validity for the regime├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs legitimacy and policies.
After a battle with the state during the 1980s, the Islamist stream became the main political force of the opposition.(13) The repression of the urban riot of 1988 symbolized the rupture in the symbolical political order inherited from the first years of the post-independence period. This existing order was based on the founding myth of national consensus that designated the army as the guarantor of the country├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs stability and the servant of the people. However, increasing clan conflicts within the regime weakened the nature of its authority. Another contributing factor was the decline in oil and gas earnings.
In 1988, Chadli Benjedid received the official Islamist delegation composed of Mahfoud Nahnah, Abassi Madani, Ali Belhaj and Ahmad Sahnoun among others. They wished to be the representatives of the rioters and mediate the crisis. In meeting with the group, Benjedid recognized them as legitimate and indispensable political actors. The opening to the Islamists was simultaneously an attempt to strengthen the incumbent in his competition with the Houari Boumedienne faction, as well as an attempt to enlist allies against other oppositionist forces.(14)
But while the Islamists gained the opportunity for open political action, they also fragmented. Benefiting from the constitutional revision of 1989 that permitted a multi-party system, Abassi Madani and Ali Belhaj created the Islamic Front of Salvation (FIS). The FIS was a union between various religious associations controlling the mosques, the welfare, and the religious education structures scattered throughout the country. Ahmed Sahnoun founded an Islamic League, while Mahfoud Nahnah refused to join either group and ran the Council and Reform Movement that became Hamas in 1990.
FIS, however, emerged as the most important Islamist group, and its power rose, partly because of the FLN├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs decline. The party that had led Algeria to independence was discredited because it was considered corrupt and responsible for the country├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs economic and social shortcomings. Meanwhile, FIS was able to work within the framework created by the new constitution. It exhibited a willingness to work within the system and quieted those radical jihadist sectors that advocated political violence as the means of creating an Islamic regime. The army, of course, hoped to use the FIS to moderate the militants, such as those who had fought in Afghanistan, and thus turn them into another means to preserve the regime rather than overturn it.(15)
Despite the new electoral laws, the strategy adopted by the regime was a failure because the FIS became the most powerful group in the country after the 1990 local and 1991 parliamentary elections. FIS mobilized its own infrastructure of mosques and local associations while taking advantage of both the FLN├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs internal splits and the people├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs growing rejection of the regime├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs policies and symbols. Even when the government recognized the FIS├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs rival, the Hamas party, this did not reduce its popularity. A new electoral law adopted on April 2, 1991, to contain the Islamist rise, also failed in stopping its expansion during the first round of the legislative elections.
Contesting the new electoral law, the FIS leadership called a general strike that turned into an insurrection, which became an excuse justifying the army├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs intervention. The army├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs declaration of a state of emergency was designed to prevent the FIS from winning the election. The army arrested the FIS├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs organizational leaders while leaving alone those directly involved in the election to preserve the credibility of the balloting and to provoke a split in the Islamist group. It also hoped to scare the left and liberal opponents of the Islamists so they would support military intervention (or at least not condemn the move) and cooperate in a broad front against the threat of an Islamist takeover.
Abd al-Kadir Hachani, who favored participating within the system, had taken over the FIS leadership in the pre-election period. Despite the new electoral law designed to help the FLN and the intimidating atmosphere, his strategy was a success and the FIS won 188 seats with 47.2% of the votes. Outside the Berber-dominated Kabylia area (won by a Berber-oriented party) and the far south (won by the FLN), the FIS came in first all over the country.
Given this outcome, the army canceled the election├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs second round to avoid an FIS victory. The military offered a compromise that the FIS rejected, in which the armed forces would give the Islamists the ideological ministries (Education, Culture, and Religious Affairs) while it retained the more crucial ones (Interior, Justice, Foreign Affairs, Economy and Finance). Such a partition would have preserved the army├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs privileged position and control over the country├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs oil income. The army then declared the FIS dissolved and sought to repress the whole movement. This step and the events surrounding it led to a power shift in the FIS away from the moderates and toward the jihadist faction that advocated armed struggle. Thus began the Algerian civil war.
With war, the army was firmly in control of the government and postponed any possibility of democratic transition. To govern, it created the High Committee of State (HCE) to lead the country and a Consultative National Council (CNC) to take the part of the national assembly. A state of emergency was declared on February 9, 1992. To offer an end to the fighting on the regime├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs terms, the Committee for the Salvation of Algeria and the National Conference for Dialogue (CNT) were established in 1994.
