inventing moroccan islam
The introduction provides an overview of the scope and aims of the book. It begins by noting that the Moroccan colonial archive was the collective product of a generation of French scholars and amateur ethnologists, who, between 1900 and 1925, invented a new field, “Ethnographic Morocco,” and a new object of study, Moroccan Islam. It claimed to provide a scientific basis for the development of French colonial policy toward Morocco. The Moroccan colonial archive, however, was not just a product of its discursive destiny; it was continually reshaped in response to the multiple historical conjunctures (diplomatic, political, and intellectual) in which it was embedded. In this sense, this book is an extended argument in the importance of historicization. The introduction also forecasts a central argument: that the Moroccan ethnographic state was structured, organized, and institutionalized the way in which both non-Moroccans and Moroccans understood the Moroccan polity. In short, it created modern Morocco. The introduction also contains brief discussions of the chapters.
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