Moroccan constitutional reform and Islamism(s)

Renegotiating the role of religion in the political field

Authored by: Emanuela Dalmasso

The Routledge Handbook to Religion and Political Parties

Print publication date:  December  2019
Online publication date:  November  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138500464
eBook ISBN: 9781351012478
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter focuses on the ways in which different Moroccan Islamist political actors have engaged with politics. It argues that Islamists’ different stances on religious issues and on the monarchy during a period of debate about constitutional reform should be understood primarily through an analysis of their political strategies, rather than being viewed as a result of their religiously based ideological positions. That is, ideology plays far less of a role in the stances taken by the Islamist groups on constitutional reform than their respective political strategies. The first part of the chapter analyses the constitutional debates on the role of religious freedom. Scrutiny of the Moroccan Islamist sphere reveals the existence of different Islamist actors, strategies and outcomes. The second part of the chapter focuses on the stance taken by different Islamist actors with respect to the monarchy – that is, what role should it play in Morocco’s political system? The chapter analyses the ‘constitutional strategy’ of three kinds of Moroccan Islamism: ‘integrated’ (PJD), ‘protested’ (AWI) and ‘elitist’.

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