A Major Link between France's Berber Policy in Morocco and its "Policy of Races" in French West Africa: Commandant Paul Marty (1882-1938)

In: Islamic Law and Society
Pessah Shinar
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Virtually from the beginning of the protectorate (1912), the French in Morocco attempted to seal off the Berber-speaking tribes from the penetration of Islam and of the Arabic language. The present paper argues that this policy (the "Berber policy") was modeled on a similar policy (the "policy of races") adopted by the French in West Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century, the main difference being that in West Africa it was the "animists" who were to be sealed off. In both cases, the French acted as they did in order to ensure the permanence of their rule. It is argued that Paul Marty, the eminent authority on Islam in West Africa, was a key figure in the implementation of these policies in both regions.

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