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Title: The Movement for Unicity and Reform : between da'wa and dissent
Author: Francois, Emilie
ISNI:       0000 0004 6499 7065
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This dissertation examines the roots and emergence of the 'Movement for Unicity and Reform' ('MUR'), one of the largest Islamic political movements in Morocco. The objective is to outline the movement's history, ideological outlook and structure in order to present a complete picture of MUR's objectives. The empirical section of this thesis is based on fieldwork, consisting of interviews with senior members of the movement, activists, PJD MPs, academics and former members, observations of the movement's activities on the ground, movement documents, literature and newspapers. The first chapter presents MUR's history, from its roots in the revolutionary Chabiba Islamiya, through to the various ideological reforms undertaken by the different strands which subsequently make up the MUR. It looks at both the internal and external pressures on the movement's leaders which led them to re-examine their outlook and ultimately opt for a unique form of critical support for the monarchy. The second chapter outlines the ideological roots of the MUR in the Salafiyya reformist trend, in particular through the influence of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, but also subsequently through the integration of critical perspectives, as well as local intellectuals. Finally, it examines the movement's core documents, its charter and its publications to present the MUR's idealised conception of the state and its distinct strategy for change. In particular, it examines how specific religious aspects of the King's legitimation are re-worked and wielded to seek to create formal mechanisms of accountability between the King and the people and ultimately create a measure of the King's 'performance' as a ruler, based on the very ideals he premises his legitimacy on. The third chapter looks at the MUR's activities in society and is broken into two sections, the first on the MUR's 'specializations', its network of social and cultural organizations which operate at the grassroots level, providing services branded with the MUR's ethos. It examines how the MUR's particular conception of da'wa manifests in its outreach and creation of alternative solutions to social problems. The second section looks at the MUR's view of the political sphere and in particular, its evolving relationship to the PJD, a party which initially grew out of the MUR's political specialization, but which has since developed an autonomous identity. The MUR's political ideals as laid out in its literature are far more subversive than those of the PJD and point to inherent tensions between the MUR's project and the PJD's current incarnation. The thesis presents a detailed and comprehensive understanding of the MUR, both to inform a better understanding of the gradual, grassroots change being undertaken in view of achieving a particular vision of society, but also ultimately to resituate the PJD within a much broader project for change, of which formal political activism is merely one of several avenues for achieving the MUR's vision.
Supervisor: Willis, Michael J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available