The army and its supporters rejected the January 1995 peace proposal of the FIS and a variety of other forces–including the FLN and the Algerian League of Human Rights–instead seeking the total defeat of the insurgency. By the year 2003, the army can be said to have won the war militarily by repressing the Islamist forces, but the great price to the country, and the likelihood that these divisions will continue to poison Algeria, are also important considerations.
In Tunisia, the birth of the Islamist movement goes back to 1972, with the appearance of al-Jama├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża al-Islamiyya, which became the Movement of the Islamic Trend (MTI). The Movement, which operated in the mosques, pressed for the re-Islamization of the society. The 1980s inaugurated a second stage of the campaign, illustrated by the end of MTI├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs isolation. Claiming that Shari├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża applied in every sector, it sought to marginalize the left├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs appeal.(16) But the Islamists were also on relatively good terms with the regime and, since they wanted to be recognized as a political party, they, in turn, recognized the existing constitution and the principle of pluralism.
The rise of Islamism occurred in a time of deep economic and political crisis, with protests reaching a peak at the 1984 riot.(17) The emergence of the Islamist factor in the educational and cultural sectors was encouraged by the regime, whose main concern was the challenge by the left. In this context, Islamism spread from social organizations into the state├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs security institutions (army, police, customs). Even the trade union federation, a traditional stronghold of the government, saw an increasing Islamist presence. The leadership and organization of the Islamists steadily improved from 1975 to 1986 as they adapted a gradualist strategy to gain power. Given the Islamists├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż growing confidence and Bourguiba├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs personal decline into senility, the country was headed towards crisis.
In response, on November 7, 1987, General Zayn Abidin Ben Ali, then interior minister and the regime├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs strong man, took over and forced Bourguiba to resign. Ben Ali legalized numerous political parties and declared his desire for national reconciliation and democratization. This action brought him wide support, including the Islamists├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż favor. Their cadres were all released from prison.
Ben Ali├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs regime provided the Islamists with the opportunity to have a seat at the High Islamic Council in charge of religious affairs, to take part along with all political forces in authoring the National Pact that set the general basic principles for any political activity, to participate in the legislative election of April 2, 1989,(18) and to see the legalization of their Tunisian Students├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż General Union and their newspaper al-Fajr. In addition, the regime set a new religious policy that promoted Islam as a major element of national identity, sent signs of openness to the conservative groups, took actions to reinforce religiosity, restored al-Zaytouna University to its traditional autonomy, reintroduced the call for prayer in the mass media, and created the Center for Islamic Studies in 1989.(19)
Through these means the regime was trying to build up Islam as a way to delegitimize Islamism. If the state itself was accepting Islamization, the argument went, there was no need to impose it through a revolution. If the moderates were happy with such changes, they would be less likely to support the radicals. And if the state was managing a more powerful, popular Islam, then opposition movements would not be able to control it.(20)
While seeking popular legitimization through elections, the new regime wanted to prevent Islamist participation in the legal political scene at all costs. The laws of May 3, 1988 and February 1989, dealing with the parties and the multi-party system, excluded any political party organized around a racial, regional, linguistic and religious basis. These laws were meant to deny the Islamists any legal recognition. For their part, the Islamists vowed to cease any infiltration attempts into the security apparatus and to accept the personal status code. They adopted the name of Hizb al-Nahda (the Rebirth Party) to participate in the legislative elections of March 1989. Even if they were not authorized to create a legal party, Islamists could participate in the elections via independent lists.
But after a campaign punctuated by numerous instances of fraud, the presidential party, Democratic Constitutional Gathering (RCD), won all 141 seats of the Legislative Assembly. The Islamists came in second place. Discontent with these results, the Islamists chose confrontation in 1990 and 1991. In response, the government broke up the movement. Islamists were arrested, their supporters and families harassed, and sometimes tortured. The new Minister of National Education, Muhammad Charfi, presented a new school curriculum without any Islamist reference. Clothes defined as Islamic were banned from public institutions.
In order to gain support for its repressive policies, the regime courted the modernist groups, which gave their moral and international endorsement. However, once the regime succeeded in smashing the Islamist movement, it turned against its allies, who advocated political liberalization. Two indicators of this rejection of political liberalization are the tough law-and-order measures and change in the constitution to allow Ben Ali to run again for president in 2002.
