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Channeling MoroccannessLanguage and the Media of Sociality$
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Becky L. Schulthies

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780823289714

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823289714.001.0001

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Mediating Moroccan Muslims

Mediating Moroccan Muslims

(p.137) 5 Mediating Moroccan Muslims
Channeling Moroccanness

Becky L. Schulthies

Fordham University Press

Chapter five brings morality, literate listening, and sonic reading together to explore the semiotics of the “Moroccan model of Islam,” a state-sponsored effort to shape religious discourse and practices via media in the wake of “extremism.” In May 2003, Morocco experienced a major religiously motivated attack, in which thirty-seven Moroccans were killed. Extremist Islam, learned through foreign media, was blamed. In particular, people claimed satellite television and small portable media (like audio cassette and VCR tapes, as well as VCD and DVD disks, and more recently internet videos) had corrupted and confused Moroccans about proper Islam. One of the Moroccan state responses was to re-cultivate what they called the Moroccan model or pattern of Islam نموذج المغربي‎, namūdhaj almaghribī, a historically “moderate” Islam, which they would spread via modern radio and television stations, training institutes, and global dissemination of training materials. The Moroccan pattern of Islam included a bundle of semiotic forms promoted as uniquely Moroccan: clothing, Qur’anic recitation styles, writing scripts, textual reasoning patterns, and television/radio communicative channels for connecting Moroccans to Islam. This chapter examines critical Fassi responses to the state media efforts at semiotically shaping Islam in Morocco and the social non-movements precipitated from those responses.

Keywords:   channels, mediation, moderate Islam, Moroccan Islam, Qur’anic recitation, religious media

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