Chapter

Violence in Islamic societies through the eyes of non-Muslim travellers: Morocco in the 19th and early 20th centuries

Manuela Marín

in Public Violence in Islamic Societies

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780748637317
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653164 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637317.003.0014
Violence in Islamic societies through the eyes of non-Muslim travellers: Morocco in the 19th and early 20th centuries

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This chapter aims to examine the work of Spanish travellers to Morocco during the 19th and early 20th centuries. It aims to analyse their views on the ‘public display on violence’. Thus, the chapter deals with material generated outside Muslim societies, and with a period marked by the European threat towards Morocco, which finally lost its independence at the beginning of the 20th century and became a ‘protectorate’ of France and Spain in 1912. In general, travel accounts are not objective, although many travellers claim to be exact on their descriptions and fair in their opinions. The Spanish travellers examined in this chapter are no exception to this rule. Many of their descriptions and views on Morocco and the Moroccan ways of life are heavily influenced by the circumstances of their time and by their personal attitudes. Their descriptions of public violence were derived from a frame of mind they all share: violence is at the core of the Moroccan society, because it is a Muslim society. Public display of violence in Morocco is ruthless and chaotic compared to the organized control of violence in Western societies. This and other similar arguments were the general trend in European literature to justify the Spanish intervention in Moroccan politics and by those who called for colonial action against Morocco.

Keywords: Spanish travellers; Morocco; violence; travel accounts; public violence

Chapter.  7688 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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