In Morocco, the first Islamist movement, Harakat al-Shabiba al-Islamiyya (Movement of the Islamic Youth) was created in 1969. Its founder, Inspector of Education Abd al-Karim Muti├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż, was influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood. His movement was legalized in 1972 as a social and cultural association. Recruitment and indoctrination occurred in the mosques. But the movement├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs growth also brought on government repression and this pressure provoked a split in 1977, producing the rival al-Jama├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża al-Islamiyya (Islamic Community) and the Ursat al-Jama├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża (Family Community).
To avoid repression, al-Jama├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża al-Islamiyya, led by Abd al-Ilah Benkirane, a teacher, adopted a moderate strategy while continuing to exert pressure on the left. To dissipate the suspicions of the conservative and secular streams of the establishment, the leadership of the movement adopted the name al-Islah wa-Tajdid (Reform and Renewal), recognized the legitimacy of the regime, accepted democracy and the principles of human rights disassociated from secularism. Finally, the movement created the pro-government Party of Justice and Development (PJD).
This strategy allowed the government to divide and weaken the Islamist scene, especially the more radical Ursat al-Jama├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża, which adopted the name al-Adl wal-Ihsan (Justice and Charity) in 1987.
The chaotic events in Algeria worried the government, the Moroccan left, and the society in general. Taking advantage of the context of atrocities perpetrated at the beginning of the war in Algeria and attributed to the Islamists, the Moroccan regime used the pretext to frighten different sectors of the society and neutralized the demand for democratization. Such a system was presented as helping the Islamists achieve power and thus as something to be avoided. For their part, the Islamists had to keep a low profile.
The arrival of the new sovereign, young King Muhammad VI, was marked by a resurgence of official activism in the social domain, in an effort to compete with the Islamists on their own territory. This included an increasing effort to revitalize moderate and pro-government forces in the mosques. The campaign culminated in Abd al-Salam Yasin├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs being sentenced to house arrest in 2000 and banned from preaching in the mosques. If this charismatic leader disappears, an increasing factional conflict within his movement can provoke a split, producing rival groups. This should weaken the Islamist scene.
Four decades after independence, each of the three Maghreb countries based and built authoritarian regimes on their own historical heritage. All three regimes at times encouraged Islamic groups against their other rivals, while at other times repressed them, and simultaneously created or encouraged their own moderate Islamic groupings. There were, however, some significant differences among them as well.
Tunisia, lacking a traumatic colonial transition and guided by a charismatic leader and single party, chose the path of authoritarian modernization of society. It evinced a firm, repressive management of Islamism, which it saw as a fearsome adversary.
Algeria, affected by a bloody liberation war followed by an authoritarian regime that pervaded society, adopted a contradictory strategy of fluctuating between courting and repressing Islamists.
Morocco possesses a long-standing state tradition that allowed, to some extent, the expression of political and religious pluralism. Islamism was permitted (if constrained), but largely recognized by the regime even if not legally.
In each case, though, the system saw Islamism as too much of a threat to permit the existence of a legal Islamist party.
1. Article 23 of the Moroccan Constitution asserts the sacred character of the monarchy.
2. Bernard Cubertafond, L’Algérie contemporaine (Paris: PUF, Coll. ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻQue sais-je?,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż No. 1977, 2e édition, 1988), p. 107.
3. Nouredine Saadi, La femme et la loi en Algérie (Alger, Bouchene/UNU-WIDER, 1991).
4. The decree of March 23, 1981 tried to multiply the training institutes of the imams. The decrees of August 6, 1983 transformed the institutes of Islamic sciences into the National Institute of Higher Education in Theology and Shari├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża, and the decree of August 4, 1984 created the University of Islamic Sciences Émir Abd al-Kader of Constantine. In 1984, Benjedid appointed Mohamed Ghazali, an Egyptian theologian of the Al-Azhar University who until then had been very close to the Muslim Brotherhood, dean of this new institution. Such a gesture denotes the local deficience of official Islam. The decree of November 4, 1986 instituted a BA in Islamic sciences.
5. Ahmed Rouadjia, Les Frères et la mosquée (Paris: Karthala, 1990), p. 189; François Fergosi, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻLes rapports entre l’islam et l’État en Algérie et en Tunisie: de leur revalorisation à leur contestation,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Annuaire de l’Afrique du Nord (A.A.N.), No. 34, (1996), pp. 104-109.
6. Mohsen Toumi, La Tunisie de Bourguiba à Ben Ali (Paris: PUF, 1989); Michel Camau, Pouvoir et institutions au Maghreb (Tunis: Cérès productions, 1978).
