"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075
Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 5 2020

Title

SHI’ISM IN MOROCCO: HISTORICAL HERITAGE AND MODERNITY

DOI

10.31857/S032150750009547-3

Аuthor

Anastasia A. BOURT
Applicant, Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Abstract:

   The article is devoted to the socio-political stance of the Shiite minority of Morocco, as well as the involvement of Moroccan Shiites in transnational Shiite politics caused by the aggravation of the situation around Iran due to the United States withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action for the Iranian Nuclear Program (2015) in 2018, the escalation of the struggle for regional leadership between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which involves other regional participants and affects conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

   The author reveals influence of the Shiite “heritage” on modern Morocco, as well as the role of external factors in the politicization of the Shiite minority in the Kingdom. Comparing the activity of Moroccan Shiites living at home and abroad, the author explains the reasons for the higher social activity of Moroccan Shiites living in Western Europe: unlimited religious freedom guaranteed to Belgians, lack of obstacles to religious pilgrimage, including Shiite shrines, wide access to sources of information about Shi’ism, the most valuable of which are Shiites from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, who live in Belgium next to Moroccans. The author also cites studies that analyze the phenomenon of the transition of Belgian Moroccan Sunnis to Shi’ism.

   To sum up, the author concludes that Moroccan authorities fear not “individual” Shi’ism, but consolidated Shiite movement because its loyalty may belong not to the Moroccan monarchy, but to foreign governments, for example, Iran or the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Keywords: Morocco, Shi’ism, Sherifian tradition of power transfer, spiritual security, transnational Shiite policy, religious diaspora policy, Belgium, Iran
Pages 28-35