'Race', slavery and Islam in Maghribi Mediterranean thought: The question of the Haratin in Morocco

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Abstract

Certain tenets are shared in North Africa that articulate Maghribi Mediterranean patterns of conceptualisation of power relations in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya-one Islam, one nation (al-maghrib al-'arabi), one culture, one language, and a silence. This culture of silence - the refusal to engage in discussions on slavery and racial attitudes - is the subject of this article. Internally, in the name of hegemony - Arab-Islamic hegemony in North Africa - this issue is concealed and, externally, Mediterranean slavery has been largely ignored by historians. It should be noted that we find a similar silence along the northern shoreline of the Mediterranean. Jacques Heers, a specialist in European history wrote, in his study of slavery in medieval Europe, that this silence reflects an embarassment felt collectively throughout the centuries. The North Africans must have felt a similar embarrassment in questioning interpretations of Islam and its ethics when confronting the matter of slavery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29-52
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of North African Studies
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Political Science and International Relations

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