7. This law, adopted on August 13, 1956, banned polygamy (art. 18) and repudiation (art. 30) and allowed adoption.
8. Since the university fell under French supervision, al-Zaytouna alumni had to be affiliated to the faculty of theology in Tunis or leave the country to pursue their studies.
9. François Burgat, L’Islamisme au Maghreb (Paris: Karthala, 1986), p. 205.
10. Mohamed Tozy, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻLe prince, le clerc et l’État: la restructuration du champ religieux au Maroc,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż in Gilles Kepel & Yann Richard (under the direction), Intellectuels et militants de l’islam contemporain (Paris: Seuil, 1990), pp. 72-87.
11. Founded in 1963, this association included among its members Sahnoun, Soltani and Madani, preachers who made a significant impact on the Islamist scene two decades later. Among its demands: the moralization of public life, the application of the Islamic law, the Arabization and revision of the personal status code.
12. During the 1970s, Sahnoun, Soltani and Madani preached at the Bayt al-Arqam Mosque, and Belhaj preached in the Bab al-Wad Mosque a decade later.
13. During the 1980s, new spaces were created or renewed, among which were the Berber cultural movement (1980), the Human Rights movement (1983) and the movement of women against discrimination between genders (1981). The Berber movement was crushed in 1980, the movement of Human Rights was taken over by the creation of the Algerian Human Rights League, and the women├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs movement neutralized by the adoption of the personal status code.
14. The reform decree was issued by the president├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs office, partly from the army, and partly from a segment of the bureaucracy, while the apparatus of the one-party system, part of the army├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs staff, and some spheres of the economic sector of the state felt attached to the preservation of the pension├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs economy and of the state economic intervention. Due to the hostility of the religious sector to socialist ideology, the regime’s reformists thought they could use this religious sector to limit the leeway of the socialists and find support for economic openness.
15. Rémy Leveau, Le sabre et le turban: l’avenir du Maghreb (Paris: Éditions François Bourin, 1993).
16. To its leader Ghannouchi, the sovereignty of an Islamic state belongs to God. Salwa Ibn-Youssef Al-Charfi, Power, States, and Human Rights in the Discourse of the Movement of Islamic Tendency (Arabic) (Unpublished doctoral thesis in Political Science; Faculty of Law, Politics, and Social Sciences, Tunis II, 1994), p. 188.
17. Such rioting occurred in Morocco as well. According to Abdellatif Moutadayene, the eruption of the economic crisis, which was behind this event, is an important factor of democratization. Abdellatif Moutadayene, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻEconomic crises and Democratization in Morocco,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż The Journal of North African Studies, Vol. 6, No. 3 (Autumn 2001), pp. 70-82.
18. But their participation in political life is not based on recognition of the State├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Żs legitimacy, which lacks religious legitimacy in the eyes of the Islamist leader since it does not implement Shari├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ża. S. Aldeeb Abu-Sahlieh, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻLe Mouvement tunisien de la Tendance islamique, la loi islamique et les droits de l’homme,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż A.A.N., No. 35, (1998), p. 384.
19. Yad Ben Achour, Politique, religion et droit dans le monde arabe (Tunis: Ceres Productions-Cerp, 1992), p. 172.
20. Elbaki Hermassi, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻMontée et déclin du mouvement islamiste en Tunisie,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż Confluences Méditerranée, No. 12, (Automne 1994), pp. 37-38.
M. Aziz Enhaili is a doctoral candidate in political science at Laval University in Canada. He is the author of the recent article, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻPluralism and Islamism: The Moroccan Case,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż (in French: Pluralisme et islamisme. Le cas du Maroc), in Marie-Hélène Parizeau & Souheil Kash (Eds.), Pluralism, Modernity & the Arab World, (Québec-Bruxelles-Beyrouth: PUL-Bruylant-Delta, 2001), pp. 159-178, as well as the forthcoming article, ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻThe stakes of Political Transition in Morocco├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż (in French: ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻLes enjeux de la transition politique au Maroc├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż), Les Cahiers de l’Orient. He is the author of numerous other articles focusing on events in North Africa.
Mme Oumelkheir Adda is a political analyst, former chairwoman of the Circle of Reflection on the Arab World based at Laval University, and member of the organizing committee of a colloquium on ├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬ŻPolitical Change in Morocco,├?┬»├?┬┐├?┬Ż held at Laval University in Winter 2000.