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The Ethnographic StateFrance and the Invention of Moroccan Islam$
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Edmund III Burke

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780520273818

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520273818.001.0001

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Urban Policy Fez and the Muslim City

Urban Policy Fez and the Muslim City

(p.146) Eight Urban Policy Fez and the Muslim City
The Ethnographic State

Edmund Burke

University of California Press

Chapter 8 explores the development of the ethnography of Fez and, with it, of French native policy toward cities. In the pre-protectorate period, the reputation of Fez as a center of urban upheaval provoked much ethnographic interest. A comprehensive portrait had been generated by 1904. It stressed the role of Moroccan ulama and the relations of elite families. But a succession of urban insurrections in 1907–1908, 1911, and 1912 suggested that beneath the surface, there was much that eluded French analysts. When the May 1912 upheaval narrowly missed expelling the French to the coast just after the arrival of Resident-General Lyautey, it became clear that something needed to be done. In response, French authorities created an elective municipal council (Ar., majlis al-a’’yan) that sought to incorporate the views of the notables into the governance of the city. But once the crisis was over, French enthusiasm for the council of notables waned, and it was set aside. It was never instituted in other Moroccan cities. Instead, French administrators pursued municipal policies that effectively divided the native city (medina) from the modern (ville nouvelle), a system one critic has called “urban apartheid.”

Keywords:   Fez, Henri Gaillard, Eugène Aubin [Descos], Edouard Michaux-Bellaire, Si Kaddour bin Ghabrit, Auguste Mouliéras

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