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Anouar Majid interviewed for Al Hurra article on stability of monarchies in Arab World

amajidAnouar Majid, Ph.D., UNE vice president for global affairs and director of the Center for Global Humanities, was quoted extensively in a long article in Arabic, published by Al Hurra, about the relative stability of monarchies in the Arab World. 

"People tend to assume," Majid explains, "that monarchies are automatically repressive; that doesn't have to be the case.  Like republican systems, they could be progressive or despotic. In the case of Morocco, the monarchy allows for a degree of freedom and safety not found elsewhere in the region precisely because people are voluntary participants, except for the revolutionaries who, again, believe in abstract principles."

Majid said the current monarchical model is working for Morocco "and there is no serious reason for it not to endure, as long as it continues to manage social and political relations well, ensure rights and freedoms, and move the country ahead." He added that "when Moroccans look at their monarchy, they see continuity and tradition. They instinctively know that it is so anchored in their society that they can't imagine a political order without it." They see  a royal family that has "led the struggle against Spanish and Portuguese incursions on the Moroccan coast, joined nationalists to resist colonialism, and are now positioning the nation for a modern future."

Majid suggested that this may be the best Arabs and Muslims can do for now since there is no democratic tradition in Islam. "One could certainly psychoanalyze this mindset and see it as a reflection of the Arabs' unacknowledged confession that they have no democratic traditions to draw on" and the notion of shura, or advisory council, "is only a feeble form of self-deception to somehow make room for political concepts like democracy and republican citizenship.  There are simply no traditions [of democracy] in Islamic history."  Read the article.

Majid is the author of five critically acclaimed books on Islam and the West, including Islam and America: Building a Future without Prejudice, and a novel, Si Yussef, which has been the focus of much scholarly and critical interest. He is the editor of the magazine TingisRedux.

Posted on: 09/23/2013

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