The Moroccan sultan: Adli or Boutchichi?
DOI link for The Moroccan sultan: Adli or Boutchichi?
The Moroccan sultan: Adli or Boutchichi? book
The religious ﬁeld in Morocco is characterized by a multiplicity of actors: the king, the ministry of religious aﬀairs, Islamic parties, independent scholars, preachers, mystical brotherhoods, and Islamic state institutes and schools. The major task of this chapter is to analyze how the Boutchichi order and Al Adl Wal Ihsane (AWI) interact with these diﬀerent religious actors, but also to show, at a surface level, how the Moroccan monarchy borrows Suﬁ tactics and symbols for religious legitimization. It concludes that the Boutchichi order helps the Moroccan order to become a “mystic regime,” meanwhile AWI represents the Suﬁ rebel. This conclusion, as will be shown in the following chapters, does not stand scrutiny when Suﬁ repertoires become the registers that we use to locate political contention between the sultan and the saint. Moroccan religious policy is mainly structured around the goal of inte-
grating religion into the structure of the state. The ministry of religious aﬀairs functions as the intermediary actor in the process of integration. According to the scholar Mohamed Darif, Morocco’s religious ﬁeld revolves around three cornerstones: the ﬁeld of arbitration, which operates mainly in rural areas aiming to produce intermediaries; the ﬁeld of Commander of the Faithful aiming to eliminate intermediaries between the king and his subjects; and the ﬁeld of monarchy centered on urban areas (Darif 1987: n. 2). In fact, in his book Culture and Counterculture in Moroccan Politics, John Entelis (1996) examined the dynamics of culture and counterculture in Islamism and the monarchy, which constitute two of the four “cultural strands” in his analysis of Moroccan politics. The other cultural strands that, according to Entelis, characterize Moroccan politics are militarism and modernism. After this introduction, the author examined the country’s political culture by identifying what he refers to as a “Muslim consensus,” which comprises Islam, Arabism, and Moroccan nationalism, with the monarchy constituting a fourth element.
Entelis discussed Moroccan political culture using many approaches: Moroccan personality, primordialism, Islam, and additional sub-cultures. The main thrust of his analysis is that the Moroccan monarchy has managed to survive thus far for two reasons. First, it is the only institution that embodies the three pillars of the Muslim consensus: Islam, Arabism, and Moroccan nationalism. Second, the Moroccan regime, under Hassan II, has astutely followed a policy of incremental democratization and adaptive modernization. The Moroccan monarchy seems to rely on the Boutchichi order for its reli-
gious legitimacy, a strictly urban movement, unlike Hassan II who relied on rural notables according to the French political scientist Remy Leveau’s book Le Fellah marocain défenseur du trône (1981). His main argument is that the monarchy’s power came from its alliance with rural notables, the Moroccan elite. According to Leveau, the elite members rather than urban bureaucrats were appointed as local representatives. In Mohamed VI’s Morocco, The Boutchichi order became the defender of the throne.