The Mālikī School and Contemporary Morocco, July 1, 2015

Jul 17

This is the text of the Presidential Lecture I gave two years ago at Akhawayn University in Morocco. It addresses the current attempts of the Moroccan government to enlist historical conceptions of Sunni orthodoxy along the three dimensions of the legal (Malikism), theology (Ash’ari) and mystical (Sufism) to help resist the allure of Jihadi-Salafism, and the challenges Salafism in general poses to historical Sunnism, but why historical Sunnism, despite these challenges, offers important resources for establishing a democratic Morocco. To take advantage of those resources, however, there must be a sincere commitment to those principles. A cynical attempt to deploy  those resources to resist Salafism while failing to reform the foundations of the public order, however, risks increasing the attractiveness of heterodox religious movements, including, but not limited to, Jihadi-Salafism.

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